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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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Is it against the law for a building contractor to falsely

Resolved Question:

Is it against the law for a building contractor to falsely claim membership of a trade body? If so, and discover this as the works are being completed, do I have any legal recourse?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Could you please explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Jamie,
I have used a building contractor to renovate my house. From the moment I met him (late last year) to approx 1 month ago, his website claimed accreditation of the Federation of Master Builders FMB. I have had numerous problems with this builder - in terms of workmanship, non-communication, over-run of project (our contract states an expected completion date and penalties he will pay me if he is outside this date). It would take hours to explain everything. I discovered he was not a member of the FMB. He disputed he was at fault with radiator installation (many leaks in rads and other issues), claiming it was the manufacturer's fault, yet i have had 2 reports that he was at fault. I agreed to go through the FMB disputes resolution service. I then discovered from him, when continually asking him for his membership number, that he is not a member. As such, I can't pursue this avenue. My question is; I appointed him as my contractor largely based on the premise of his member of the FMB because of the safeguards this would afford me. As he is not a member, which I did not know throughout the building works, am I able to pursue him for compensation? Quite simply, is it unlawful to claim membership of a trade body and can I do anything about it? Is our contract still binding if he has done this?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Yes it is illegal because it misrepresenting. He is in breach of contract by fraudulent misrepresentation.
This means you can end the contract. What he has done is illegal.

So yes you can end it - its misrepresentation based on a lie
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks. I'm not clear on what you mean by 'you can end the contract'. Do you mean I can say the contract is invalid, thus I do not need to pay him for the work done? Do I need to pay him outstanding monies? Can I claim back from him the monies I have paid? And if I 'end' the contract, presumably this means he does not have to finish the pre-agreed work? I guess I just need clarity on what the implications are of ending a contract..
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Yes, invalid. But you may need to pay him for work actually done.

He does not have to do any more work. You would need to pay him the rate for a non accredited member done so far, as opposed to an accredited member who I assume would charge higher.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I can't pursue him for compensation for misrepresentation?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

No, because the contract would be rescinded.

You both go back to the pre-contractual position

Does that clarify?

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

If there was a difference in value, then you could sue for that difference for loss and damage.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
it seems there is no penalty to him for acting unlawfully. He gets paid for work completed, doesn't get paid for remaining work but doesn't have to complete it. I can cancel the contract, but in practice that is no benefit to me. Doesn't seem fair?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Your job is not to seek a penalty, that would be for Trading Standards.

Court for you is only to put you in the position you would have been in had the breach not occurred

Does that clarify?

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