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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I engaged builders to build a granny annexe . They were contracted

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I engaged builders to build a granny annexe . They were contracted to complete in 10 weeks . 22 weeks later they still hadn't finished and the job was so bad I took legal advice. They told me to instruct a surveyor from a recognised list of surveyors who would stand by their findings in court. I did this and it made horrific reading .
I withheld 10k back from the final payment as to put the works right came out at 16500 . I now receive a letter 18 months later from a no win no fee lawyer demanding 19k
I couldn't sue the builders as they held no assets and was advised that even if I did take them to court the hope of getting anything out of them was probably 0%.
I have replied to this solicitor with all the documentation and also have emails from the builders with threats and libellous letters. What more can I do.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.May I ask how matters were left with the builders following your witholding of £10K please? Were they offered the opportunity to complete the work for example as per the surveyors report?Did you give them any notice of your intention to cancel their contract? If so how long after engaging them was this notice given and have you retained a copy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We had a few onsite meetings giving them the opportunity to correct the faults only later on they reneged on this and accused us of engaging unscrupulous surveyors.

We had the architect who recommended the builders to us to mediate and they agreed that due to the break down in communications that if we were willing to put everything right ourselves then the best situation would be to part company with them.

We have numerous emails from them with threats and because the work was so bad we had no choice to consult legal advise. It was only then that we found they had nothing of any assets that a court action would just cost even more.

We gave them numerous opportunities to correct the problems but they never did come back.

I have sent all the documentation to the no win no fee lawyer as I have kept everything. We have been advised to get a court injunction on one of the builders due to stalking and threats.

We were quite happy for them to rectify the problems but although they agreed to in principle at the time they never did come back and always refuted that anything was wrong even though we had an independent RICS report detailing the problems and conservative costs involved

Thank you very much for the above. Other than the injunction did you finally after giving them opportunities you refer to give notice to the builders to repudiate or cancel the agreement or notice that you had had enough and were contracting other builders to complete the work?If so when did you do this roughly and when did you engage the builders initially roughly?Finally I presume from what you say that your various negotiations are evidenced in correspondence and that there is therefore a trail of evidence to support the series of events you refer to above?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes Joshua, I have all correspondence whether email or otherwise.

Builders were contracted Nov 11th 2013. They were employed the following week on a contracted 10 week build.

I think by May 2014 they were finally told to stay off the premises and we eventually got others to do the work , although some jobs couldn't be completed as my Mothers cancer was too far advanced by then for her to be around builders dust.

We eventually sold the house at a considerable loss

Thank you. Given the above dates one last point if you would - could you tell me if you agreed the contract at your home with the builders or whether it was agreed at their office? If at your home, did they give you a notice of your right to cancel under as they were then the Doorstep Selling Regulations?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was put out for tender with 5 different builders offered to tender. All arranged by the architect.

The builders we engaged were from a recommendation from the architect and their ability to start immediately and within the time limit.

The original tender was too high and we omitted some of the original plans which was set out in the contract. The agreement was done at our home one evening and the legalities were done by post.

We had to pay to an initial payment of 14,590.35 initially and then 5 subsequent payments bi-monthly. Which we did up until with holding the last payment. The last payment was less because we supplied sanitary and kitchen fitments due to the fact they hadn't been ordered by the builders and to speed things along we ordered ourselves to have all the equipment onsite to lessen anymore delays



Thanks for the above. Do you know if the builders gave you a notice of your right to cancel the agreement made at your home as required under the regulatios in force at the time - they should have given you a notice informig you of your right to cancel their agreement within 7 days. Do you know if they did this - I will explain why I am asking this in a moment if you could confirm?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No they did not give this

I've just checked the contract and there is a cancellation part on the back but it states nothing within 7 days

Thank you. The reason I pressed the point in relation to the cancellation notice is because at the time you entered into the contract, regulations known as the "cancellation of contracts made consumers home or place of work regulations 2008" were in force. These have now been replaced with more extensive regulations but that is not relevant here.The above regulations require that in respect of any contract made at a consumer's home, the consumer must be given a notice which must be dated, indicate the right of the consumer to cancel the contract within seven days and all of the information shown at the following link: builders failed to comply with these regulations and include the above prescribed information then the regulations provide that the contract is unenforceable against you. This was the reason I press the point because if you can show that they did not comply - although actually the law requires that they show that they did - and then this is likely to be your most straightforward defence in that you can simply apart from all of the other issues you refer to, respond on the basis that there is no valid contract as the builders failed to comply with the above regulations. It is then for the builders to show that they did in order to be able to attempt to pursue you under the contract. Apart from the above, which enable be your most powerful argument in its own right, you would also consider on the basis of what you say above, advising the solicitor that in addition, his client is in breach of contract under the terms implied by the supply of goods and services act as the work they carried out was not a satisfactory standard and not as agreed. you can further say based on what you advise above that you have provided his client with multiple opportunities to rectify the work that his client was either unable to or unwilling to do so and ultimately you gave notice that due to their breach of contract, you have no alternative but to retain another contractor and considerable additional cost to yourself to complete the work. You could go on to say that you reserve your position in respect of those additional costs but have to date chosen not to pursue them. My feeling will be that in the face of the above, the no-win no fee lawyer may reconsider his retainer as it may be that he agreed a conditional fee arrangement with the clients based on misleading or incomplete information on the part of the builder and certainly based on what you say and based on your rights under the above regulations, the builder would seem to have a very difficult potential claim to say the very least. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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