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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 71321
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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We have an agreement with a contractor for some major

Customer Question

We have an agreement with a contractor for some major building work, from 2017. The work has not be completed, we have over paid, and the quality of the work is extremely poor and they are requesting further payments. The agreement does not state how we could come out of this agreement, while ensuring we are not considered to be in breach for terminating. Could you kindly look at this agreement and advise how we could do this?Thank you
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hi there. Are they still doing the work? and is the contractor willing to complete and re-do where necessary?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Please can you also tell me when the work should have been completed?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi, thank you responding. It seems there is no fixed date on the contract/ quote for completion. He was doing work. He just finished a variation for which he wants payment, however, we have said as we have significantly overpaid for the amount of work completed under the main contract, we are not willing to pay further until they recommence work under the main contract. It has been almost a month since they were on sight and even then, they only do variations immediately and put off work under the main contract. The have said they are willing to recommence once we pay towards the variation just completed and a fine they have imposed for delays of the main contract. They do not accept their work is below acceptable.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
They did install a boiler a year or so ago under the contract which has been giving us major issues for the past few months. We have reported this on numerous instances and they have sent someone over to fix it, and a week later it gives the same problem. We have asked that they use the warranty to replace the boiler to which we have never received a direct response. We called up the makers and were advised that the boiler had not been registered with them. We informed the contractors to be told, they did register and they would pay us the amount it has const us to replace on our own. However, the issue is we were left without heating and hot water for almost a month and advised by them that they had requested parts and due to covid were not able to obtain it. We cannot proceed with people like that. It is a public place and we are in danger of health and safety breaches to our employees and devotees.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

When a consumer enters into a contract for services, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that such services 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 to proceed with the services in question. If there are problems and the trader cannot satisfy the above criteria, which are legally expected of them, the consumer will have certain rights

In the event of substandard work, 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, the consumer can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. That is something which should be negotiated between the two parties. However, if the trader refuses to resolve the issues, the consumer can consider getting someone else to do this and either deduct these costs from the balance that is still owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred as a result.

In the case of delays, for example if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, the consumer can ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and the trader refuses to work to the agreed schedule, or complete it, it is possible to get someone else to finish the work and charge the original trader for these additional costs.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that the following steps are followed:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. quote, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. Ask them to resolve any issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is acceptable).

3. 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 and any additional costs. This is also known as a ‘letter before action’ and there are plenty of templates if you do an online search for one.

4. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could consider taking legal action by seeking compensation. Remember that court is a last resort, however threatening 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.

5. Finally, make sure that you keep copies of all correspondence, in case it is needed in the claims process.

If you wish to take the matter further and issue legal proceedings, assuming you will just be claiming financial compensation, you may pursue your claim via the County Court’s online portal at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

You may also wish to consider reporting them to Trading Standards, which you can do via the following link: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.