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.
May I ask if you have with the contractors been able to identify what is wrong with the floor and what is required to fix the problem?
Do I understand correctly that they have so far attempted to fix 3 times but have failed and now cannot return for circa 12 months?
From what you say you have not paid them anything so far?
Thanks. How have you left it with them for now? Have you agreed to let them try again or not yet?
Thanks. May I begin by outlining the law and then move on to practical approaches?
Thanks. As you will be aware. the position here is that you have two differing sets of rights. The first set of rights you have under any warranty from the contractor which are somewhat limited insofar as that they are limited to the terms of the warranty which are probably not overly generous if in deed a warranty exists at all. I will leave this here though because of what follows.
You have a another set of rights by virtue of your contract with the contractor which carried out the work. This set of rights are much more extensive as terms are implied into your contract by virtue of the Supply of Goods and Services Act that the work carried out must be satisfactory and fit for purpose and as agreed and any materials supplied in the course of their work must be of satisfactory quality. During the first six months, any faults are automatically assumed to be inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage or otherwise under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. After the first six months, the burden of proof switches to you to show that any faults are inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage.
Under these rights you can insist upon a repair or replacement of any faulty workmanship or materials the contractor has supplied initially at the contractor's discretion. This right last for up to six years under the Limitation Act against the contractor though will be limited to what is reasonable given the life expectancy of the work carried out in practice. You are required to give the contractor reasonable opportunity to repair or replace. There is no specific prescribed number of times that you must must allow them the opportunity to do so however if they have failed to repair the same more than two-three times or refuse to repair the same this would usually be held to be satisfactory opportunity to do so and you would then be within your rights to instruct an alternative contractor to quote to remedy the matter and look to the original contractor for the cost or insist on a replacement boiler if they have repeatedly failed to repair the same. .
the position here from what you say is that you have given the company three opportunities to repair the work and on each occasion they have failed to do so. three opportunities would in almost all circumstances be held to be reasonable opportunity for the contractor to repair and at this point he would have the right to approach alternative contractors to quote to rectify the work to bring it up to your reasonable expectations. You are legally able to deduct the reasonable costs of an alternative contractor carrying out this work from the cost of the original contractor the you are required to mitigate your costs in this respect which in practice can usually be achieved by obtaining at least two or three quotes and using the cheapest. You are also able to claim any associated costs you incur such as temporary storage of furniture and the like.
The position is potentially slightly complicated if you have agreed in writing that the the original contractor can have a fourth attempt at repairing the unsatisfactory work. If you have so confirmed, it may be difficult to retract that offer though there would be nothing stopping you from adding reasonable conditions whereby you will be seeking costs for removal and temporary storage of your furniture and that this is the last opportunity you are allowing for repair.
In terms of payment, if they have carried out any work of value - in other words despite their poor workmanship, if they have need some improvement to the flooring, then they are entitled to payment for that work to date less any costs as above however they are not entitled to payment in full until the work is completed satisfactorily. If you are uncertain as to the value of any work carried out, you could ask an alternative contractor to quote for fixing the work as above and use any such quote as a basis for holding a retention against the original contractors fee - for example if the original contractors fee was £1000 and another contractor advises he would charge you £700 to fix the work, you could consider holding back £700 until the work is fixed whether by the original or an alternative contractor. YOu could also retain a further amount for any costs you may incur as above and as a contingency fund
ensure that any future exchanges with the original contractor are made or at least confirmed in writing in order that you have a record of what has been discussed and agreed in the event the matter were to proceed to the Small Claims Court
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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 please reply back to me though
Many thank Best wishes