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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26775
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Quick question. We had a problem with builder for 6 years

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Quick question. We had a problem with builder for 6 years Adjudicator final decision was that they have to do all outatanding jobs within 6 weeks, send us apologise letter, give us explanation and pay us £1500. All what we get is the money. Nothing else. Nothing been done as well. What we can do now?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Farest we went is CEDR. Ready for court now cos we have got enough
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

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

Do you mean the 6 weeks has passed and these builders have not been back?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Correct. They only paid us money, and also there should be named manager to come to investigate. Instead different arriced and only asked few questions and no else. Then no investigation was done
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Twice the have been rebuilding our En suite. Poor job both times. And took them too long o finish. Fed up. We went via CEDR adjudicator service, they set final decision, time to put things right but nothing happened. I am just going letting thdm know that builder failed to do even these.

The problem with getting someone to do all the outstanding jobs is that they will be doing it with bad grace and they would do it just well enough to pass muster without actually doing it properly. They haven’t done it within six weeks as ordered by the adjudicator, then your remedy would normally be to get the job done yourself and then seek the money from them through the county court if necessary.

You need to tell them exactly that, in writing, and unless letter. “Unless” they do XYZ by DATE and you will issue Small Claims Court proceedings against him for the cost of £X to get all the jobs finished and close the matter.

The new Moneyclaim beta system is easy to use: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

the new system is much better than the old government Gateway system.

You can prepare the proceedings now, at your leisure, save them, and then just pay the fee and press the button when the deadline in your letter before action, expires.

It's then just a case of following the court process and responding to any emails that you receive.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
you can help me.
Main problem of everything is, that now on top of everything there is NHBC in our house to look after cracking flooring. It will take about 4 weeks to get results back to.
I do not mind to get someone to do it, problem is financial. I am full time and my partner is part time. Because we have to rebuild one of our bathroom on own cost already, money what coming on my account going out to pay bills and loan and every month I am short anyway. My partner money going for feeding whole family and mostly get dress the kids. There is no spare money what we can save at all
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Only work cost to put things right are more than £6000 without any material
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Than we are facing financial problem this year already and the prices of everything just keep going up.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
On top of it, if NHBC decide to change the screed, we have to move out for about 6 weeks. This is other one problem ahead of us
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
No idea what to do and what way to do it. Very stressed and very tired from all these situations
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Even if we want to go trough court, solicitor cost a fortune. Then other money on top of everything. We are not British, that is the first point and for so many years I am also taking it as a discrimination, because of how they handle with us and also we haven't got here close family who can help us too.

I fully appreciate all of that. And it’s getting harder. You don’t actually have to do the jobs, you can just get quotations (not estimates-courts don’t like estimates) for doing the job right and go to court based upon the quotes.

But you would be faced with living with the problems meanwhile.

NHBC are not particularly keen on parting with money and don’t be at all surprised if they say this is not their problem and you may end up having a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if they refuse to resolve it. If they have agreed to do this, all well and good but don’t be at all surprised if they’re doing a cover-up job. They are not keen on parting with money.

You are entitled to be paid for the moving out, moving back, and alternative accommodation in the interim.

If it’s only GBP6000 (I am not belittling it, and just saying that it Small Claims Court) you will not recover solicitors costs so it’s not worth involving them.

This is nothing to do with discrimination.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
NHBC is only involved in cracking screed. So far we are waiting is this is only a screed fault or is foundation or structural fault.Builder is responsible for the En Suite room, which we have got issues, since we bought new build house of them 6 years ago. They done 2 remedy works. One took them 8 month to do it and finish it, other one was worst cos they left us wait for nearly 2 years without the chance to use a shower and after that it was other time until they finish it off but most problems have been only hidden behind new parts.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Work cost for En Suite rebuild it again is £6000 without the material. About £12 000 with. On top of it, I will be loosing again my income or wasting at least 15 days holiday. Mess in the house and disturbing all family.
I am working nights and need to look after warehouse.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
This is our current situation. Then I do not know what to do, how to do it. who to contact, who to ask for the help.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
What adjudicator office can do, if the builder was ordered to do job, send us apologies letter, give us explanation why it took them so long and pay us £1500 as compensation. They only paid us money and no else. Can adjudicator office to force them to do things or they can change final decision?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Also, if we have got house insurance, can we get something from them? Mean some money claim. Even the house is less than 10 years old and some things are still covered by NHBC?

It will be interesting to see whether it’s the screed or something underneath that.

Some house insurance has legal expenses cover that would cover this, some not. You need to check the policy.

The Adjudicators decision is not legally binding, it is what is called “interim binding” which means that you can go to court based upon the adjudicators decision and get a court order in the same terms.

Can I help you any further with this? It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far. Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem. I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding. Please don't hesitate to ask. Kind regards Stuart

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I will talk to a partner. Would you mind if I will come with any other question later?

Let’s see what they come back with.

By all means come back to me with any other questions in the future.

For clarification on this thread it can go on this thread all of its any other question it would need to go on a new thread.

Meanwhile, you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

By the way, if you would like to ask me a new question in the future, (not just clarification on this thread, then please just type @ (the at sign) followed by my name and you’ll be able to select my username to tag me in the question.

If you like, you can also put “For Stuart J only” in the question thread and then the other experts will know that it’s for me.

You can also tag me as one of your favourite experts.

Thank you

Kind regards.

Stuart

PS: there is no need to reply as a matter of course otherwise your reply comes back to my inbox, thinks you’re waiting, and I have to reply again. Kind regards

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I do apologies, I have got 2 little kids at home, then I am glad if I can keep carry on my things.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Adjudicator final 6 weeks are ending tomorrow. After that they advised me to inform them if the builder completed or did not completed adjudicator final decision. Is it good idea to go back to them to inform them that job not has been done?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Or let them know and after that try to find solid solicitor company and go trough court?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Because we are now waiting also for the NHBC respond, it will not be better to wait a while and put 2 things in a same time on the court as one?

The 2 causes of action are completely different.

One is against the NHBC if they don’t do what they are supposed to do.

The other is against the builder for not doing what they are supposed to do.

I’m not convinced that having them as first defendant and second defendant is the right way of dealing with this because their liabilities are completely different or arising different ways.

Do remember that I can only give you my opinion.

Another lawyer may have a different opinion. Litigation needs at least 2 parties and neither goes to court expecting to lose.

Nonetheless, one of them does, even though they have been told by their respective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success.

If there was a black-and-white answer to every legal problem there would be no need for anything to ever proceed to court.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Good mornin sir,
Ihad a talk with my partner. If we will go through small claim court, can we also ask for any other payments? Mean like destress money or compensation for anything
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Also is better to go with solicitor?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Its pernament and long therm that they always just doing something very long time and also disturbing familly life. And on top is someone on house and laugh, our baby can take even a sleep. If someone will be doing other remedial works it will be again for at least 2 weeks, dust everywhere and everything around too. Also again have to take time off the work for it. Then not really a good situation for us
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
even we will send it on court, how long it will usually take to complete the case trough court?

Don’t expect a result within 12 months. I issue Small Claims Court proceedings personally in early December.

There have been a few bits of correspondence from the court and about a month ago because it’s defended, it was transferred to my local court.

I would be surprised if we got a hearing before the end of the year.

Legal wheels very slowly at the best of times and the whole system has been delayed because of the pandemic or at least, that’s the excuse they are using. It is no way of speeding it up


Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Then it could be between 6 to 12 months. No good
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Shell we claim any money as compensation from small claim court?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I wish to sat here and type all time. Every explanation from you is very helpfull and so far no one give us any picture of process....

It’s not going to be six months. You will be lucky if it’s 12 months.

If you ask for a nominal amount of money in respect of stress and inconvenience and see what the judge decides.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
what mean a nominal amount of money in respect of stress and inconvenience? What is the minimum and what is the maximum amount?
Sorry that I am asking. but today was 6 weeks when Keepmoat Homes failed to comply with adjudicator final decision.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I need to go trough small claim court of trough mediator?

You would normally start the process in the Small Claims Court and then as part of that process the court will ask whether you want to try mediation, always agree, and the court will try to arrange it but if it doesn’t work, it ends up in front of a judge.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I checked the small claim court process, It this mean I have to pay 5 % fees on the start and also involve the solicitor and pay solicitor? It is huge amount of money which I need to pay just on the start. And I am not talking also about the cost for repair a lot and loose wage cos of this. We had permanent leak for a years from En Suite shower on top of our ceiling in kitchen. Than need to investigate too and if wrong, than I have to do also kitchen ceiling.
I also checked the insurance, I have got legal expenses included, but this will not give me too much money back or anything on top of what I need to do.
What do you think?

The fees have gone up dramatically although to be frank they went a couple of years ago.

For a claim over GBP10,000 the fee is indeed 5% although you would recover that your claim is successful. You don’t have to have solicitors, you can always DIY.

Legal expenses cover will not cover the cost of the repairs but it may cover the cost of all the legalities.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
good afternoon sir,
Could I asked you something else? Is there any way that I can use someone to fully investigate issues with En Suite room and the work which were done?
If yes, do you know how I can do it or website how I can find someone to do it for us? This will be handy on small claim court for me

You would just need to find another competent installer and get them to give you a quotation as to how much it’s going to cost to put this right. As simple as that.

However do bear in mind that if it does end up in court, the court may one you both to appoint a Single Joint Expert who would be somebody totally independent and that would usually be something that you would be stuck with. So your report may not necessarily be of that much use in the end.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Good evening sir,It is true that If I will decide to sell the house and the new owner will find some issue, I still need to put it right? And also I have got still responsibility for the next 6 years to sort the issues out?
Thank you

When you sell the house you have to complete Sellers Property Information Form TA6.

You have to answer that honestly. If the house is full of faults, you don’t have to disclose them unless the seller specifically asked the question.

It’s not that you have six years to sort out any faults that you haven’t disclosed, it is the buyer who has six years to pursue you for it

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Good evening sir.
I just had today an email from Adjudicator office that dispute is closed. I do not know the reason. I only know that other day builder send the list of jobs what they will be doing but non of them are to fix bigger problems only to hide them. Like re paint few parts and set the doors. I sent adjudicator a photos which clearly showing the damaged part of En Suite walls and flooring, even cuts which were done and the job how they hide everything behind new parts.
And as you mentioned me in previous answer, the new buyer has got 6 years to pursue me for faults. But if they will discover these, they will definitely chase me for it. The repairs will cost fortune and time.I asked adjudicator why they closed the case and for what reason. They asked me also to look for the next stage to find legal advice and put things forward. Is the next step small claim court?How much will cost me to hire proper solicitor?
Could I do it trough you directly?
Or do I need to find someone else?
Do I need to contact insurance company and go trough them?Is there any chance you can give me an advice on every question, please?Thank you

It would appear that for whatever reason you have reached the end of the line with adjudication either because he won’t do or isn’t doing what was agreed and if that’s the case, then it’s often court. Adjudication is simply a first step to try to avoid court.

If the insurance company will deal with this, then by all means go through them.

Stuart J and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you Stuart. Ypou hrlp us a lot. Wish to stay longer but all year is very difficult for us with income.
Had more questions, but now have to find other way how to find answers for them.
Many thanks again.
Miroslav

No problem. I am glad to help