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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48156
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Our builders refuse to respond to us further to a meeting

Customer Question

Our builders refuse to respond to us further to a meeting held with them 4 weeks ago to discuss the work they have not finished that they were contracted to do. It took approximately 6 weeks to finally get hold of them to have that meeting in the first place. Do you think we would be successful at small claims court? We estimate there's about £3,000 worth of work outstanding to secure Building Control approval.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Why are they refusing to correspond?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
They haven't stated that they are specifically refusing to respond. They just don't.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

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:

{C}· Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession);

{C}· Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and

{C}· 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 order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that you follow these steps:

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

{C}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).

{C}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.

{C}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.

{C}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.

{C}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. In the circumstances, where they are simply not corresponding with you and have not finished the work that was agreed, I think you would have a reasonable prospect of success.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Can I ask one more thing or is that it now that I've paid?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Sure go ahead please I can answer follow up questions

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Would we need to get the outstanding work completed by another builder first and then try small claims to recoup our monies or can we file a claim to get monies so we can get the works completed?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

You do not have to get the work done first - you can get quotes from others to show how much it would cost to get this work done and use these to file a claim