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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14732
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I done a small patio job for This woman I have plenty of

Customer Question

I done a small patio job for This woman I have plenty of before photos and after photos. She paid me for the work after we finished the job £550 and now a week later she’s text me saying she’s had to get some one else to rip the whole patio up and re lay the whole patio and she’s getting her lawyers involved and threatening to take me to court
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Egham Tw208ew
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: She never gave me any chance to rectify my work even tho there was nothing wrong with my work
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 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.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

She should have allowed you to return for "repeat performance" under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, if the work had any issues. The only time she can refuse this is if it would put her at considerable inconvenience or to repair it would be impossible.
Here is the link : https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/55/enacted

Further, if you could not carry out repeat performance within a reasonable period of time or without inconvenience, she is only entitled to a price reduction.

It sounds like she has just refused you the right to return, which is unreasonable and as such you would be within your rights to refuse any refund or further payment to her.

If they insist on suing, they will send a letter before action to you which is required under the pre action protocol to give you the chance to avoid court action. They usually give you 14 days to pay before they will take civil court action.

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.

You should not ignore the court papers as if you do, the claimant will apply for judgment in default meaning they win and you would not be allowed to defend the claim.

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 based on the facts it would have no merit as she didn't let you back to remedy any issues) 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.

You should first invite the claimant to voluntarily discontinue their claim within 7 days if it gets to this point - tell them if they don't then you will apply to strike out and seek your costs if you are forced to do so. If you have no response or they reply and refuse then you could apply to strike out.

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 you lost and if you were unable to pay the full sum owed at that point you can also ask the court to pay by instalments (a simple form is sent in, form N245, and a fee of £50 unless you qualify for a fee exemption so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you would qualify). 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 8 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 8 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 8 days ago.
If it dose go to court what’s the worst possible way it could go for me? Would I just have to pay the £550 back ?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
If I’m honestly I don’t think I’m in the wrong at all like I said I have plenty of photos before and after of the work and I was more the satisfied with the work
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

They cannot claim more than £550 + court issue fee of £70, the hearing fee (if the court holds a hearing which is may not as the claim is low value) of £80 and a small amount of interest (8% daily). They claim lawyers costs up to £260 as a maximum. So this would be you stand to lose if you lost - £550 + £70 + £80 + £260 (if they used a lawyer) and interest.

If you defend the claim (which you should given the facts) then this wouldn't be decided for around a year from now.

You have the photos which is good and can be used in evidence. It would be a small claim so you wouldn't need a lawyer but feel free to come back to this site in future if you need to.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
You have been super super helpful thank you so so much Jim
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

My pleasure, if you reply to her and say that under S.55 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, she had to have invited you back for repeat performance so you therefore deny her claim as she didn't give you that opportunity.
Have a good day
Jim

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Top man all the best
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

I also don't think she will use a lawyer either, not for the sum she is claiming.
My pleasure, take care.