Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Is the builder trading as a private individual or as a business?
OK thank you. Thank you also for the live phone call request. I am unable to talk at the moment as I am in court today but please leave it with me. I will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. 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.
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. 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 wish to take the matter further and issue legal proceedings, assuming you will just be claiming financial compensation, you may issue your claim via the Court’s online portal at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.