How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

JonesFurther to my earlier enquiries to yourself

Customer Question

For Ben Jones
Further to my earlier enquiries to yourself regarding soundproofing between 2 flats that we own.
We are seeking a reduction in the amount outstanding whilst they are only prepared to offer a token amount (£500 compared to our request for £2,500).
We would still seek to meet somewhere between these figures and to strengthen our hand we arranged for a sound insulation test to be carried out in line with building regulations criteria. The results of this are now to hand and record a clear failure against minimum criteria. (I am seeking to establish precisely how significant/serious the failure is by an enquiry to the sound engineer).
In the meantime the building contractor who carried out the work is veering towards use of the small claims court to settle the matter.
My intention once I have a clarification from the sound engineer is to respond to the contractor along the lines of: the work has failed, given the sound check results; ergo the work was not fit for purpose; ergo a reduction of £2,000 is warranted.
Any views/advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi there, whilst your arguments are along the right tracks, the issue is to determine what level of reduction you may be entitled to. The problem with that is that you simply cannot follow any rule book and if you cannot reach an agreement, it would be down to the small claims court judge to decide. The outcomes there could vary considerably depending on who you get on the day and how they perceive this whole case. They will make a decision based on what they believe is fair and I can assure you that you can get quite some differences in outcomes based on the person on the day. So that is why it is going to be difficult to tell you exactly what you can push for. A full reduction of the labour costs may be unlikely but then again it may not be as little as £500. So you may have to work towards something in the middle. This is really a kind of poker game in reality because you neither want to give out your cards too early but you also want to see how far the other side will go before they decide to give up. Of course every side can react differently and you just cannot predict that. You can keep pushing for a specific outcome and get nowhere then take the risk and go to court and you may or may not get near that outcome. That is the nature of these disputes even if you were clearly wronged in the first place. You will have to negotiate along the same lines you have been doing and hope that some agreement is reached and if not – you need to decide if you are willing to take the small risk of going to the small claims. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I assume that any small claims court case would need to be initiated by them as they are still owed money as they see it?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
If you have not paid them what they are due or what they are willing to settle for then yes they would need to make the claim to pursue you for what they are owed
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For Ben Jones With respect to the above we commissioned a sound insulation report which showed very clearly that by testing standards the work done failed by a huge amount. We have pointed this out to the builder who has asked to see the full report, saying that if this went to small claims court and we were relying soon the report it would have to be shared - this latter points correct, of course, but prior to a court case arising I am not prepared to share the full report with him. I presume I am under no legal obligation to share the report prior to any court case?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am more than happy to answer follow up questions but I dee you have not yet rated the original answer above, if you could please do so then I can continue assisting. Thank you