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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My ex-husband & I had extensive work to my bungalow in 2009.

Customer Question

My ex-husband & I had extensive work to my bungalow in 2009. I am severely disabled from a car accident so had a large wet room built having had the garage & brick sheds demolished, a utility room built so lower cupboards could be raised. We also had steps removed to a small conservatory & floors put in & raised & levelled. I did not know that alterations for my disabilities were eligible to be VAT free for materials/services. The last payment to the builder was made 27/11/2009. My doctor wrote a letter confirming my disabilities. Inland Revenue said the builder should pay the VAT relevant to the alterations back to me then claim it back. The builder said he has a cash flow problem. Inland Revenue said he could claim it on my behalf then give me the VAT refund. I He got the refund totalling nearly £5000 but refused to give me the money! I wrote several emails/rang him & said I would have to take action. He then put a cheque through my letterbox with a letter saying he had kept £1,100 for alledged plumbing work we 'owed' him from 4 years ago! We have proof we paid him in full the remaining building costs. He refuses to answer my calls or emails. I haven't cashed the part cheque in case it is taken as accepting the lower amount! What can I do please? He refuses to specify what these plumbing costs were...nothing has ever been asked for verbally or in writing over the past 4 years from him! I live on my own (divorced) had to buy out my ex-husband for his share of the building costs (which was air) but I need kitchen alterations as I can't reach the low oven etc & have committed to this in a kitchen sale on the basis that the VAT money was due to me. I am so distressed! Please can you help? Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: (but as you are abroad the system may not let you) or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court. The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce. If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?