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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13831
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I had been given a quote of £500 to trim trees from my

Customer Question

I had been given a quote of £500 to trim trees from my property. The guy has completed half the job and wwnats the £500. I offered him 300 and he is now wanting to take me to court. Basically it boils down to his word against mine and no written evidence of what the job entailed
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Belfast Northern Ireland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing. He sent me an invoice and im disputing it as he completed half the job. I offered him 300 and hes refused and saying about taking me to court.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No. I dont think so
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 12 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 12 days ago.

A quote, if accepted, creates a binding contract. Contrast this with an estimate which is just that - best-guess. A quote is capable of being accepted and creating a binding contract. A quote for £500 was given - for the full job. So to do half a job means they are in breach of contract and you would be justified in paying them accordingly. I would therefore agree with you and your stance on this. It may come down to your word against theirs but the courts generally favour consumers in my experience. So my view is your defence would succeed. After all, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states the service must be "as described" and this includes the price paid and description of the proposed work.

If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help. A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

If the claim has no merit (and it wound't in my view) then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived. The application costs £255 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the court fee. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record. But certainly I think you would succeed in a defence, just to be clear.

If the CCJ was not paid in full though bear in mind the credit record would contain the CCJ details for up to 6 years. After that it comes off the credit registers.
I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 12 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 12 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for your response. His argument is that after the initial quote which i accepted on the understanding that it was for the trimming of the whole side of my property. I had to wait 2 months for him to be able to carry out the work. So on the day he started the job he asked me to refresh him on what i wanted. I was ready to leave for work so i stood at the front of my house and discussed the job again, i said i wanted the height of the tree's reduced down to the same level the whole way across. But this time i didnt go into my back garden. I returned home at 1 pm and was shocked and disappointed with the job. I asked why he hadn't cut the trees and he said they are council trees and not on my boundary. I accepted this and left ti go to a funeral. This was only the side of my house and he assumed he was doing the back bit after. When i returned over the funeral he was gone and didn't return to complete the other half of my garden.
Go clarity when he called initially to price the job i physically showed him the trees i wanted trimmed, the second time i stood at the front and explained. He is saying that at this i just mentioned the front.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 12 days ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** no reason to alter what I have said given the further details. You were clear on what your requirements were so my view is you are not at fault in this dispute. You should consider reporting them to Trading Standards on 0808(###) ###-####