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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 55169
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We have an issue with a builder who completed our driveway.

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HiWe have an issue with a builder who completed our driveway. On completion it looked good so we paid him in full but within a matter of days it started to crumble and the stone setts moved. He did promise to return but never did, claiming that as we had set a budget cost and had declined the use of resin within a mix for a higher cost then he doesn't need to rectify it. On top of this the movement of the setts has caused damage to one of our cars, again he has been notified & promised to return without joy. We have both photographic evidence & text message records to substantiate our claim and sent a notice before action letter. he has finally responded stating he is willing to go through arbitration but requires full independent reports on the driveway & also that the damage to the car could only have been done by the drive. Based on his response are we obliged to provide all this information (at extra cost to us) or can we continue with proceedings and set it in front of a judge to decide. We have independent quotes for repairing both the driveway & car and are looking at claiming a total of c£2300. (Repairs to driveway £1600 & Car £700) the original job was invoiced at £2700. The original job was 'completed' back in December 2017 so are already some 5 months+ in trying to sort this mess out. - many thanks

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

Is there anything in your contract with him about having to go through arbitration?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, but in the letter before action there was a statement suggesting mediation prior to court as this, I believe often goes in your favour once / if it reaches court. That said I expected mediation / arbitration to be a meeting to discuss rather than requiring to produce substantiating evidence as per his suggestion

Hi there, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. It is not a legal requirement to go through mediation or arbitration and certainly not to produce these reports at this stage of the matter. If he has suggested that you get these reports, you can of course consider that and do it if you are happy to do so, but it will not go against you if you did not. Should the matter end up in court, then you could potentially agree to have a joint expert, who is independent and provides a professional opinion on the problem, and the costs would usually be split. However, unless a judge requires that, there is no requirement for you to have one and it will not go against you if you refused it and went ahead with the claim anyway.

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