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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hello, I hired an architect for a planning application job,

Resolved Question:

Hello, I hired an architect for a planning application job, he quoted 1200 pounds for the entire process. His initial drawings were late, incomplete and not to the standard I expected. I fired him and now he wants the entire 1200 even though he only began the process and did first draft drawings. I was offering him 500 but he wants it all and is threatening to sue.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I confirm you retained the architect as a consumer as opposed to as a business customer please?

Joshua :

Did you agree any timeframe for his initial delivery of plans?

Joshua :

Do you propose to use the plans he has produced?

Customer:

Hello, yes he was a friend of the surveyor I was using for my planning application he was also late and produced shoddy incomplete work and was also fired. The agreement was verbal during a visit to my house and the timeframe was urgent and I expected the drawings within a week but waited almost a month. Also, I think he may be a draughtsman rather than an actual architect. No I will not be using his plans. Also, he took away with him plans done be a previous actual architect that I paid for - he took them to help him and he has not returned them in spite of me asking him twice since December.

Joshua :

Thanks. From what you say you made it clear to him that you needed the plans within a week or so. Would I be correct to assume this was not reduced to writing but just left as a verbal discussion?

Joshua :

Was any price agreed in written form?

Joshua :

Could you briefly summarise why you cannot use the plans he has provided - just a few of the major reasons in brief should suffice?

Customer:

Everything was verbal - timing and price quote were never in writing

Customer:

His plans are incomplete, in that they don't go into enough detail, don't cover all areas of the house required and his ideas were not to my liking.

Customer:

Also, I should say that I did refer to the 1200 in an email to him a few days ago contesting the request for it. I told him it was for a finished complete job to my and the planners satisfaction which I suppose confirms that 1200 was agreed initially

Joshua :

Thank you. If you accept that you agreed a service to be provided by the individual and a price to be paid for it a contract exists here despite the lack of written evidence. The terms of the agreement are governed by the Supply of Goods and Services Act which provides that the service provided must be as he represented it to you, of satisfactory quality and delivered in the timeframe agreed or if no timeframe agreed then within a reasonable timeframe.

Joshua :

Your email to him is evidence that this price was agreed by you initially and therefore it would be difficult at this point to simply deny any agreement existed. However this does not mean that you are liable to pay the entire sum. There are a number of approaches to defend his claim potentially.

Joshua :

First of all if he held himself out to be an architect and isn't this would amount to a misrepresentation which could undermine the entire basis of the contract if you argue that you retained him because you understood him to be an architect. You can check his status here: http://www.architecture.com/UseAnArchitect/Home.aspx

Joshua :

Second, if you agreed a timeframe, then his failure to deliver the plans in time could amount to a breach of contract though the failure to either place this term in writing or notify him in writing that you were dissatisfied with his failure to produce the plans in the timescale agreed may make evidencing this little better than your word against his if he denies the claim.

Customer:

that's interesting I'll check that. The problem I see is that since nothing is in writing is will be a case of him saying one story and me another as you've just pointed out

Joshua :

Third if you can point to defects in his plans which make the work unsatisfactory or better still unusable this can be a further means to claim breach of contract on his part. Unless you gave him a precise brief and can demonstrate his plans manifestly fail to meet the brief, it will be difficult to proceed on the basis you did not like his plans, but if you can show it did meet your brief and better still have defects which make them unsuitable or unusable for a planning application this would be a good basis on which to claim a further breach of contract on his part.

Joshua :

Finally and perhaps your strongest suit might be as follows:

Joshua :

If you agreed the contract in your home (albeit verbally) he is required to provide you with a 7 day cooling off period under the Doorstep Selling Regulations starting on the day you are given notice of a right to cancel.

Customer:

He didn't do so but since this was back in November - how does that help me now?

Joshua :

If he did not give you the required statutory cancellation notice then you can claim the contract is void under the above regulations if it was concluded at home. If he cannot demonstrate that he complied with the regulations then he is unable to enforce the contract against you irrespective of the quality of his service.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Does the statutory cancellation notice need to be in writing or can he say he verbally told me?

Joshua :

Not it must be in writing and must contain all of the following:
-The identity of the trader including any trading name
ƒ-The date it was issued
ƒ-The trader’s reference number, code or other details to enable the contract to be identified
ƒ-A statement that the consumer has a right to cancel the contract if he wishes and that this right can be exercised by delivering, or sending (including by electronic mail) a cancellation notice to the person mentioned in the next paragraph at any time within the period of 7 days starting with the day of receipt of a notice in writing of the right to cancel the contract
-The name and address, (including any electronic mail address as well as the postal address), of a
person to whom a cancellation notice may be given
ƒ-A statement that notice of cancellation is deemed to be served as soon as it is posted or sent to a
trader or in the case of an electronic communication from the day it is sent to the trader
ƒ-A cancellation form in the prescribed form provided as a detachable slip and completed by or on
behalf of the trader in accordance with the notes (see section 8)
-ƒIf applicable an indication that the consumer may have to pay for the goods or services supplied if
the contract has begun with his written agreement before the end of the cooling off period
ƒ-A statement that the consumer can use the cancellation form provided if he wishes

Joshua :

It is not sufficient for him to verbally tell you your rights.

Customer:

He didn't any way. Perfect - thanks so much for your help!

Customer:

Amanda

Joshua :

A pleasure. I wish you all the best in your defence. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

I want to save this , I've clickecd on excellent service now do I press save and exit?

Joshua :

I believe you click the submit button to submit your rating. This saves the thread to your account and you are welcome to return to at any time

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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