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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 builder demanding payment and threatening legal action

Customer Question

I have a builder demanding payment and threatening legal action if I don’t pay him. To summarise the course of events I have bulleted the timeline below.
• I requested some building work (1), carpentry (2) and replacement of radiators (3) via Rated People web site
• The builder responded and quoted for building work (1) and carpentry (2), but NOT the radiators (3)
• For the radiators(3), he just said I will give you a good price
• We asked for a quote on the radiators prior to commencement of the work
• On the day he started he had not quoted for the radiators(3)
• (Also on his first day he striped his clothes from the waste upwards in front of our child’s Nanny and behaved in a lewd manner towards her)
• As there was no quote I texted him and removed the radiators(3) from the job as he had not quoted, and asked him to not take his clothes off in front of the nanny
• He took offence to this, said I had changed the basis of the contract and I had insulted his morals
• He decided he no longer could work on the job and demanded full payment of the all the work. Only 1 days’ work had been completed, and no jobs fully completed.
• He also stole our house keys and laptop as ‘leverage’ to make sure we paid.
• We refused to pay and called the police
• After 2 months of tracking him down the police managed to get him to return the keys and laptop by threatening him with arrest
• He returned our property to Deptford station
• Once he returned the property, I decided to pay him 1 days work, minus the cost of having the locks changed to hopefully make him go away.
• He is now still demanding full payment and claiming that because we disrespected him and changed the contract that we owe him loss of earning to the full value of the job. He is also threatening legal action
• He has at no point presented us with an invoice for any work
I do not believe I have done anything wrong, as he cancelled the contract and then stole from me. And as a gesture of good will I did pay him for the day’s work he was in our house.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated and are there circumstances where he has a case against us?
Best wishes
David Blake
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
How much is he seeking to claim please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, thanks for the fast response. here are the details of the costs below.Original Estimate
Removal and making good of fireplace £350.00
new skirting board £75.00
- £100 for boxing-in TV stand (this includes materials) £75.00
-Boxing-in electrical cupboard £50.00
New bath panel £50.00
Replacement of 5 radiators (No estimate provided)He is now asking for £350 for the 1 days’ work and the purchase of some materials (of which he has not provided an invoice or receipts). WE have already paid him £127.36On return of the stolen property we decided to pay him £127.36. The breakdown is below:Making good/ plaster board and plastering. Installing new vent. Labour: 350
1 day work complete (350/3)
we had a professional in to complete the work and took him a further 2 days therefore 3 days work in total . you completed 1 day of the 3 days £116.67Materials (taken from Wickes store prices)
Wall ties (22@£0.25) £5.50
Blocks (10@£1.87) £18.70
Bricks (10@£0.75) £7.50
MDF board (1@£17.99 + free cuts) £17.99
£49.69Minus Replacement lock
2 new front door locks (2@£19.50) £39.00
Amount due £127.36regards
David Blake
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Do,you know of getting the work done that he didn't do?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not 100% sure of what you mean, but we had a professional builder in to complete the remainder of the fireplace work. He took another 2 days and charges £180 per day.We are getting a new quote for the rest of the work (carpentry) as we speak and the carpenter is preparing his estimate this week.D
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. The existing builder has clearly breached the contract and as such he is not entitled to full payment. What you have done is worked out and justified what the builder is owed. I agree you have not done anything wrong, he breached the contract and stole your property.
At worst case he can issue a county court claim which you can defend and even counter claim for breach of contract and loss and damage. If the value of the claim is. £10,000 or less it would be a small claim and you wouldn't need solicitors.
As long as you can justify what you say he is owed and calculations then it will not be a problem. But the builder should not profit from his breach of contract and theft.
Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, that's great for now, thank you.David.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good,luck
Alex
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will do , and thanks again.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks
Alex