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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My builders have built my new property in red brick instead

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My builders have built my new property in red brick instead of buff brick as agreed. I have exchanged contracts but not completed. What are my legal options
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Is buff brick in the contract?What is it you want to achieve?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We signed their plans in the office, which contain material descriptions but the contract states no colour but requires material changes to be agreed with us first. All sales materials (brochures, model, purchase particulars) show buff. Their marketing director has admitted the error in emails and phone calls. Ideally we want the building in buff but it's at roof level now (only viewed it a week ago for the first time) and we are arguing for some form of compensation. We are not sure if this is breach of contract, mis-selling or something else. We would like to know if we have a legal case to sue if they do not compensate. Thanks Andy
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
How much are you seeking to claim?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We don't know what is reasonable. The purchase price is 715k and they offered to build a detached double garage but might not get planning permission for. In which case they are saying they won't offer anything else. Is there a contract breach here? Could we seek a legal redress? Or arbitration? Could we insist they take the building down and build in buff?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
did planning permission specify brick colour?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We don't know as planning permission was sought by the developer not us. The question we are asking is regading the legal, contractual position. We signed a contract to buy a buff brick building as outlined in the sales particulars. The contract states that the developer must gain agreement from the buyers for any significant changes. The property has been built in red brick and the developers have admitted this mistake in written emails. So does this constitute a breach of contract and if so what can we insist on that the developers must do? If not do we have any legal options.
I would really appreciate a legal opinion on this, so far all you are giving me is more questions.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
this is breach of contract. But a judge is never going to make them take the whole thing down and rebuild it. That would be disproportionate to the actual breach which is the colour. You are more likely to get compensation for the breach of contract than any order to replace.You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation. within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Alex - we spotted the issue and raised it to the developer verbally on the day we discovered it - I.e. The first time we saw the property - and via email within a few days of that. After initial rebuttal they confirmed by email two weeks ago that they had built the property in the wrong brick and shortly after offered to compensate by adding a double garage to the property at their cost. Today they have added the condition that should planning permission not be given they would consider that the end of the matter. We are obviously unhappy about that and wanted to know our legal rights. Given that the issue was idenitified about three weeks ago and the developer admission was two weeks ago, and we have email correspondence rather than hard copy, are the time lines you outlined now past or can we still go down a formal route for legal compensation? We appreciate your advice on this. Thanks Andy
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Yes you have six years to being a claim for Breach of contact
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Does that help Andy?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Alex, yes it certainly does. We hope to agree an amicable resolution - we would really have preferred the buff brick and no garage to red brick plus garage, but since that isn't going to happen we need to feel compensated and you have given us reassurance we have the law to back us up now.
many thanks for your help
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Maybe you should consider mediation, far cheaper than Court and 90% of mediations settle
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Can I clarify anything else for you?Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No and thank you for your help

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