Thank you. When you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the law 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 there are certainly grounds to try and argue that you should not pay the full remaining balance because you have been forced to get another builder to finish the work. You could still be liable for part of the remaining costs though. In terms of a cut off point, they have 6 years in which to make a claim so there is still plenty of time for them to pursue this if they wanted to.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of an option you have to get them to accept a settlement, 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