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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can I use internal home CCTV with audio to enforce a verbal

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Can I use internal home CCTV with audio to enforce a verbal agreement with a company ?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in England, the housebuilder is registered in Scotland.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I've tried to argue my point. They are currently unaware of the recording. I have told them I am taking them to small claims but so far nothing more than filling in a small claims form for Scotland(but not submitting) and sending it to them by way of trying to prove I'm serious .
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I recorded the housebuilder detailing work to fix damage their contractor did to my home. Since he left, he's changed his mind and wants to do a much cheaper repair than was agreed. He's saying I agreed to this. CCTV (with audio) clearly shows no such thing happened. This camera is in a bedroom (not a dodgy camera and I live alone, no "friends" visit etc) and does not record externally at all. He was not aware of the recording. To be fair, I didn't even think about it until he started messing me around.
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 13 days ago.
Sure

Can I just check how long ago this was?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Sure, the damage was done 12 months ago. They have been multiple times to inspect it and multiple times to "fix" it but always turn up without parts so leave again. Nothing has happened for a year.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Last inspection was 13th August this year. That is when the CCTV is from.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I should add that after they leave, inspection or fix attempt, I hear nothing. I always have to chase and they often respond with "We have no record of that".

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. You can indeed try and use the recording as evidence but there is no guarantee that it will be accepted by the courts. As this is your own property you would not have needed to advise him in advance of the recording being made and whilst you can submit it as potential evidence, you have to appreciate that it is the court’s decision whether they allow it through. There are many circumstances when someone has made a recording, in one way or another, and wants to use it as evidence but whether that is allowed as admissible evidence is ultimately down to the courts. So all you can realistically do is put it forward to be used as evidence, but you have to allow the court to make a decision on whether it will be allowed or not.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Lovely, thank you. My plan is to actually try to avoid the court so I'm going to send him an approximate transcript to try to jog his memory first, which will require me admitting I have the recording. Does that sound like a sensible plan ? I'd assume he'll then want the recording, would I need to send that to him or just save it for the court if he still refuses ?

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. You do not have to admit to the recording just yet and can always give him an accurate ‘recollection’ of the conversation before proceeding with a more accurate transcript, if needed. In other words, build it up slowly. If he asks for the recording, he would only be entitled to it if he can be personally identified from it. It depends on what is on it that may identify him, or his distinctive his voice is that people may recognise him form that alone. For the avoidance of doubt you should consider giving it to him because it won’t affect your position really, you still have the recording and it won’t change that, or its contents.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
That was perfect thanks. I told him I had the recording and asked if would he like the transcript. He seems to be more interested in getting the recording deleted rather than sticking to his word. Time will tell. I'll contact you if I need. Thanks for the help.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi. So he instantly backed down from his position without asking to see the video or the offered transcript. I guess that speaks volumes. He's now opened proper negotiations around the part of the deal we didn't talk about and he's being vague. I want to detail the work, and because I'm not a tradesman I need a line that says roughly "and anything else that I'm not aware of that is related". The short history is their tradesman took out my shower tray without being told to by anyone. He confused my work with someone else's apparently. I had to wait six weeks for a temp repair and I'm still waiting for the real repair one year later. I am asking for penalties if repairs take over three months. How do I cover my bases for the stuff I don't know please ?

As you do not know what it is, then you can only be general with covering yourself for it. Something along the lines of:

I reserve the right to request additional compensation for any issues which appear in the future and which have been caused as a result of your work , negligent or otherwise.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Perfect. Thank you.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Ben. I still have problems. Do I ask you or start a new question please ? On the assumption I ask you, here's the short version. I assume Scottish law will apply even though I am in England as is the house. They are registered in Scotland.In September 2020 their contractor replaced my en suite shower tray and left my shower unusable, work he was not authorised to do. He was supposed to fix a leaky shower head and confused my house with someone else's apparently. A lot of tiles got damaged and needed replacing but it turned out they were discontinued so that created a problem for them. They eventually found exactly enough tiles literally lying about in different places and did the repair but, perhaps unsurprisingly, some tiles were wrong and some were broken. After six weeks of no shower I finally convinced them to do a temporary repair with the messed up tiles in place. That was early November 2020. No further work has been done.After much chasing by me, a few things happened. They turned up once, maybe twice with the wrong tiles and had to leave again. They would then do nothing until I chased them. They came and inspected the work four times, each time authorising it but each time all that happened was a workman without the correct parts would turn up or no action at all. In August this year they finally agreed to replace the whole en suite tiling with the new tiles. This is what were arguing about; after agreeing he found some more of the discontinued tile and wanted to use them. That was not our agreement and he has now agreed to a full retile based on the CCTV footage but is not at all happy about it.All I want a guarantee they will actually do the repair by a certain time. He has said it will be roughly five days starting in October and has booked the workmen. I have said I will give him three months from October but with penalties if he goes over. He won't agree to that and has offered no guaranteed completion date at all, just the "we expect five days". When you include the roughly 12 months they've ignored the problem so far, along with his apparent propensity to say stuff that is demonstrably untrue, I'm genuinely worried he'll make my shower unusable and then start delaying again just to get some kind of payback. I'm worried there would be nothing I could do if I don't get an agreement; I just want him to finish the job. I feel he's shown no intent to complete and seems to have no interest in guaranteeing he will. He's also trying to mislead me by telling me it's new build warranty work again. Finally my question. How do I get a guarantee from him, or can I legitimately get the work done privately and ask for reimbursement, or do I have to agree to his terms ?His penultimate email today contained a double negative "The works are booked in to be completed in the 5 day period that includes decoration, should there be no unexpected issues, which I do not envisage." I cannot work out if this is awful grammar or deliberate. Both are plausible.His latest email to me is once again suggesting it's covered by the NHBC warranty. That's just for new build latent defects as far as I know.Please tell me if I need to start a new question.

Hi there, thanks for getting in touch, if you could please post a new query on that as it is not about the CCTV, which was the original topic on this question. Many thanks

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