How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75915
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I need advice regarding what to do about building work, the

This answer was rated:

I need advice regarding what to do about building work, the completion of which is now running over 26 months behind schedule and which has left us with showers which flood and a boiler which has not been connected correctly and a drive which is sinking in several places. I have repeatedly contacted the builder, but he has failed to sort these issues or complete the outstanding work.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have spoken to him on the phone many, many times, and sent countless text and WhatsApp messages, and , following legal advice last year, I have also sent more than one email. In July last year, we received a letter from him informing us that he guaranteed the work would be completed by a specific date, which never happened.
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 can't think of anything else at the moment.

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.

When did the builder guarantee to complete the work by in the letter he sent to you in July?

and what is your specific query in relation to this please, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
The letter said the work would be completed by the end of October last year.
The work completed appears not to be fit for purpose and therefore more work needs to be done. We are not in a financial position to be able to employ another, reputable firm to complete this remedial work, so I'm wondering if there's any way we can either ensure that he completes the work to an acceptable standard or refunds some money so that we are able to employ someone else to do it.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me and 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.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Ok. Please make sure my card is not charged for the phone call!
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
thank you

Hi there. Phone calls are an additional service, which is entirely optional. If you want to query anything about them, including billing and charges, please contact customer services directly:

https://www.justanswer.co.uk/help/contact-us

In the meantime, I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about this situation and any associated issues.

When a consumer enters into a contract for services, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that such services must be:

- Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession)

- Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time frame has been agreed)

- Provided at a reasonable cost (unless a specific price has been agreed)

In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it to proceed with the services in question. If there are problems and the trader cannot satisfy the above criteria, which are legally expected of them, the consumer will have certain rights

In the event of substandard work, the trader should either redo the parts of the work which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to the customer. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience. If this is not possible, the consumer can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. That is something which should be negotiated between the two parties. However, if the trader refuses to resolve the issues, the consumer can consider getting someone else to do this and either deduct these costs from the balance that is still owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred as a result.

In the case of delays, for example if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, the consumer can ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and the trader refuses to work to the agreed schedule, or complete it, it is possible to get someone else to finish the work and charge the original trader for these additional costs.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that the following steps are followed:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. quote, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. Ask them to resolve any issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is acceptable).

3. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the trader repeating your complaint and how you would like them to resolve the issues. Say you are giving them a final time limit of 7 days to resolve the problem or you will have to consider taking legal proceedings to recover your losses and any additional costs. This is also known as a ‘letter before action’ and there are plenty of templates if you do an online search for one.

4. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could consider taking legal action by seeking compensation. Remember that court is a last resort, however threatening it can be a good negotiating tool because it shows you are serious about resolving this and may prompt the trader to reconsider their position.

5. Finally, make sure that you keep copies of all correspondence, in case it is needed in the claims process.

If you wish to take the matter further and issue legal proceedings, assuming you will just be claiming financial compensation, you may pursue your claim via the County Court’s online portal at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

You may also wish to consider reporting them to Trading Standards, which you can do via the following link: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

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 4 days ago.
Thank you very much for the advice.

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