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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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My partner recently part fitted a kitchen sister and

Resolved Question:

My partner recently part fitted a kitchen for my sister and her husband and are now threatening a small court claim for bad workmanship, is this allowed as they were satisfied with the work carried out and paid?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year 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 :

Was your partner acting as a professional contractor or just doing them a favour with free labour with them paying for parts please?

Customer:

doing them a favour, they provided parts he charged for his time to assemble and fit

Joshua :

Thanks. Does he trade professionally in carpentry or as a tradesman?

Customer:

He is a self employed carpenter

Joshua :

Thank you. Finally for the avoidance of any doubt he did make a charge for the time spent and raised an invoice in the usual way or did he take payment in cash without issuing any invoice?

Customer:

Just took payment in a cheque and no invoice issued the cheque was made payable to me, not to him personally

Joshua :

Thanks. Are you involved in his business? If not do you know why they paid you? Did they pay you for the materials too?

Customer:

He does not have a business, so no, i am not involved, to be honest he asked for the cheque to be paid to me?

Customer:

The materials were supplied apart from fixing screws etc.

Joshua :

Thank you.

Joshua :

the reason for my above questions is that your sisters rights will turn mainly upon whether the work was carried out by your husband in the course of his business or commercially (i.e. professionally) or whether he was carrying out the work privately.

Customer:

It was privately, as a favour

Joshua :

the obvious difficulty for your husband is that from what you say, he charge for his time and if that is the case, this creates a contract. The difficulty of your sister is that she has no invoice and she did not pay him directly and so she will not be able to evidence a contract with him. If she can demonstrate that she paid you for the installation service your husband provided, she could seek to so she has a contract with you and you failed to supply satisfactory service.

Joshua :

The position is not clear cut for either party because of the above. based upon what you say, if your sister can show that you make payment to you for the installation service provided by your husband, and it would be for her to show this if it were disputed by you, then she can show that she has a contract with you to provide the kitchen installation service your husband provided and it follows that if she can demonstrate that she is unsatisfied with the quality of work carried out, which law requires should be carried out with reasonable skill and care and the result should be one of satisfactory quality, she can frame the basis of a claim for the cost of work to correct the issues she identifies.

Joshua :

It is for her to show that any work she complained of is not a reasonable quality in this respect. That she paid for the work, if you accept she did, is evidence that she was satisfied with the same but her paying for the work does not preclude her complaining of quality issues. However it would be for her to show but any issue she complains of is not the result of damage caused by her.

Joshua :

If she were to pursue the matter in court, there is no obvious clear outcome for either party due to the above issues for each of you and for this reason it would be far better if you can reach an amicable agreement as to how to resolve your sisters complaints both for the sake of family relationship and to avoid court costs for a claim which will not be straightforward for either of you

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Please, the completion of the kitchen was never done by my partner, as she got in a state with bits missing from her order, so completely out of the blue, she insisted we leave, that surely is not our fault, she now has had other professionals come in to finnish the work and clearly states his work was unacceptable. Would i have to pay legal fees to contest this allegation of damage etc.

Customer:

We are not in a financial situation to reimburse

Joshua :

Is she claiming for the cost of that replacement contractor or something else?

Customer:

For any money she paid my partner

Customer:

and also a new kitchen?

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

the fact that your sister instructed another contractor to continue the work makes her position even more difficult because not only must she show all of the above, she must also show that the work she complains of was carried out by your husband and not the new contractor. If she were to issue a claim, there is a lot for her to overcome in order to be successful. In order to be able to recover all of the money owed by your husband, she must prove that she paid you for your husband service, that your husband's (as opposed to the work of the second contractor) work was not satisfacotry and that your husband gave no value whatsoever in respect of the work you carried out. These are not easy things to show as she will be required to demonstrate evidence in respect of each point.

Joshua :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=3080

Customer:

Would you suggest i ignore her threats or wait for any developments

Joshua :

Sorry please ignore the above link posted in error.

Customer:

ok

Joshua :

if you consider that your husband's work was reasonable in all the circumstances and you have no intention to willingly pay your sister and do not think that the dispute can be worked out by your husband attending to any issues she identifies, then your strongest position is thatyour husband was not paid any money for carrying out the work and that the work he carried out for her was done as a favour and that his work was done with all due skill and care but he was not able to finish because she insisted he leave.

Joshua :

this places the obligation upon your sister to prove every hurdle identified above if she wishes to issue proceedings in court. She has created for herself a real muddle of issues to overcome and it will be no easy task for her to do so.

Customer:

Exactly, thank you, ***** ***** just causing me stress not him as he has been in the carpentry trade for 40plus years

Joshua :

It is no doubt very unpleasant, particularly from your own sister. If your husband is confident of his work, my view would be that you would have a reasonable chance of a successful defence should she make a claim in court in part because of the number of issues your sister has created for itself but also because if the work genuinely was of reasonable quality, she will find it difficult to produce evidence that it was not on top of all of her other hurdles.

Joshua :

If I were having this conversation with her based on what you say I would be telling her that her claim represents a challenge because of the burden of proof she will be put to in respect of each of the above issues, any one of which could frustrate her claim significantly.

Customer:

Many thanks for your help and making me feel slightly reassured.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

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 please reply back to me though

Customer:

Is there a reference number should i need to contact you again

Joshua :

you can contact me through the following link should you need to do so:
http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-joshua/

Customer:

Thank you again, have a nice weekend

Joshua :

And you.

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