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 Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I ordered a new en suite bathroom to be delivered and fitted

This answer was rated:

I ordered a new en suite bathroom to be delivered and fitted by a major DIY store. Less than a week before the fitting was due to start they called to say they could not start on the agreed date. It is now 2 weeks beyond the expected completion date and no new start date has been confirmed. Are they in breach of contract?
Did you agree time was of the essence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I made it clear that I wanted the job done as quickly as possible and I made it clear that I was rearranging dates and appointments to meet the dates that they requested.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Furthermore, I will now have to set aside another 10 days when they come up with a new date.
Ok. Did the contract use the words 'time is of the essence'?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The agreement for the fitting dates was made over the phone. I may not have used that exact phrase but, given the time that had elapsed between placing the order and their proposed fitting date (4 months), I made it clear that I was disappointed and frustrated with the delay, and that I expected them to get on with the work on the agreed dates as I had rearranged my personal schedule to accommodate them.
Ok. Was the bathroom made to measure?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. They are in breach of contract but not such a material breach that it strikes at the heart of the contract and allows cancellation.If the bathroom hadn't been made to specification it would be possible to argue that there was no loss but clearly it was and there is.
You can make time of the essence in the contract now. Nobody expects you to wait forever and a day.You have to write to them giving them 28 days to complete and making clear that time is of the essence. If they then fail to comply then you do have an argument that you are able to cancel. It would only work if you gave them a very long and reasonable period of time though which is why 28 days would be sensible.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was thinking more along the lines of negotiating a substantial discount on the original cost, based on delay and inconvenience caused by their breach of contract. Would you consider this reasonable?
They may agree to it but you wouldn't get it if you went to court.You would have a claim for your loss - such as loss of earnings maybe - but not for a sum to represent inconvenience.But they may agree to it.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You Jo.