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

We have recently employed a roofer from our local trade

This answer was rated:

We have recently employed a roofer from our local trade magazine which is delivered to all the houses locally. A roofer with over 20 years experience. He ended up being the biggest cowboy builder in the area.
It initially started with us requiring a valley on the roof repairing as it was leaking.
The roofer went up, started throwing bits down to the ground, then said we needed a new roof.
Later he came down and said all the joists were rotten and needed replacing as well. House is detached, built in the 1850’s.
Scaffolding went up, 19/04/2016, scaffolding down 04/07/16
Roof tiles taken off, attic flooded because he hadn’t covered it up properly during the wettest June in history. Bedroom below flooded, coving down, dirty runs down the wall and stained ceiling, will have to be redecorated.
Outside walls stained with wet rubble, because with all the rain, and no guttering up it just ran down the walls. He just patched bits up with a paint of a different Batch No, leaving it looking terrible, we will have to repaint the whole house now, we only had it done last year.
Old joists and rubble raining down throughout, dangerous to walk outside, never cleared up rubbish, we were surrounded by rubbish all the time, we are retired so had to live with it 24/7, very stressful.
I subsequently found out that the lads sawing the new joists and installing them were not carpenters, but it transpired they were only labourers.
Labourers did the joists, very badly, did the majority of the tiling, very badly, I had to pick him up several times for shoddy work, but I’m not a builder so was unsure of myself, he always fobbed me off that that was the way it was done.
I assumed he had contacted the council so that we would get an inspection of the work and receive our Medway Council Completion Certificate, he said we didn’t need it as it was a private house. I said when we had new doors and windows some years back the installers applied to the council, it was a private house then, we got our Certificate.
He said he had never done it before.
So, I applied to the council myself, paid the fee of £240.00, a Building Control Surveyor came out, found many faults
When I informed the roofer that I was contacting the council he said he would put right anything that was wrong, and left the sight, unfinished.
He asked for half the money so he could pay the scaffolder, pay for the materials and pay the labourers, although initially he said we wouldn’t have to pay any money until the job was finished and we were happy!!!!!!
After the inspection, I informed him that there were many faults, he said he would bring his carpenter along, I declined because he didn’t use a carpenter in the first place, and would probably get another labourer to say he was a carpenter. When you are asked for £27,000 for a job you expect a bloody carpenter to be doing the woodwork.
I’ve had another roofer/carpenter to inspect it and he has said it’s a proper botch job, we would need scaffolding put up again to put things right on the outside, then more work to be done in the attic.
We are in our seventies, on a fixed pension, and this has used up all our savings, we could well do without all this hassle, my wife has lived in this house for 50 years, but she has had enough, we just want to get it all sorted out and move to a smaller property with off-road parking.
Are there any options open to us to sue him by any means, ie house insurance, through a solicitor or whatever.? What costs would be involved?
Your advice in this matter would be very much appreciated.
Richard J Fish

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Hi Richard. Did you sign any paperwork in relation to the work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only for one of the roofs, but not the main roof, its an L shaped house.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, Can we type questions and answers to each other please. I'm not on Skype or anything like that so unless I can actually pick up a phone and talk to you, pressing the Call me button wouldn't be of any use. I've had no training on computers, but I can type.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, if you wish to ring me I'm on Medway 01634 389911. Thanks

I will continue in writing, just need to get my response ready fr you

Hi Richard. Thank you for your response. I am unable to call at the moment but I am happy to communicate in writing. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

When you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the work must be:

· Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession);

· Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and

· Provided at a reasonable price (unless a specific price has been agreed).

In addition, any information said or written is binding where the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or about the results to be achieved.

If there are problems with the standard of work, or any of the above, you will have certain rights:

1. The trader should either redo the parts of the service which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to you. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing you significant inconvenience.

2. If redoing the work is impossible or cannot be done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience, you can claim a price reduction. The price reduction would depend on how severe the issues are and could be as much as the full cost of the work.

3. If the service has been performed so badly that it would be unreasonable to expect the consumer to give the trader a second chance, you may be entitled to claim the cost of remedial work by another trader.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that you follow these steps:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. estimate, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. Ask them to return to fix the issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is reasonable).

3. In the meantime find out if the trader is a member of a trade association with a mediation service that can help resolve your complaint.

4. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the trader repeating your complaint and how you would like them to resolve the issues. Say you are giving them a final time limit of 7 days to resolve the problem or you will have to consider taking legal proceedings to recover your losses.

5. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could potentially get a different trader to complete the work and consider suing the original trader for all or part of these extra costs. Remember that court is your last resort, however it can be a good negotiating tool because it shows you are serious about resolving this and may prompt the trader to reconsider their position.

6. Finally, make sure that you send all correspondence by recorded delivery and keep copies.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to make a claim against him and how to do this, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben, that should do for now, I want this to be a one off payment, and not continue monthly if that OK?

Thank you. It appears you have taken out a subscription but as I do not deal with account issues you should contact customer services to cancel that plan. Please do so by using the Contact Us section found on the left hand side of the following page: