Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
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.
For the avoidance of doubt, do I understand you have a written estimate or contract specifying that matching tiles would be used please?
Was the agreement between you and the contractor made at your home or at the contractors office or over the phone?
Thanks. So is the contractor that has carried out the tiling a sub contractor of the main contractor you hired to carry out the job? i.e. you have not paid the tiling contractor directly?
Thanks. Finally did the contractor provide you with a notice of your rights to cancel the contract either at the time you were negotiating or at any stage thereafter?
When was the work completed?
Thanks - just the last point if you would, when was the work completed?
I'm about to go offline for the evening. If you can kindly confirm the above I will respond to you in full tomorrow.
Thanks. Based on what you say there are two approaches you can take to the above.
The first is under the Cancellation of Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. Under these regulations because the agreement was concluded by email between you and the contractor, rather than at his place of business he is required to supply you with specific information about your right to cancel and a form to cancel and give you 14 days to cancel your agreement. Many traders fail to comply with these regulations. Failure by them to do so gives you a right to cancel the agreement for up to 12 months from the completion of the service. He cannot charge you legally for any work carried out. Therefore a simple way to approach the matter is to simply give notice of your wish to cancel the contract under the above regulations and give notice that you require a full refund failing which you will consider a) reporting the matter to trading standards reminding the trader that it is also a criminal offence to fail to comply with the above regulations and b) issue a claim for the return of your money in the small claims court.
The alternative approach would be a claim under the Supply of Goods and Services Act. You have an extensive set of rights by virtue of your contract (irrespective that there is little in the way of writing) with the tradesman. Terms are implied into your contract by virtue of the Sale of Goods Act that the work and materials supplied must be fit for purpose, as described and 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 though this is often (though not always) self evident based on the nature of the fault or damage.
Under the Supply of Goods and ServicesAct, you can insist upon replacement tiles that match the description given in your instructions. You are required to give the tradesman reasonable opportunity to repair or replace the tiles. 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 replace the same more than two-three times or refuse to replace 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 by repair or replacement and look to the original supplier for the cost.
Again if necessary you can sue in the small claims court if necessary.
You should be able to use any combination of the above approaches to encourage or force the contractor to make good the work in question. Many contractors will comply when they appreciate the difficulties you can potentially cause for them. If he is obstinate, then you can enforce your rights using the above means for which he has no defence.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
I am based in England. I wouldn't normally involve myself in Scottish law issues but the above law and legislation applies to England and Scotland. The Cancellation regulations are a EU directive so apply across Europe
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. Have a good evening