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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75163
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a dispute with a builder. I think Scottish law

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I have a dispute with a builder. I think Scottish law applies as they are registered in Scotland although I am in England. They damaged my en suite, that is not disputed. It took six weeks for them to do a temporary repair and make my shower useable again but 12 months later it's still the same. Recent discussions were not at all amicable and although they have now agreed to do the work in a 5 day window in October I believe there is a genuine possibility they will make my shower unusable again, leaving the repairs half done for a period of time to get some payback. All I want is a guaranteed completion date, no matter when it is, yet they will not give one at all. They just say "we think 5 days". They have demonstrated they are quite happy to leave my shower unusable and that they are in no rush at all to fix this. There is no trust now. Do I need to accept their terms or can I go to court to get something enforced (or even have a third party do it and charge it back to them).

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.
Hi Ben. It's the second half of CCTV one. Happy to answer questions though.

Hi there. Can I just check if you have the builder's registered business address and all relevant contact information?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I do.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
According to Companies House, it's Scotland.

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. The first thing you need to do is make it clear to them that ‘time is of the essence’, which formally expresses the need for timely completion. With that you would set a specific and reasonable deadline, for the work to be completed. You should also make it very clear that failure to adhere to this deadline will allow you to no longer use their services and engage a third party to complete the work, charging the original one for any extra costs incurred.

Only once that has happened and you know the costs involved, should you be looking at potential legal action to try and recoup these.

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.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thanks Ben. A couple of quick questions. Does a 1 month deadline seem reasonable for a 5 day job and do I need to "without prejudice" the email ?

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. A month is not unreasonable in the circumstances so if you are happy with setting that you can do so. You would not need to mark the letter as being ‘without prejudice’ – that would mean it cannot be used as evidence in the future but you want it as evidence if this goes to court

Hello, I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

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