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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a few questions over threatened court action by Anglian

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Hi I have a few questions over threatened court action by Anglian Homes Improvement. In summary I entered into a contract with Anglian to fit my house which was being renovated early in 2014. The initial fitting (late Feb 2014) of the windows were sub standard by Anglian's own admission but on each subsequent visit, they were unable to rectify the situation. It got to the point in May or June where my builders on a £100k renovation and extension project were starting to run out of other work and the 5th and final attempt by Anglian to put the job right ended with the workmen not bringing the correct windows and on promising to return with the correct ones, fleeing the job. At this point it was necessary in my opinion to enact my own right to mitigate my losses (building costs and rental of another property) and pay my own builders to remove Anglian windows and fit other windows. I have been securely storing Anglian windows ever since and have not been able to get through to anybody to discuss until a letter arrived this week threatening court action.
I'd like to understand if I have a case and what my best course of action would be having now received the letter. If I have a strong case should I defend? Is there a counter option available to me? Or should I consider paying in full and then take Anglian through small claims court claiming breach of contract for full refund (if I pay would I still have this as an option)?
Hope you can assist.
Regards,
Dan.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How much would their claim be against you and the counter claim from you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex, thank you for taking a look at my questions.

The 7 windows came to approx. £10k. I have paid circa £2k deposit and the letter received is to recover the sum of £7,622.19, essentially the outstanding amount on the full balance.

Anglian have not been able to take this money because their I was never able to sign to say I was satisfied with their work. Obviously now their windows are now in my garage.

My counter claim would include the following which I made Anglian aware in one of several letters dated 15th August 2014:

- Removal of Anglian windows (£1,600)

- Additional month of temporary accommodation due to delays (£600)

- Deposit (£2k)

I did make reference to a 2 week cost delay on my building team too but actually all that I want back is my deposit and put this behind me.

So to answer your question:

Anglian claim - £7.6k

My claim - between £2k - £4k

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Have they issued proceedings against you yet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I do not believe so. I have received a notice before court proceedings. Please see attached.

notice before court proceedings

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes these are not proceedings. On the basis they did not do what they said they are in breach of contract. They are also in breach of section 13 of the sale and supply of goods and services act by failing to act with all reasonable skill and care.
If they issue proceedings against you then you can counter claim. If you issue proceedings against them then they can counter claim.
But I do think you have a valid claim.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks Alex for your advice.

Firstly please could you remove the image with my home address from this thread.

In terms of the best course of action, would it be best to pay in full and then seek the money back via a small claim court?

What are the likely costs arriving from such a counter claim?

Are there any no win now fee or capped cost options available to me?

Can you suggest a good law firm to proceed with?

Thanks,

Dan.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I can only close the thread and can do this once you rate my answer.
Sadly it wont be a no win no fee. This is a small claim and legal costs can't be recovered. this means either side can't recover legal costs generally.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

if legal costs cannot be recovered, why are Anglian legal team telling me I may have to pay their legal fees too? Also with my claim only being up to £4k, surely my legal fees could easily cost that much too?

Going back to my previous questions, in terms of the best course of action, would it be best to pay in full and then seek the money back via a small claim court? This is quite an important question for me as small claims *seems* easier/friendly and doesn't normally require legal represenation right? Is it possible to ignore this "before court proceedings letter" and immediately make a court claim?


If we continue down the path of defending and countering, what are the likely costs arriving from such a counter claim?

Are you able to recommend a good solicitor to proceed with?

I have just a few other questions after this namely:

You have mentioned you believe I have a valid case. What kind of information should I have in place to ensure I have as water tight a case as possible?

Is this the kind of counter claim that can be undertaken personally, without employing the services of a solicitor?

Should I get in touch with Anglian legal team and explain the position I am taking and supply the documented evidence of the issues and continued failure of Anglian Windows to fit my windows?

From the information you supply I am trying to weigh up pro's and con's and determine the best course of action.

Thanks,

Dan.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
if legal costs cannot be recovered, why are Anglian legal team telling me I may have to pay their legal fees too? Also with my claim only being up to £4k, surely my legal fees could easily cost that much too?
I dont know. The Court can ONLY order costs against you in a small claim in very limited circumstances, ie you have acted very unreasonably.
Going back to my previous questions, in terms of the best course of action, would it be best to pay in full and then seek the money back via a small claim court? This is quite an important question for me as small claims *seems* easier/friendly and doesn't normally require legal represenation right? Is it possible to ignore this "before court proceedings letter" and immediately make a court claim?
Its up to you. I dont think you should pay. I think you should deduct the cost of putting it right from the balance and then pay THAT difference. This would certainly keep it below £10,000 in any event.
If we continue down the path of defending and countering, what are the likely costs arriving from such a counter claim?
Court fees can be found here:
https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees
Are you able to recommend a good solicitor to proceed with?
You can fine a local Solicitor:
http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/
I have just a few other questions after this namely:
You have mentioned you believe I have a valid case. What kind of information should I have in place to ensure I have as water tight a case as possible?
Get photos and the view of your builder confirmed in writing.
Is this the kind of counter claim that can be undertaken personally, without employing the services of a solicitor?
Breach of contract by failing to do the job right. But as I have said if you pay the difference then there would be no counter claim as such.
Should I get in touch with Anglian legal team and explain the position I am taking and supply the documented evidence of the issues and continued failure of Anglian Windows to fit my windows?
Yes I would.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex, thanks for answering my questions. Before I leave your rating I wanted to correct what I think may be an incorrect assumption on your part. With reference to the following statements:--------
Its up to you. I dont think you should pay. I think you should deduct the cost of putting it right from the balance and then pay THAT difference. This would certainly keep it below £10,000 in any event.
&
Breach of contract by failing to do the job right. But as I have said if you pay the difference then there would be no counter claim as such.
---------All of the Anglian windows were removed from my property. This happened for two reasons:1)I didn't want to be in a position where I had Anglian windows in my house fitted by non Anglian installers. This seemed a complicated situation best avoided.2)Of the 8 windows contracted to deliver and fit. Only two were of sufficient quality and fitted to a satisfactory standard. Four windows by Anglian's own admission had to be re-made and refitted, one needed taking out to be re-fitted and one never arrived in the first place.Therefore there is no difference to be paid. I paid another company £9,600 to remove Anglian windows and fit another brand of double glazed windows. See attached invoice from my builders. Whilst to be reasonable I can accept the building delays and storage costs incurred, it is difficult to demand anything less than a full refund of my deposit (£2,000) from Anglian plus the additional charges incurred to fix their mess (£1,600). Total £3,600.Therefore I guess I have no other choice to counter?Dan.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
No. If what you owe them is more than the cost to fix then they need to sue you for the balance and you defend that sum.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex, can you explain what you mean by "If what you owe them is more than the cost to fix then they need to sue you for the balance and you defend that sum"

Essentially Anglian are demanding £7,622.19 which is the final amount due if the windows were fitted to a satisfactory standard.

I dont have Anglian windows in my property on account they could not install their windows/remake/deliver and re-install to a satisfactory standard.

I therefore feel Anglian need to refund my £2,000 plus costs of £1,600 to remove their unfinished work.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Anglian are owed £7622.19.
You paid out £3600.
You deduct £3600 from the £7622 and pay them the difference.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex thanks for the info.

This would result in me having paid £6,222 (including £2k deposit) for windows that are not installed in my house and that I have no intention of fitting in my house as I have sourced and installed other windows.

A number of the windows are not even fit for my house based on

1)being damaged on the initial install (the fitters used screws meant for wood and as such the unit was being remade)

2)Manufactured incorrectly (one of the windows was beaded inside out, meaning the entire window could be taken out in seconds using just a stanley knife).

Is this really what you would recommend?

Thanks,

Dan.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes. You instructed them to do it. They are entitled to that fee.
But you are entitled to deduct the amounts to put it right from the total sum due.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks I appreciate giving me your view and not necessarily the view I wish to hear.

However £3,600 is what I think Anglian should pay me taking in to account everything (based on my logic). On the basis of your logic (entitled to deduct the amounts to put it right from the total sum due) surely that amount should include the full amount including windows which I had to purchase (as per the attached invoice):

£1,600 - Removal of Anglian's windows

£5,800 - New Windows to replace Anglian's windows

£600 - Finishing

£1,600 - VAT

Total £9,600

Difference therefore subtracting £9,600 from Anglian's £7,622

Meaning I am due £1,878

Thanks,

Dan.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If you are happy to do that then you can sue for the £1878 or counter sue if they take you to Court.
Does that clarify Dan?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Alex.

Do you as a solicitor believe that is a valid, reasonable approach and something that would be seen as having a strong claim?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes I think you do have a valid claim and your approach is sensible.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Last question.

Is it normal for this kind of low value case to represent it ones self?

Dan.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ideally you would want to be represented.
Aex
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your assistance Alex.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex