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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46181
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We had some fitted wardrobes built last year, we haven't paid

Customer Question

We had some fitted wardrobes built last year, we haven't paid anything for them yet. The fitter came for a couple of days one day in October and one in December and we haven't heard from him since. We told him at the time that we weren't happy with the work - the first time the chest of drawers were in the wrong place (one drawer wouldn't open as it was too close to the radiator.) Some incorrect panels had been fitted. All of the doors were ill-fitting, with large gaps and the internal finish was poor - these were a few of the issues we had. We contacted him about these and he returned in December to rectify them. However, when he returned and was here for the whole day - we were still dissatisfied with the same issues and he left without speaking to us.
Suddenly this week he has got back into contact and wants to come round and finish them. He wants the deposit paid now but we think if we pay the 75% deposit now then we won't see him again, and the wardrobes are not worth that amount as they are.
Can we demand a reduced price on the basis that they will be 8 months late and his poor quality? Do we have to pay a deposit at all until the issues are rectified?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Ben. Our wardrobe fitter has mailed us to demand the full deposit - what can we do?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Please can you tell me whether you had a verbal agreement with the fitter or whether the work was agreed in writing, perhaps via a company, prior to when it started?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We had a written quote and we saw similar wardrobes in a showroom. but we are pretty sure that we didn't sign any agreement.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your patience. When you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the work must be:· Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession);· Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and· Provided at a reasonable price (unless a specific price has been agreed). In addition, any information said or written is binding where the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or about the results to be achieved. If there are problems with the standard of work, or any of the above, you will have certain rights: 1. The trader should either redo the parts of the service which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to you. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing you significant inconvenience. 2. If redoing the work is impossible or cannot be done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience, you can claim a price reduction. The price reduction would depend on how severe the issues are and could be as much as the full cost of the work. 3. If the service has been performed so badly that it would be unreasonable to expect the consumer to give the trader a second chance, you may be entitled to claim the cost of remedial work by another trader. There is no legal requirement to pay a deposit before the work is done but these may be the terms of the trader so it could be that they refuse to do any of the work without it. It would really be down to you to decide if you trust them and perhaps you could try and agree a smaller deposit, one that perhaps reflects the level of work already done to date. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should this matter remain unresolved, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46181
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We plan to meet with him to discuss the remedial work and the amount that we are prepared to pay. Would you think that 50% of the cost would be reasonable if he agrees to finish things properly?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hi, 50% may be pushing it a bit but then again it is one of those things that only a court can decide on. I would say that you have to ensure his materials are paid for and on top you may then try and get 50% reduction on his labour costs so overall it will not be as much as 50%. Should you have to take the matter further, whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

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