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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68265
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I'm a builder undertaking works on a private dwelling I am

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Hello, I'm a builder undertaking works on a private dwelling I am in dispute with the customer regarding overdue payment and have given a deadline for it to be resolved or I will be left with no choice other than close the site down. I have recieved an email today from the customer to inform me that the local authority has issued an improvement notice with regards ***** ***** waste from the build causing a potential fire risk and the customer had asked me to get it removed at my cost. My question is am I still responcible for this given the fact the I have ceased work due to non payment. Many thanks
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Cardiff/wales uk
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Are you referring to getting payment? The works are incomplete and the customer is not willing to pay an interim payment to allow the works to continue.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How much is due? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The customer is £500 in arrears to date and the next stage interim payment is now due to enable works to continue as per schedule but it is not forthcoming.

Many thanks for your patience. Whether you are liable for this will depend on whether it was your responsibility in the first place. For example, if it is your fault that this matter has resulted in an improvement notice, you would be expected to deal with it even if you have stopped work, because the customer could then just offset any associated costs to deal with it from the money they owe you. However, if this had nothing to do with you then you would not be expected to deal with it. It all comes down to whose responsibility was it that this matter became the issue it is now and whether you could be held responsible for not resolving it and be made to pay out if they had to get someone else to do it instead,.

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Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I informed the customer that the site will now be prepared for handover ie: all works carried out to date to be inspected by local authority building control and any defects rectified. Site clean up, surplas materials removed, scaffolding taken down and tools removed and a full cost analysis and keys handed back. The customer has changed the locks on the extesion preventing me carrying out my duties and is now failing to respond to my request to retrieve my tools, some of which I require to undertake the clear up of the site for them. I have also lost work/income because of it. Can they legally keep them and am I entitled to claim compensation for lost income and am I absolved from prepairing the site for handover, Grant

Hi, the customer should not keep your tools as they are your property, although claiming for lost revenue from them may not be easy. It is possible, for example if you can show that you could not avoid these losses by considering hiring replacement tools (i.e. it would have been cheaper to do so). As to preparing the site, you can indeed argue that being locked out of site and with no access to your tools means there has been a serious breach of contract on their part and that makes the whole contract void, including the requirement for you to prepare the property

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply Ben.

All the best