Many thanks for your patience. First of all when someone has 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.
In the circumstances the specific issue which needed fixing was identified but the customer declined this particular work due to costs and instead asked that attempts to repair the issues via other means be made. As long as reasonable attempts were made to do this, it is unlikely the builder would have acted incorrectly. Their work would be compared to what a reasonable builder would have done in the circumstances and if it fell below the reasonable standard expected of a competent builder in their position. If no competent builder could have really done much better without actually fixing the specific issue (the box gutter) then this work would have unlikely fell below the reasonable standard expected and been negligent. As such it is unlikely that any liability could be attributed to them.
As far as the current positions stands, the customer has requested that you pay for the repairs carried out afterwards by new builders. However, you cannot be forced to do so and whilst he can make as many requests as he wants and make whatever threats we wants to, only a court can force you to pay anything. This means that the customer would have to make a court claim first before they can get any sort of legal power to force you to pay. Not only do they have to make the claim but they also have to convince the court they are in the right and that the work in dispute was negligent and win their case. It is for them to prove all of this and it will be quite difficult in the circumstances, based on the above assumptions.
So there is nothing for you to do at this stage – you can deny any liability and explain why. The ball is fully in the customer’s court and they will have to decide whether to take this further down the formal legal route.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they make a claim, 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