When a person enters 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 frame has been agreed)
· Provided at a reasonable cost (unless a specific price has been agreed)
In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or the results to be achieved.
If there are problems with any of the above, the customer will have certain rights:
Delays – if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, they can also ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and you refuse to work to the agreed schedules it is possible to get someone else to finish it off and charge you for these additional costs. However, it is unlikely the customer can just ask for all money paid to date – they would have derived some benefit from these 12 months’ of works so if you want you to give them that money back then you can say you should be able to get all that work/materials back, which is unlikely to happen. So whilst some compensation may be due f there have been unreasonable delays, it does not mean they can just ask for all aments made so far.
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