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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 777
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I have had some work carried out at my property by a plumber

Customer Question

I have had some work carried out at my property by a plumber who has requested cash in hand payments, we have given him interim payments over a period of time and in November submitted a handwritten piece of paper stating he wants a further £10k + we disagreed with the amount he was asking for and gave him £5k which after getting other quotes to compare we felt was reasonable on both sides. he has now sent us a letter asking for £5k owing to him and telling us he is going to send debt collectors in. We have not received any receipts / invoices or formal paperwork from him and also many of the things he is charging us for are either not working e.g. underfloor heating or have not been completed. on the paperwork he has sent this week he does not put his address and there is a ficticious name and address on the envelope as a return to sender contact - advice please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello. I am a lawyer with over 15 years experience I will try to help yo with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

I need some more information to be able to help. Is there any written contract or a schedule of works to be carried out at an agreed price. What is his justification for demanding the £10K. Why did you give him any extra at all? What does his letter claim to be his reason for threatening"debt collectors" and by debt collectors does he mean that he will instruct agents to start legal porceedigns against you.

JACUSTOMER-lyv6qna0- :

There is no written contract apart from a quote given for installing central heating in 2012 which he did and for which we paid him. since that time he has carried out other works at our request and he has attended our home on an ad hoc basis e.g fitted us in between his other jobs

JACUSTOMER-lyv6qna0- :

We always knew that we would have to pay him more for the additional work he had carried out however we were extremely peterbed when he told us the additional work was 10k plus, we disputed this with him immediately and asked for receipts for the materials he had used so that we could settle that bill and then discuss his time (labour) these were not forthcoming so we priced up the materials ourselves bearing in mind we dont get the trade discount that he told us he could get which was why he sourced the materials on our behalf. We felt that for the additional work he had carried out together with the material costs and also taking into consideration the money we had already paid him that £5k was the maximum we would be prepared to pay him. in total we have paid him £13179 which includes the 5K we gave him. As in our opinion he was carrying out the works,, at his request for cash and came and went (he had a key and still retains that key) at his leisure fitting us in when he could we were under the impression we were getting 'mates rates' and trusted him as a friend. Some of the work left a bit to be desired however as we thought he was doing the work at a reduced rate as a friend we didn't complain. We do object strongly to him charging us for jobs he was not instructed to carry out but we would arrive at the property and find him for example refitting kitchen units as he said they were not straight (for which he is trying to charge us) also underfloor heating in our kitchen which does not work as he never connected it and there are many outstanding issues which for obvious reasons we now do not want him back in our house (we have to leave a key in our door constantly as he, as i mentioned earlier, retains a key to our outer door. he is threatening debt collectors as he says there is still £5,709 owed. In his letter he has asked for a cheque in settlement by 31st Jan but has not put an address on his letter and it obviously isnt on his company paper, it is just on a plain A4 sheet of paper. he sent this recorded delivery to our home and the address stamp on the back for returning if unable to deliver is scrawled J Jones and the address is almost ilegible but from what we can read of it, doesn't exist in any form in the area that is written and his name is not J Jones !

LondonlawyerJ :

Thankyou for that. I will reply to this later this morning. I will be busy on other matters for the next hour or so.

LondonlawyerJ :

Sorry was delayed longer than I expected will get your answer to you soon.

LondonlawyerJ :

This is still a bit unclear to me but I think that the position is that you have used this plumber who is a person that you know anyway (Mates rates?). Initially he installed a boiler satisfactorily and this is no part of the dispute. Since then he has done various bits of work including underfloor heating -which doesn’t work as it is not connected - work to kitchen cabinets which he was not instructed to do and some other unspecified work. You have paid him a total of £13,179. He claims he is owed a further £5,000 and threatens action for the recovery of this. I will be unable to give any but the most general advice on this unless I know more. What work does the disputed £5,000 relate to and what instructions did he have to do the work? Is the work satisfactory? I am sorry for the further queries but would like to be able to give you some useful answers.

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