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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3497
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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A client has given me notice to finish the building work on

Customer Question

A client has given me notice to finish the building work on her property in 7 days otherwise she will take me to work knowing that the request is unrealistic. Do I carry on working for the 7 days or do I pull out?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question.

Is the notice linked to your agreement to her? Is it something she is entitled to give?

Is the project delayed?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am not sure about the link to my Agreement. My contract does not say that she can do that.
There is delay due to variations and extensive additional works she gave me outside the agreed works.
Thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Does the agreement say anywhere an agreed date for completing the works?

Do you have the variations in writing for her? If so did you are updated time estimates?

What would you like to do? Finish the project or pay for what you ve done to date and walk away?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The Agreement does not stipulate any completion date except the Gant chart (schedule of works) which had 30th March as completion date then at a meeting with client where she insisted on having another date I gave her end of April. Some of the work cannot be completed because she has not had certain things done, such as Heating Engineer cannot complete because he needs her kitchen fitter to finish the units around the boiler but fitter not coming back and she is looking for another and has asked my carpenter to finish her kitchen.
Yes, the variations are in writing.
I prefer to gets if for what I have done so far and walk away. It has been a nightmare working for her
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Firstly if there is no provision to serve a notice to complete the works and you have a chain of written confirmation of variations, if she does serve the notice then any action against you would highly dubious as she does not actually have a claim for anything.

I would write to her and say that you deny categorically any breach of agreement as "time was not of the essence for this contract" due to the numerous subcontractors involved and variations. Also say that she has no right under the contract to serve any notice to complete the works.

If you want to terminate this arrangement and settle what you have done you will need a solicitor to write a without prejudice letter to the client offering to terminate the works without any admission of liability.

In the mean time I would suggest you carry on working until a settlement can be agreed to end the contact. If you stop working then she may have a claim for breach against you.

How much are you owed?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am owed £8,000 + VAT. Do I have to send all operatives on site or can I reduce the number of operatives
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

How is the contract monitored? If there is anything you legitimately cut back then fine.

If the resourcing it is going to be an issue I would consider whether you can terminate the agreement immediately.

Are there any termination provisions in the agreement?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi AJ, apologies for getting back to you now but was in a meeting. What do you mean by me legitimately cut back?
In terms of the clauses of the Agreement, can I email you the Agreement? thanks.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

You should be able to send the agreement to [email protected] for my attention.

Please ensure you redact it.

What I mean is, is there any part of the works you can slow down so as not to cause yourself any further losses?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, can you go back online please? Thanks


 


Optional Information:
System of Law: England-and-Wales
What have you tried so far?: Sent client email as per your expert's advise and got a bad reaction. However, I had more questions for him but he is off line.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, again apologies. I had this page open twice but your response is only visible on one. I emailed the client with similar wording above and made her aware that she is not in a position to serve a notice...etc. the reaction was bad because she is maybe realising she made a bad move. I do not mind going to Court as I have made a loss of nearly £5,000 on this project and will amount to more if I continue. My wish is to pull out and take her to Court myself but obviously I cannot do that. However, I spoke to a local Sollicitor who suggested that I get an independent surveyor or Project Manager to have a look at the work done so far and determine how much I am owed at this point but again it is more costs incurred on my part for his fees even if we go halves. I shall email the contract to the address you have given me below tomorrow morning as I am going into a meeting now until 9:00 and would like to continue this discussion tomorrow. Thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

Yes please do send it. My apologies for late reply I had connection issues.

It is good that you are making progress. If you want to propose a settlement by way of an independent expert intervening (which is a good idea and normal in these circumstances) I suggest you get the local solicitor to write a without prejudice letter to the client. It is important it comes from a solicitor to give the necessary gravitas that comes with receiving a solicitors.

I question how serious this clients intentions are. If she was really serious to end her agreement and sue she would have got a solicitor to terminate the arrangement.

Kind regards

AJ

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