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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71348
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We had work done in our house and the sound proofing of a

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We had work done in our house and the sound proofing of a wall was done by a sub contractor though all negotiation and payment was done by the main contractor. We had a contract of work agreed for the wall. After the work was done we were disappointed with the sound reduction and have now discovered that the work was certainly not done in the way that was agreed. The contractor had told us that the sub contractor is no longer trading, but we think that he has the responsibility for sorting this out as all work was organised by him.Are we correct?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: West Midlands
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Have told the contractor about the problem and he just said the sub contractor is no longer trading.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Don't think so

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No don't want go phone
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Not sure what is happening now. Do I wait for an e mail from you?

You are indeed correct. If you used a main contractor, who in turn engaged a subcontractor and they did all the work with them, including instructing them, directing them, supervising them, paying them, etc then your contract is still with the main contractor and they are responsible for the work of the subcontractor. They will in turn have their own contractual rights against the subcontractor.

So even if they are not trading, your contractual/legal rights are against the main contractor and it is whom you can pursue for compensation for any issues.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

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