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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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Can you help. I've just been advised from my architect that

Customer Question

Hi
Can you help. I've just been advised from my architect that we are in an open contract! We agreed a fixed fee of £4500 to do plans for an extension that we have duly paid. He had to change the plans once and nearly 8 months on is refusing to send the plans to me and asking for an additional £3500 for the one change I asked him to make. Can he do that?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Did you have any written quotation or agreement with you in respect of the work he has done for you?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We signed a document agreeing to pay £4500 - and that should we agree the design the full amount for the design will be taken off the building costs. there is no mention of an open contract.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.

In that case there is no contractual basis upon which he should charge you more, unless you agreed to it verbally in advance of him changing the plans.

I would suggest you send him a letter before action now asking him to produce the new drawing or to refund you the amount of money you originally paid. You should give him 7 days to respond, if he fails to respond you can issue proceedings in the county court.

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.

Hi Liz is there anything further you would like to know?

Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.

Hi Liz, I would be very grateful if you would be so kind as to rate my answer before leaving the site as I am not otherwise paid for the time I have spent answering your question. Thank you ad all the best.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks Jenny - I am in the middle of writing a response to him. If I need to get back to you do I follow the same process or will I be given a different person?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
By the way - is there any such thing as an open contract? How do you know you're in one?
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.

Hi no the terminology is peculiar, if the intention was that you would be charged for ongoing work it should have been clearly set out in the agreement or you should have been told in advance hat the charges would be.

You can come back to me via this question even after you have rated the answer.

Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi I've just had an email back from the architect I mentioned I've copied it into this e-mail. I'm shocked at his response.see below - my e-mail I sent to him following your advice is at the bottom.HiSorry I couldn't respond earlier I was about to go out for a run.No, I disagree , in fact the invoice I sent was based on a prompt payment with no haggling, the actual extra time we spent on revisions you asked for was based on the fact at that time you were going ahead comes to at least another £3000 plus Vat. You had several conversations with me, all noted by other staff members in my office as well as emails.Why would I do alterations to the first design if I thought you had no intention of building it with us or paying for it?I'll not negotiate.If this is not paid by close of business next Thursday I will include all disbursement, my time as well, plus the extra modelling costs and issue a summons for the full amount.You cannot mess people around like this without consequences .I'm sure your no longer laughing as on our last call you seemed somewhat amused telling me to ring your husband.I suggest you pay promptly.Kind Regards,Steve Howie
STEVE HOWIE
DESIGN & BUILD
1st Floor (South)
St Georges House
Knoll Road
Camberley
Surrey
GU15 3SY
T: 01276 684 888
W: www.stevehowie.co.uk
Find us on….
cid***@******.*** cid***@******.*** cid***@******.***
The contents and any attachments of this electronic mail message are confidential and intended only for the named addressees. Dissemination, forwarding, publication or other use of the message or attachments by any unauthorised person is strictly prohibited. Unless stated to the contrary, any opinions expressed in this message are personal and may not be attributed to Steve Howie Design and Build. Internet e-mails are not necessarily secure. Steve Howie Design and Build does not accept responsibility for changes made to this message after it was sent.On 1 Jul 2016, at 15:29, Liz Rochester <*****@******.***> wrote:Hi Steve
I’m writing in response to a recent invoice that was sent to me.
I have assumed this is a mistake. I appreciate that it is disappointing that we will not be going ahead. We’ve always said we did not have a finite budget and the more we look into it the more we realize that we cannot afford to do the work. This leaves us with limited choices and we are looking at other ways in which we might be able to achieve a similar result.
When we engaged you – you made it clear that the design process would either cover the cost of the design or you would take the cost off the work should we commission you to do the work. I requested a change in the design once and only once and you said that you were happy to do so. There was no reference to any additional cost for doing that work if there had been I would not have asked you to make the change! You always said and stressed it nin our initial conversations that it was one fee and one fee only – that’s why we chose you.
In addition, the recent discussions you’ve had with David outlines the potential cost of the build less the original design fee paid – there’s no mention of additional design costs factored into it. I understand that you are now trying to charge us for that work and we are apparently in an ‘open contract’ – this is news to me! A contract is meant to be transparent something some one has said to me or I can read and reference, even an open one. We are not in any kind of open contract.
There is no contractual basis upon which you can charge more, I have never agreed to it verbally in advance to you changing any of the plans.
Steve you need to know we will not be paying any additional fees.
We contracted on completing a design that if we decided to go ahead with you you would subtract the fee off the amount on the building works. And if we did not we would be able to walk away with those plans. We ask you to honor that agreement.
Kind regards
Liz Rochester
Liz Rochester
Director
Mobile: 07966 470177
Office: 01483 200160
Skype: Liz.Rochester1
email: ***@******.***

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