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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I have had a double sided extension, a rear single storey and

Customer Question

I have had a double sided extension, a rear single storey and a loft extension built.
the build should have taken 8, months but instead took 1yr 9, months with the architect overseeing the work going abroad leaving the builders working on the build without materials. To date there is still outstanding work
Near the completion I asked the builder whether his work extend to garden. He said yes, and I asked for a Quote in which to have an idea how much I would be looking at for when the extension is complete. I had made it clear that I had no money to get the garden done - Without completing the extension work - Work on the garden commenced and I was constantly paying out money the bushes were cut down and the wall taking weeks to put up - during then I still had to remind him about the jobs which needed completing inside. all payment for the extension work had been received by the builder and money was still being paid for the garden works,
when the surveyor was called in from the council we was told that we could not get the building certificate until gas certificates and electric certificate was supplied as well as and external flu for the cooker extractor fan. the builder asked me again to pay for this which should have been included in the original
due to this reason I held back money, when i explained to the builder why he then supplied me with 3/4 invoices totalling £43,000. which include items i have already paid for but never received any original receipts, which i had asked for on a number of occasions. i have now received a legal letter on his behalf asking me to make the payment within 7 day.

the original price for the job was £112,000+VAT and £6,0000 for the garden i have paid the builder £143,000.00+ and there is still work outstanding which includes, leaks coming from sewage pipes, the bathroom toliet flushing hot water, neighbours wall still not replaced (as he removed it) no outside down pipes, cooker extractor fan fitted but no external flu.

i would like to find out what my options are in dealing with this situation.

thanking you in advance
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name is Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Do you have a specific question please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i would like to find out what my options are in dealing with this situation.


-what type of solicitors would i need to take this to?


-and any extra information that can help my case would be much appreciated.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

You would not believe how common this question is.

A friend of mine is in exactly the same situation. The building
inspector has given a list of 19 points which need resolving some of which are
quite meet major and yet the builders solicitor says that the job is completely
finished and that his client should be paid.

They have continually refused to reply to correspondence but are
very good at sending their own out. They have continually avoided our suggested
meeting is on site and have ignored the building inspectors letter which is

Basically, the builder has lied through his teeth to his

It has already been to court once because the solicitor served the
statutory demand and it was quickly thrown out and costs awarded against the
builder. It is still rumbling on now and the work is still not finished and my
friend is still not paid and he will not pay.

This matter that you have is a plain simple contract dispute and
any solicitor who deals with contracts can deal with this for you.

I hope you don't mind me saying what you were to a great extent
the author of your own misfortune because you asked him to quote for more work
before the existing work had been finished. A fatal mistake.

I think you were probably trying to entice him to finish it
dangling the carrot of more work but the mistake you made was letting him start
it. He sounds like one of these half job builders who never finishes anything
before starting a new one.

I don't know whether the builder is on site or not but you need to
find out how much it is going to cost to get the job completely finished for
which he quoted. You then give him the option of finishing it or going to

Although you may not have receipts for what you paid him I do hope
that you did not pay him in cash. If you did pay him in cash, I hope it was not
money from under the bed and that you do have proof of the money coming out of
the bank.

If you didn't pay him in cash and you can prove that any element
was done for cash because it was going to be a bit cheaper because he would not
the vat off, you have a possible defence to any actually brings that it is a
fraudulent contract intended to defraud HM RC under the law should not assist
in enforcing an illegal contract. It is a small legal point but can be
extremely successful if you can prove the job was done for cash and he was
pocketing the cash.

I assume that the legal letter on his behalf was sent by a
solicitor. Whatever you do, do not ignore it. Please remember that you will be
in exactly the same situation that my friend is in where the builder will of
lied through his teeth to the solicitor and given his own glorified pink tinted
spectacle version of events.

You need a complete breakdown of everything that is outstanding.

Everything that has been invoiced.

Every single solitary penny that has been paid and how it has been

Then you go back to the builders solicitor (at the earliest
opportunity) and tell him what is outstanding, what has been paid (send
receipts) and telling the builder to get it fixed or you will get it fixed
elsewhere and sue the builder for the costs

it is not a do-it-yourself job from what you have told me quite
simply because you need the power of the solicitor's letter to fight fire with
fire. There is no legal reason why you cannot do it yourself but I would urge
you not to.

I am off-line now until tomorrow but will pick this up then at
some stage. I am off and online all weekend spasmodically

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PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make
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Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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