How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I have just had work done to my front garden by a landscaper

This answer was rated:

I have just had work done to my front garden by a landscaper - I tried to be quite specific about what I wanted. He quoted £3k for it. £855 advance paid. No written quote or contract, however. The work started Monday. Looking at the work done after 2 days (Tuesday evening) I was concerned about the standard and progress. On Wednesday I was very unhappy as believed that the work for was poor and clearly not done to the expected extent or quality that I had asked for. I demanded work should stop and explained why.
I have now been sent a £2.5k bill, less the advance already paid. I believe the work is in reality worth half that at best. What is my legal position in refusing to pay and contesting this?

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Whats wrong with the work exactly please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was agreed that the loose/unstable gravel/shingle base would be cleared and replaced with compacted hard core and then covered with gravel for a driveway/car standing area. the rest would be cleared and replaced with topsoil for lawn and beds.

I reality no hard core was used, no compaction just a 2" layer of topsoil and gravel placed on top of existing base. Finish poor, I really could've done better myself. Proce is way out of range for has been done.

....I should've known better - no recommends for tradesman involved, no altenative quotes obtained....


Do you have a quote for the cost of putting this right?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. He offered to rectify the issue over the beds being 2" of soil on hardcore by digging out the hardcore. He maintaioned it was reasonable to lay turf on the thin layer of soil cover. I had lost all faith and said to cease all work and leave it this morning. I haven't had an opportunity to do more so far.


You can rely upon the doctrine of losing faith to sack him. It is a high test and you should be aware of that. You have to show that you have good reason to believe that he is not capable of completing the work. I can see immediately that he is contesting that issue.

In any event, you cannot just deduct the sum that you think is appropriate. Your claim is for the cost of putting right the faults he has caused whether that is less than the contract sum or more. You need to get some quotes on that point in order to assess the sums owed.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. So I have to get an independent landscaper to assess what is done and quote for it to be rectified to my requested standard?

Yes, you really should get two quotes and choose the cheapest.

You might also want to investigate the issue of whether the work is of a poor standard as he is clearly arguing that its not.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He'll press for immediate payment of the bill he has submitted - do I refuse pending this process and inform him of what I am doing?

Well, you could probably ignore it for a short time while you investigate this issue.

It shouldn't take long to get a quote and ask their opinion upon whether or not the poor is of a poor quality.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If this becomes protracted, what is my best backup position or legal option - Trading Standards? small claims or solicitor?

No, you just refuse to pay and instruct another to put right the faults as I said.

But I would get to the bottom of whether you have a cause for complaint first. He is clearly arguing that you do not.