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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We had a contractor employed to help renovate a property of

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We had a contractor employed to help renovate a property of ours. There was no formal contract and everything was agreed verbally. We expressed to him our concerns over cash flow and told him he needed to give us a schedule of works and a timeline so we could manage our cash flow. The builder refused to do so for 3 weeks and so we 'kicked' him off the job as we were in a precarious cash position and couldn't afford to pay for unscheduled work. The builder is now claiming an additional 4 weeks of pay as he claims we promised to let him 'finish' the project. We had previously hired him for a now completed project where we had to kick him off the job for similar reasons, however he did not persue us for extra pay during that project. He is claiming £8k+ and will take us to court if we do not pay him in the next 2 weeks. We do not feel we owe him this money, how will we fair in court?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Please can you tell me how long ago this was?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 2 months ago

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. the first thing to note is that there is nothing stopping him from taking this to court as he has the right to challenge you over what has happened and have his day in court. The good thing is that this will go to the small claims court where the risks are relatively low in a sense that if he goes on to win, you will not have to pay his legal fees as each party pays their own.

Your position will very much depend on whether you had agreed with him to complete specific works and if so – if you had reasonable grounds to terminate his services. Termination may have been a more serious resolution than expected because if he had failed to issue you with a schedule then you would have simply refused permission to carry out further work until this was resolved. That would not have resulted in an outright termination of his services, but a temporary cessation until this was resolved. Termination is a final outcome, something which should only really happen if there was a serious breach of contract or serious concerns about the level of service, such as if there were health and safety issues. So they may be able to try and claim something for loss of business for the sudden termination.

However, that does not mean they can claim for the full costs you would have had to pay them for that time. Had you retained their services, they would have had to give you back their time and completed the work. So they will only be liable for their profits, in a sense that from what you had to pay them they would have had to deduct the overheads, like labour, materials, etc and only charge you for lost profits, not the overall costs. If they have not done so then their claim should be substantially reduced.

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

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