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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I am a builder who was asked to do a renovation on a

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Hello, I am a builder who was asked to do a renovation on a property. I was reluctant to take the work as the money on the project was tight, however I started the work. I worked on the project for 6 months, when after repeated attempts to ask the client to pay me for Additional work, the client refused to pay. I am now out of pocket. The client then went to my subcontractors without my knowledge ( before I left the job) and asked them to finish the work. They agreed and told me. There is about 5000 owing to me and £10k left on the job with a list of things to do. I can not work there anymore, due to the fact that the husband and wife are just impossible to negotiate with and keep changing the plan from one day to the next. I have never had a job like this one and although I have tried to do my upmost to help them. I am not a big company. They are now saying they are going to take me to court. Please advise... thanks

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

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just want to know if they ( the client) have any grounds to take me to court?


Obviously I haven't heard their account for this but on the facts you present they do not have a case against you and you have a case against them.

If you left the job because they were not paying then you are perfectly entitled to do that.

Even if you left midway they only have a claim against you for the sum of their loss and they seem to have paid the subcontractors to finish directly anyway so there is no addition loss caused by your actions.

Of course, it is possible they are going to exagerrate the situation. People do that sometimes. If they are going to allege that you have left the work having been paid then they do have a claim for the cost of completing the work but then you would have a defence.

Its very easy to threaten legal action and a lot harder to take it. People make these threats all the time and do not often act upon them.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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

So in your opinion and taking into account the way the client is acting, would you advise us to seek legal advice from a local solicitor? I am a small company with an excellent reputation so far and I have worked hard to keep my good name in the community. I would not want this to overshadow any future work.

No, I wouldn't bother at this stage.

This is likely to be a small claims court sum so costs will not be onerous. Taking advice now will only rack up costs that you can't recover and anyway you dont' know at this stage really what he is saying.

If he issues against you then thats different because there is something to advise upon.

In relation to future work, that is a difficulty. Obviously you have a displeased customer. Even if he doesnt sue he probably is going to complain about you. The only way to resolve that is to pay what he is asking and even then he is probably going to moan anyway.

I suppose you could consider an action in defamation if he does start making defamatory comments but that is expensive.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much Jo. I will keep you posted. I will sleep better tonight!!


Best wishes



No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.