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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Hi there We have just sacked our builder for poor quality

Customer Question

Hi there

We have just sacked our builder for poor quality workmen ship on our extension.
It's been a nightmare from day one, with wrong footings etc but we thought it would only get better. What finally raised concern and our patience, was when he laid our solid flooring onto concrete with glue which came up and has bowed because of not levelling the floor etc.
We have emailed him outlining our concerns and basically we don't want him back to finish off. There's a list of outstanding jobs to finished/made right and we have withheld back around £3000 BUT he's sending around contractors to our house wanting their money and we've paid the builder for the original building quote of £17700 but held back some money for extras he's done to compensate for outstanding works!!!
I've taken photos and my friend who us a builder said it was 'appalling' what he's done, but
I am getting quotes from 3 other builders, for outstanding works/re-laying our £1300 solid wood floor. Can I send him the bill?? He's not a reasonable man!!

A very stressed and upset

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Your claim against the builder is for breach of contract and his failure to exercise reasonable skill care which is an implied term under the Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982. If you can proof the builder failed to exercise reasonable skill and care and is breach of contract then you will be able to claim your losses from him. If as a result of the breach the floor needs to be relaid then you can send him the bill plus seek reimbursement of any other work that needs to be put right. However, you are under a duty to mitigate your loss and this does mean giving the builder a chance to repair the work at his own expense to your satisfaction. If there is a good reasons why you would not want him to do this then by all means getting another reputable builder to do the work should be acceptable.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.
What about him sending around his contractors to our home wanting money!!! I told them it's between our builder and us, but one of them said he will take us to court!
I want the job done properly, so we will get another builder. We have also just discovered a leak in our down stair toilet, because the guttering is not correct!!!!!
Also do I have the right to hold back payment for extras carried out to compensate for outstanding works???

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
1. If you original agreement was with the builder, then the contractors have no right coming to you demanding payment. The builder is responsible for his subcontractors not you. You are well within your rights to refuse to have any dealings with them, under the rule of 'privity of contract' their only action is against the builder who employed them not you.

2. The subcontractor cannot take you to court unless he can prove that he had an agreement with you directly. A third party cannot sue you for work he was employed to do by someone else.

3. You do have the right to withhold payment by way of compensation especially if you are going to use this money for remedial works.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Can I send the builder an email saying I do not want any other contractor coming to my house for payment etc?
Also we are worried he will try and take something from the property
I.e the fence he fitted, but because of the other problems, we have held back payment.

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
You are well within your rights to inform the builder and his subcontractors not to return to your property. If they continue to harass you, you could report the matter to the police, if their behaviour beecomes unpleasant, or threaten legal action under s.40 Adminsitration of Justice Act 1970, which states that only reasonable steps can be taken to recover debts. If the builder enters your premises and causes damage e.g. to the fence, then you could sue him for trespass in addition to breach of contract.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
No problem!All the best.