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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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2016 I contracted a builder to do a refurbishment and

Customer Question

Good morning,
2016 I contracted a builder to do a refurbishment and extension of my property.
We established a contract plus contract with them to start the project in Febuary 2016.
They were given the contact based on their project management, estimate and time delivery (26 weeks).
Obviously this hasn't gone to plan. The project went miles over budget, we had minimal communication with the project manager over the last 4 months of the project and the work was not completed until December 2017 nearly 16 weeks over.
We have been very reasonable in this time and since moving in there have been a number of big issues that have simple been ignored by the builders. I think we are beyond reasonable negotiations now.
So my question is as follows:
On what grounds can I take the builder to court.
I would like to sue them for mis-selling of services.
The over run in budget was predominantly due to them finishing much later than they had projected without any big chances in specification - I would like to try and get money back for this also.
Kind regards,
***** *****
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Why did the project not run according to schedule?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Apologies - I seem to have made a mistake in replying and paid for the privilege again!Hi Ben,They claim that they did not have a party wall agreement in place as expected, which is the case. That was delayed by 2 weeks. They communicated to me at the time they would not fall behind schedule as they could get starting on with the top floors while waiting. They also claim that the scope of the project changed dramatically which is just not true at all. My gut feeling is that they saw us as easy prey and because we were on a project plus contract by prolonging it they would get paid more.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied.

When a person enters 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 frame has been agreed)

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

In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or the results to be achieved.

If there are problems with any of the above, the customer will have certain rights:

1. Substandard work - the trader should either redo the parts of the work which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to the customer. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience. If this is not possible, you can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. If they simply refuse to resolve the issues, you can consider getting someone else to rectify the issues and either deduct these costs from the total owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred.

2. Delays – if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, you can also ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and they refuse to work to the agreed schedules it is possible to get someone else to finish it off and charge the original trader for these additional costs.

3. Cost disputes – sometimes traders can ask for additional money either during or at the end of the work. This is why it is preferable to have a written agreement in place, setting out what price was agreed and what for, so that you can both refer back to it. Any price variations for extra or amended work should have been agreed in writing before the work was done. If you knew that this extra work was being carried out and let the trader continue then a reasonable price would need to be negotiated for it as it may not be possible to completely refuse to compensate them for it. This should however, prevent them from charging for work which was not agreed or communicated.

So these are the options you can consider taking this matter further for.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow if you are to initiate a claim. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my response should be visible on this page. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you