Thank you. 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:
In the event of 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, the consumer can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. If the trader refuses to resolve the issues, their work is a health and safety hazard, or the relationship has broken down beyond repair, the consumer can consider getting someone else to do this and either deduct these costs from the total owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred.
In the case of delays, for example if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, the consumer can ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and the trader refuses to work to the agreed schedule, it is again possible to get someone else to finish the work and charge the original trader for these additional costs.
At this stage, considering the amount of delays and issues, you will probably not be acting unreasonably by cutting ties with them and not paying them the remainder, which would cover compensation for inconvenience and any losses incurred. If they threaten to pursue you further for it, you can always say that you will be making a counter-claim for your own losses.
Does this answer your query?