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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69541
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can I fire a builder after signed an order and paid deposit

Resolved Question:

Can I fire a builder after signed an order and paid deposit but after nine weeks no work has been carried out. Belatedly I have read some reviews of this builders work and it makes me think that I have made a wrong choice. I rather loose the deposit than having to put up with a lot of nonsensical excuses and some shoddy work that will have to be put right after by having to employ another builder.
Best regards
Colin
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What is his reason for this and did you agree that time should be of the essence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has given me no reason for for the time slip. It is a bit difficult to get a straight answer between the sales man the surveyor the subcontractor and the work manager. My main concern is the shoddy poor quality work, no communication between the subcontractor and the builder. The sub con. turns up to do a job but unable to carry on as the builder hasn't prepared the site. So it goes on for some nine going on to ten weeks. I am fed up having to make phone calls arguing and all the disruptions this is causing.

Regards

Colin

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
Did you agree that time was of the essence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. I would just like the job finished in a professional manner. I am more worried about the quality of the work if and when they finally make a start. As I said before after ten weeks from the date of the order no work has been carried out to date. I can see this going to be cowboy building job.

Regards

Colin

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I do see that but there are really two issues that are entirely separate.
The first is the delay. You didn't agree time was of the essence so the act of delay is not a repudiatory breach allowing you to cancel per se. However, under the supply of goods and services legislation you are only under an obligation to wait a reasonable time and ten weeks is not reasonable. I do think you need to write to him warning him of your intentions though before you act. I realise that you may have been complaining to him but that isn't the same as sending a letter saying that if he does not do the work within 14 days you will instruct another and sue him for the cost.
In terms of the quality of the work, the difficulty is that there isn't really any basis for this except suspicion and a court would not uphold that unless there is some proper evidence to support it.
That said, if you did cancel, although you would be acting unlawfully, he has not suffered loss as he has not done the work so he has no claim against you except for lost profits maybe and the deposit is likely to cover that.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69541
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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