I note that you have already written a letter of Complaint to the builder and he has failed to respond.
If a response is not received from the builder you should find out if they are a member of a trade association. If they are, they may be connected to a dispute resolution scheme that can be used to support consumers in reaching a solution to their problem.
Reliable trade associations will assess builders who apply to be members to confirm that they are reputable and honest. Good trade associations will not accept poor tradespeople in order to maintain their reliability.
If necessary, complaints can be escalated to the Consumer Ombudsman who processes complaints in all fields that do not have an industry-specific ombudsman. As long as the builder has been given a fair amount of time to rectify their failings, with eight weeks being the reasonable amount of time typically used for these purposes, the ombudsman will review the case.
If the builder is prepared to work alongside the ombudsman to reach a solution to the case, they will aim to reach a resolution in no more than 10 working days where possible. However, if the builder is not prepared to work with the ombudsman to reach a solution or any solution reached is not acceptable to both parties, the ombudsman will offer further direction on how to proceed with or escalate the complaint through a Court.
However, if you have lost complete confidence with the builder and confidence in their business. Advise the builder that if they do not pay you the money to rectify the problems worth £20,000 you will be forced to issue a Claim out of the County Court. You should write to the Builder formally requesting that he complete the works in say 7 – 14 days failing which you will have no alternative to instruct another builder to complete the outstanding work and Issue Court Proceeding Breach of Contract.
Please see the attached link, you will need to amend to your specific circumstances:-
To Issue at Court, you need to complete a Form N1 together with the appropriate Court Fee. The Court Fee would be based on the value.
There is nothing stopping you from Issuing the Claim yourself, you would need to write a letter to the Joinery as above advising them that you intend to issue proceedings if they don't pay the monies. I attach herewith a link that will assist you in issuing the claim should
you wish to do this yourself:- https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money
You can issue the claim either in a paper and at your local court or you can do the claim online via MCOL, but the attached link above will explain how it all works. If, however you are more comfortable with a solicitor to deal with this on your behalf, then you need to seek the services of a "litigation solicitor", a quick search of this term, in your Internet browser should reveal a number of local solicitors. Although not necessary, I would normally advise a personal appointment but this is not currently possible due to COVID -19 Pandemic). I would ask for a free half-hour interview with your local solicitor and also to see if they are prepared to work on a "fixed fee basis" to help you pursue your case. Fixed Fees we will give you certainty in terms of cost and also allow you to budget for the litigation
As your case is valued over £10,000 and would be issued in the County Court then please be advised that both parties are entitled to recover their solicitors’ costs if they use a solicitor and win the case.
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