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 the trader has not met the above criteria or has not adhered to what was initially agreed, then you, as the customer, would not automatically have to pay them. In the event of substandard work, as is the case here, the trader should either redo the parts of the work which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to the customer. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience. If this is not possible, you can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. If they simply refuse to resolve the issues, you can consider getting someone else to rectify the issues and either deduct these costs from the total owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred.
Until the work is complete to a reasonable standard or as required, you do not have to pay them, although they could request payment for any materials which they would have to use to complete the job. However, the labour costs will not have to be paid unless the work was completed to a satisfactory standard.
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