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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can I ask a builder who I have lost confidence in to terminate

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Can I ask a builder who I have lost confidence in to terminate our contract he can keep all money already paid to him in advance of work he hasn't done?
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Why have you lost confidence in him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
10 weeks ago we paid £8200 deposit.After admitting he was having money problems, a contractor turned up to site with wood delivery, only to tell us he had infact ordered and paid wood on Monday 26th jan. and he had been told by builder we would pay him wood. We have arranged with this man to carry on with the build. But want to find out if we can cancel contract with original builder. And tell him we will take no further action about the money we have already paid him. In return putting in writing that he cancels our contract?
Have you had n contact at all from the original builder in 10 weeks?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but he has constantly lied about the progress of the build, from December when he told us the frame was being cut and would be on site beginning of jan, then arranged a start time of the 13 th of jan, till we found out he had never in fact ordered the wood. We know from the contractor that there are several others in the same position and he told us again yesterday over the phone of his money problems. We don't have the confidence to give him anymore money in case he disappears, but as its causing such distress to my family we d rather lose the £8200 to end contract just to be able to complete build with a builder we trust?
Well, if you have paid him contract then he has no claim. Even if you do act unlawfully and refuse to let him back on the premises he only has a claim profits and he has been paid.
The complication arises if you want to reclaim the sums in question. In fairness, a reclaim would be reasonable. He hasn't done the work.
The doctrine of 'losing confidence' is a high test. You have to show that there are good reasons to believe he is not capable of completing. He is giving rise to that impression but probably you need to give him a clear deadline in writing and then if he fails cancel and sue him .
But if you don't want to recover then you are perfectly free to do this.
Can I clarify anything ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What happens if we email him saying if we don't ask deposit back will he cancel our contract, and he doesn't reply. We want to sign new builders contract on Monday? Could he sue us of contract?
Yes, he could but he only has a claim sum of his loss and you have paid him anyway.
he only has a lost profits claim and you have paid far more than that.
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