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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71055
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am in dispute with a builder who did a shoddy job on my house,

Customer Question

I am in dispute with a builder who did a shoddy job on my house, I refused to pay him and obtained an expert building surveyors report that backed my claims, the builders solicitor now wants me to allow their clients surveyor to do a report or they will take legal action against me.

I have lost all faith and confidence in the builder and do not want them or any of their associates near the house, I'm inclined to refuse and defend the case if they take matters further.

Am I entitled to do this.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

How much do you owe?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Unless the builder has had several attempts already to remedy the job and failed, then you are not on good ground by refusing to allow their surveyor to inspect the work.

If you do not allow their expert, you risk applying to court for a court order to make you allow their expert inspect the work and have the costs of the application awarded against you. That is aside from any legal proceedings the builder brings in respect of the non-payment.

Please remember that this will not be small claims court and therefore as the builder is using solicitors, if you will lose, you could end up paying substantial legal costs of at least the amount of the claim and probably more on top of having to pay the amount that is claimed.

You have nothing to lose by letting the builders expert inspect the work to come up with a report.

What will then happen is the experts will in effect be the ones whose reports will be relied on in court and it is the experts report that is the most credible which is the one which will lead to one party winning.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The builder did have several attempts at the remedial work, however the brickwork was done incorrectly and the roof works also incorrect.

If I have to allow their expert can I do with with conditions also I live approx 300 miles from this property which is empty, I would need to take time of work etc, also I do not want their client present at the time of the audit.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

You are better agreeing with conditions than not agreeing at all. They are unlikely to take you to court for an order just to allow the builder to go if you have already agreed to let his surveyor/expert go.

Rather than travel 600 miles you might want to get a surveyor or someone local to visit at the same time to "chaperone"
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Jo did not think about that one, another' condition is that I want to be supplied with the name and qualifications of their expert in case the builder tries to use a mate posing as a surveyor.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
There is no problem at all in asking for the experts qualifications because if they expect to use the expert in court, the court is going to want to know what the experts qualifications are..

You can also ask the solicitor to confirm that the builder and the expert have never worked together before and that there is no existing relationship with them. That also is not unreasonable. If they have worked together before or there is an existing relationship, it is possible that the experts report could be "weighted" in the builder's favour.