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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10387
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We started a two storey extension in December at our

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Hello. We started a two storey extension in December at our house and terminated the contract with the builder 2 months after due to lack of professionalism and poor workmanship (reasons to trigger termination clause as per contract). The scaffolding and skip still remain on site as the builder hasn't paid the subcontractors. Builder instructed them to contact us for payment even though we paid said builder in advance. We have now appointed a new builder who will source their own scaffolding and skips. Is there any way we can enforce the removal of the prior equipments given they are in a private residential property? If so, please provide sample letter to address to the parties. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, any update on your response. We urgently need to understand our options as the current scaffolding and skip are preventing the new builder to retake the development. Many thanks.
How much will it cost to remove how and store the scaffolding?How much will it cost to get the skip removed?You ask for Sample letter to the parties. Do you mean to the builder? Is anyone else involved?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
To remove the equipment, the subcontractors require to get paid the outstanding amounts (£1,500 scaffolding and £600 skip). Storing isn't an option.Letter to the subcontractors - I assume the builder will need to be copied? The scaffolding, skip, builder and ourselves are the parties involved. Thanks
Whoever is liable for actually ordering the scaffolding and the skip is also liable for paying for them. You could get an injunction to make the move them but that’s going to be costly, risky and potentially end up with a legal argument. It will be quicker and much less risky to pay the £2100 (if you are able to do so) and to sue the relevant parties to recover those costs.The same applies with regard to any action you bring for a court order to make the scaffolding company or skip company remove them.The letters don’t need to be at all complicated. Straightforward and to the point. I would suggest playing English wording such as:When you were doing the work on our extension you ordered a skip (change for scaffolding).The skip remains on our drive and in spite of numerous requests it has not been removed.This is causing loss and inconvenience and we hold you liable for any such losses.Without prejudice to any future claim we are prepared to forego any consequential losses in respect of the placement of the skip provided it is removed by (choose a date 7 days hence).If it is not removed by that date, we will arrange to pay any outstanding monies due to the skip company and issue small claims court proceedings to recover those costs from you.We trust that will not be necessary.Yours faithfully/sincerelyThe letter does not need to be any more legal or complicated than that. That is perfectly adequate. If you have solicitors acting for you in any respect they may drop a letter off for you at a nominal cost and it is highly likely that more notice will be taken of the solicitors letter than one from you. Can I clarify anything for you?Please do not forget to rate the service positiveBest wishesFES
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there a route that would not involve us settling the outstanding amount as we suspect we would not be able to recover this from the builder? Thanks
You could only recover the cost from the builder, if he will not pay it, by suing him. There is no other legal mechanism for getting money out of someone who won’t pay.You could get some other contractors to take the scaffolding down and simply lay it on the ground. You can then tell the scaffolder’s but if they don’t come and remove it by a certain date, it will be disposed of for scrap and if the costs of disposal are more than the scrap value you will want the extra cost from them. That letter, as most correspondence is, is likely to have more effect from a solicitor. All that correspondence should be sent recorded delivery so that they can never say they did not get it. You would have to give them a reasonable length of time to respond probably a little longer, say 21 daysRegarding the skip. It might be an idea if you agreed to pay for this one removal on its own because they may not want to remove it if they’re not going to get paid even on the final lift. If they will not agree to do that, tell them that you will arrange for another skip company to empty this skip and then simply deliver it back to the company that owns it. You have to tell the original company that if they don’t remove it that is what you propose to do.All of that’s going to be somewhat cheaper although potentially riskier
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