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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Self employed tradesman. 1st time ever left an ensuite Installation

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Self employed tradesman. 1st time ever left an ensuite Installation due to customer picking constantly over minor points of build e.g small bow in coving, screw can be seen on wood etc). This was a new ensuite constructed in the corner of a bedroom - even building control commented on the excellent standard! I suggested they obtain an alternative tradesman who would finish the job to their exacting standards ( they rejected 6 shower trays, and delayed my work by 1 week - along with £1500 of extras in time and materials I did not charge for as good will gesture).
Original contract was £9,000 - customer paid £6,000 interim amount. I have now invoiced for a remaining balance of £1,750 to cover labour and materials to bring me upto the date I left and allowed a £1,250 balance for them to obtain an alternative tradesman to finish works (5 days at £200 a day and £250 materials). Customer now wants to withhold paying the £1750 balance until they get alternative quotes and work completed - they state that any additional amount charged by the tradesman over my proposed £1250 allowance will be deducted from the £1750 - surely this does not form part of the original contract as they are appointing a new tradesman and accepting their pricing? Any advice grateful whether to pursue via small claims court ( customer constantly asked for money reductions throughout the process).
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Do you have any written contract with the customer please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex - copy of original and accepted quotation attached. Payment terms says 2 interim payments of £3000 which they paid and balance on completion ( £3000 outstanding as I also agreed verbally with them and they accepted me to complete £200 works to strengthen joist on their floor - this is why the requested balance is now £3,000 rather than the £2,800 on the quote), of which I requested £1750 and remaining £1250 for them to complete works) - Copy of interim invoice also attached. Hope that helps, thanks Mark
Were you contracted to complete the entire works?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I quoted to build and install a new ensuite as per the quote specification. This is the only exchange of paperwork other than an acceptance email from the customer. I subcontracted some electrical works but otherwise I was due to complete myself.
Why is the customer then getting someone else in to finish the job?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Almost every other day (for a month) the customer picked faults with tiny 'nit picking faults',most of which were still in construction and not finished stage. They have been angling constantly to reduce money from quotation stage - the moaing was obviously a ploy to reduce the final payment! Building Control visited the premises and said the build was of excellent standard - so I suggested the customer find an alternative tradesman to finish off the last 10% of the build. They said, if I was to continue and finish the job then I should work after 9am and leave before 4.30pm so I did not see them - an unacceptable working environment.
Ok then it's bad news. The customer is right. You have contracted to complete the job and you should. If you do not then the customer is entitled to get someone else to do it.If that turns out to be cheaper than the £1250 then you are owed the balance. If it is more than the £1250 then you would owe the customer money.That is why the customer is holding onto more. The whole point of the contract is to complete what is agreed. But the customer can't profit from non compliance with the contract, so overall the cost to the customer would be the same.So if the customer is holding into more, they can but only until the work is completed and they will owe you the balance of its less than that.I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your help - think I need some more robust terms and conditions for future! Not sure the customer would honestly disclose the amount of works completed and any monies due - so total loss of £3000.Appreciate your help.