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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44343
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A plumber was contracted by me to refurbish my bathroom. He

Customer Question

A plumber was contracted by me to refurbish my bathroom. He arrived on 13th June 2016. He advised me it would take @ 10 days to complete the job.
The funds to complete the job were awarded to me by a group of 3 charities including the Royal College of Nursing.
On 28th June the plumber pierced a gas pipe under the floorboards, switched the gas off at the mains, and left my property taking with him all new products (sink toilet shower heated towel rail etc). To this date he was paid £1,000 and he purchased the products.
He repeatedly requested final payment for his work, I advised he would be paid once work was completed.
When the gas pipe was damaged I aked him if I should call British Gas, he said no, that would cost him £500-£600 so he would send someone round to repair the pipe.
He has not done so. I have heard nothing from him since (until yesterday).
I have since spoken to 3 independant plumbers (and British Gas), and as the pipe that was damaged is lead, it cannot be repaired and needs replacing. Estimated cost for this, I am told is in excess of £1,000. This particular gas pipe feeds the fire in the lounge and the cooker.
On 16th June at 9.30am I had the bathroom tiles delivered which I had paid for. Unbeknown to me, that afternoon, the plumber took, and I quote "3 or 4 boxes of the tiles back to the shop as we have too many. The shop would not refund the money as I had paid by card so I need to give him my card." Unquote. He advised me the following day what he had done.
A couple of days later he said I needed to buy more tiles as we did'nt have enough.
The plumber also arranged for the ceiling to be plastered on 20th June 2016, but then arranged for the electrician to come round on 21st June 2016. The electrician moved lights and pull cords, so consequently the work the plasterer did the day before needs to be redone to fill the five holes the electrician made.
I have had three independant plumbers have a look at the bathroom and it seems none of the plumbing work has been done at all.
Yesterday the plumber sent me an invoice for £1,562.54. I am not happy to pay this.
I would appreciate your advice.
***** *****
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. As far as you can see objectively, has any work been done, even if not to the agreed specifications?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
he removed the wall between the toilet and bathroom and blocked up the doorway. He also put the tiles on the walls.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

So the invoice he has sent will cover some of this work as well?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He has been paid £1,000 to date
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
That should cover the cost of the work he did. It will cost me in excess of £1,000 to replace the damaged lead pipe.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. 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.

So if they have competed some f the works and been paid for it and are now asking for payment for work which has either not been done or done to an unreasonable standard, you can withhold the money until a resolution is reached.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you wish to discuss the matter with him, 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 is 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: 44343
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that you follow these steps:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. estimate, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. If you wish, ask them to return to fix the issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is reasonable).

3. In the meantime find out if the trader is a member of a trade association with a mediation service that can help resolve your complaint.

4. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the trader repeating your complaint and how you would like them to resolve the issues. Say you are giving them a final time limit of 7 days to resolve the problem or you will have to consider taking legal proceedings to recover your losses.

5. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could potentially get a different trader to complete the work and consider suing the original trader for all or part of these extra costs. Remember that court is your last resort, however it can be a good negotiating tool because it shows you are serious about resolving this and may prompt the trader to reconsider their position.

6. Finally, make sure that you send all correspondence by recorded delivery and keep copies.

If you simply refuse to pay the outstanding amount because of the quality of the work so far and the damage caused, then it would be for him to take this further if he believes he should be paid more. Whether he would go as far as taking legal action only time will tell but I would hope it does not come to that

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you Ben. I have selected another trader to complete the work as I have been without a bathroom since the plumber came to my home on 13th June. I currently have my leg in plaster (following surgery on 25th April) and really I am at the end of my tether regarding this.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The new contractor started work today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi there, if you have already engaged a new plumber then that is fine, you now have to continue with him and see what the original one does. The ball is in his court really. This will not go further if he decides to make a claim against you for what he believes he is owed. However, if he does so then you will have grounds to defend this as mentioned earlier

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Ben, the new plumber has spent two long days at my property now and the bathroom is beginning to look something like a bathroom. It is four weeks since this work started and I really am keen to get it finished.
I have written a letter to the original plumber advising him that I am unhappy with his work, and have appointed someone else. I shall post this tomorrow recorded delivery.My only concern is that he will come banging on my door, but hopefully not.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

well he may come and visit but at the same time you should not tolerate any abusive behaviour by him and make it clear that you will only deal with him if things are done amicable and in a civilised manner. He cannot enter your property without your consent and if you have told him not to come and he persists in doing so then it can amount to harassment

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