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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Over the past 2 years I have employed the services of an

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Over the past 2 years I have employed the services of an architect to design and remodel our home. Initial budget of 80k gbp was given, as the design process went on, the design evolved but these evolutions were not quantified.
We took a Quantity surveyor report to understand cost (as per the instruction of the architect), the initial cost was 290k gbp (plus VAT). Subsequently the tender process has begun and the true cost is 540k inc vat. Consequently I believe the architects work has been negligent. I am now in receipt of a host of drawings which I can not afford to implement, legally where do I stand?

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

When the initial cost was provided, did the architect agree that the work could be completed as per your specification and within the agreed budget/cost?

Hi there. Thank you for the live phone call request. I am unable to talk at the moment as I am in court today but if you provide the information requested, I will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When we agreed the project, it was with the brief of an acritectural project on a budget. Through the process although we were told we were stretching the budget things were never quantified. the initial costs for phase a were 5k gbp, plus 3k structural engineers, 1k gbp survey plus 500 gbp for the QS report. The advise from the architect was poor throughout, the QS report showed 290k plus vat. A cost reduction exercise was planned but never took place. As the process took over 18 months we were keen to get to tender rather than have to live in an old house another winter. The tender costs come in at 540k gbp. I believe the architect has been negligent in their actions by essentially designing something completely unachievable, not even close to the QS report. My wife and I have refused to pay the final balance of 6k gbp on this basis, we have a whole suite of drawings which we can not use - the only way forward would be to use another architect to try and salvage something, this is something I am loathed to do, but I am forced to do so.Furthermore, I would also like to challenge to recoup some of the costs incurred to date as I feel the advise and attention given has been poor. My question to you is do I have a case to proceed with, or is this simply a case of mis-communication which neither party can be blamed for? My feeling however is that I would end up paying for something that I can never use.I have enclosed the signed introduction letter, this is classed to be our contract (only signed by the architects). I am at home the remainder of the week, therefore please call 01794 368635 and I will happily talk you through the case in more detail.Many thanksDave

Hi there, I think you may not necessarily have a bulletproof case which I would advise that you definitely pursue because a lot would come down to interpretation of what was discussed and agreed and one court on one day may come to a completely different decision to another on a different day.

As far as the law stands, when you have entered into a contract for work, 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 resolve this in whichever way you feel 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 consider legal action. 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, thanks for the reply, I am awaiting your call.

Hi a different expert accepted the phone call so if you have not heard back please contact***@******.*** to follow up, thanks