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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70506
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband is a self employed plumber. He carried out some

Resolved Question:

My husband is a self employed plumber. He carried out some plumbing work for a friend of mine who is no longer a friend. She is now accusing him of bad workmanship and stating she wants her money back that she paid for the parts and compensation for her stress and worry. This was a favour for a friend, what should he do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking if she can sue?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, is her complaint with us personally or with my husband’s company as the work was done as a favour. She paid him for his time and for a part needed it was a cash transaction not a business transaction.

She has written to him his company complaining about the work and his reluctance to return for free to fix the problem, as he saying the works required are extensive and he's not prepared to work for her and not for free. We want to respond to her, but we don’t know how to respond should we write to her from the Company or personally?

Many thanks

Lisa

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It doesn't matter whether it was a favour or not. Whatever the recompense arrangements were, the same duty applies.
You could argue that she should be suing him not the company depending on what was actually agreed but it doesn't make much practical difference since he is self employed.
In terms of the complaint though, it depends what it is. If it is that he caused damage then he is very definitely liable. If its just that he discovered the work was greater than he thought and he isn't willing to do that for free then that is fair enough.
What you seem to be describing though is not a favour completely. She did pay for his time. It might well have been a reduction for a friend but if there was any recompense at all then this is a contract. If it were entirely a favour with no recompense then he could withdraw at any time because there is no contract as she would have provided no consideration. That is not what you are describing.
If the issue here is that he agreed to do X job for Y amount which is a reduced rate because she was a friend and she has subsequently behaved in an unfriendly way so he isn't willing to complete then that is not lawful I'm afraid. In theory she does have a claim against him for the cost of completing although the practical reality is that she might well find a small claims court extremely unsympathetic to her position if she were to try to sue.
In terms of how to respond, if you say that he was personally instructed then it should really be in his name.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. You have verfied what I was thinking and will reply to her via the company. It is not that the works we not completed. The works were completed and the leak did stop for 3 months. But then the leak started again and the lady thinks that my husband should return and fix the leak again for free even though these works would be extensive.

Thanks you again this has been very helpful.

Best wishes

Lisa

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If he was instructed to do work to put that right and she did pay him for that, whatever sum, then he may be liable to do so.
However, it might be one of those cases where it is more economical for him to walk away and take the risk that she will sue.
No problem and all the best.
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