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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Issue with plumber. I hired a plumber to carry out some

Customer Question

Issue with plumber.

I hired a plumber to carry out some works on my property. He walked off site part way through and is requesting payment for outstanding amount. The new plumber says the original plumber has not carried out many of the works he claimed he did.

Furthermore, I paid the original plumber an amount for a boiler which he is now refusing to release until I have paid him the amount he is asking for for work he hasnt done.

The merchant has also confirmed that the bolier I paid for has a list price of at least 50% less than what I paid the plumber for.

What can I do to get the boiler and request a refund of the extra and not pay for work not done.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

Has he supplied the boiler please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No - he is refusing to release it until I have paid for what he claims is outstanding on the works carried out. The bolier was paid for 4 weeks ago by me and he used his account to pay for it at the merchants

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
He cant do that. There are various layers to this situation.

The first point to make is this. He is entitled to be paid for the work he has done. I don't think you dispute that. He is only entitled to be paid for the work done and the materials supplied. If he hasn't supplied the boiler then he cannot claim for it as he cannot claim for work he has not done. I would normally suggest withholding payment and inviting him to sue but you have paid already. In those circumstances, if he refuses, your only option is to sue. You can issue here

The second point is really an academic issue because he hasn't supplied the boiler. That might become relevant to these proceedings though. The fact that you can show that he has made profit on the boiler is not a defence. All tradesmen make profit. Otherwise there is no point in doing anything. The fact that you can show that you could have purchased this boiler more cheaply does not mean you are not liable to pay him what you agreed. Unless you can show that he misrepresented the price and actually told you that the boiler cost X when it cost Y there is no challenge arising. The only other alternative is where you can show actual extortionate trading and then trading standards might have an interest in the matter. Since he hasn't supplied the boiler though this whole issue falls away because he doesn't have a claim for anything unless you have the item.

Can I clarify anything for you?