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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have recently employed a builder to undertake my house extension.

Customer Question

I have recently employed a builder to undertake my house extension. He has finished it to a very poor standard and I have had to undertake some of the work myself. Despite this he is demanding full settlement and threading to report me to HMRC for making a payment to him from my company. Does this constitute blackmail? If so should I report him to the police? I have the threat in writing.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name is Tony, I can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

This does sounds like blackmail, yes. It is an offence you could report to the police.

tdlawyer :

You should make clear to him, at the same time, your basis for not paying the full amount.

tdlawyer :

So you're making it clear, all is on the record, why you refuse to pay him and that he is the one solely in the wrong here, and committing a criminal offence.

JACUSTOMER-6hkrkozl- : I have made clear to him and offered to pay him some of the amount. I also have an independent surveyors report confirming work to be substandard. Should I tell him I am going to the police and give him a chance to retract?
tdlawyer :

Well, the danger there, is that you put yourself in the crosshairs for blackmail too .... ideally, if you want to make a complaint, then you should just do that, otherwise, let it go. I understand why you want to do what you query, but I think you have to be very careful about this.

JACUSTOMER-6hkrkozl- : Given the amount I am being blackmailed for is over £7k, would a conviction be likely to result in a custodial sentence?
tdlawyer :

That depends on many things, but yes, it is. Have a look at the sentencing guidelines and various cases - they almost always result in imprisonment: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/blackmail_debt_enforcement/

JACUSTOMER-6hkrkozl- : Thanks very much for your help Tony, that's all I need to know.
tdlawyer :

Thank you. Hope you resolve this.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else you would like me to answer for you?