AA Legal Documents
Law guide

Furniture and floor coverings

Contents

If you have bought any furniture, including floor-coverings, beds, carpets or lounge suites, it must be:

  • Of satisfactory quality
  • Fit for its purpose
  • As described
Faults with furniture

After a few weeks or less

If you have only had the furniture a few weeks or haven't had a reasonable opportunity to check it, you are probably entitled to a refund for a fault or poor description. Alternatively you may request a replacement.

If the fault is only minor and can easily be put right, it is reasonable to accept a repair. This repair should be done to a satisfactory standard at no additional cost to you. If the repair is not carried out to a satisfactory standard, then you are entitled to seek a refund.

More than a few weeks

If you have had the furniture longer than a few weeks or have had a reasonable opportunity to check it, you may be entitled to a repair or replacement, but this will depend on the circumstances. A repair should be carried out within a reasonable period of time and without causing you significant inconvenience. Any repair should restore goods to a satisfactory condition.

If furniture cannot be replaced or repaired

If the furniture cannot be replaced or repaired economically, you are entitled to a refund. The trader may make a reduction from the price you paid to allow for the use you have had from the furniture.

If fault has caused additional expense

If you are out of pocket in any other way, you may be entitled to compensation over and above the price of the furniture.

Important points to bear in mind:

  • You have no rights if you picked furniture which doesn't suit your requirements
  • All furniture must meet fire resistance standards
For more information, see our 'Problems with goods' section.

If things go wrong

If you determine that there is a problem with the furniture you have purchased, do the following:

  • If you can, stop using the furniture
  • Be certain that the fault was not caused by misuse, an accident or by not following any assembly instructions
  • Locate your proof of purchase. If you haven't got a receipt, you can use a credit card voucher or cheque stub. Own-brand goods, something exclusive to one shop or the packaging may prove where you bought the item. If someone was with you when you bought it, they can back you up. Remember it is up to you to show where and when you bought the furniture.
  • You will now need to contact the trader straight away and report the problem. If you bought the furniture locally, visit the trader. Take any proof of purchase with you.
If the trader doesn't resolve your complaint

The Furniture Ombudsman

You need to check if the trader is a member of the Furniture Ombudsman. If so, you can contact the Furniture Ombudsman which is the independent standards body for furniture and floor coverings (including kitchens and bathrooms). The Furniture Ombudsman provides a dispute resolution service and can perform on-site inspections of products. Members are required to follow a code of practice and in the event of an unresolved dispute must accept the ruling of the Furniture Ombudsman.

If the trader is not a member of the FO, the FO will can arrange an independent inspection of the furniture concerned, but cannot intervene any further to assist you with any claim.

Court claims

You can bring a claim in the courts, but this should be viewed as a last resort, if all other options don't produce the result you're looking for. You should consult a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau advice.

For more information, see our 'Making a claim (England and Wales)' section.