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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4302
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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Contractors stole property of mine and refuse to finish

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Contractors stole property of mine and refuse to finish works
JA: Where are the contractors? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Wales
JA: What steps have the contractors taken so far?
Customer: none they are just asking for payments that have no basis
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: nope
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
To give a bit of context-we hired them mid March this year to renovate our restaurant- they were meant to be giving us detailed invoices for the works and initially promised a 90 day delivery period verbally which has been overrun countless times and up to date the works are still incomplete. Then after the first couple of weeks they started becoming very slow, dragging the works out and they caused damages to our premises (broke down fridge, radiator, etc), then they made wrong a bar that they were meant to build for us so it has to be redone and they also tiled our floor- although they were paid to self level it and make sure it’s even ans flat the tiles are full of steps now and misaligned - it’s not professional work at all and a potential trippizing hazard. They redid most of our bar the way it should be, we bought materials again and now we have a dispute cos they are asking to be paid for redoing the bar although they did it wrong and they refuse to fix the floor - under the tiles we also put underfloor heating which they damaged. In the end they stole some oak worktops from us - and we paid for some glass shelving and windows for our doors which even though we paid them in full for they never delivered. Can we start small claims for the stuff they took as well as the damages? They claim we owe them money for redoing bar that they messed up in first place and we refuse to pay as they were already paid for it and that’s how they justify keeping our stuff
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Forgot to mention that although they told us several times they would give us invoices for the works - up to date they haven’t even provided us with invoices for the works they have done (we have thus far paid them nearly 16.000£ through bank transfers) and they also refuse to give us an invoice for the money they allege we owe them

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Thank you for the information, I am sorry to hear about this matter.  However, the answer to your question is quite simply yes, you can take legal action against them for the cost of repairing the damages you have incurred.  If you instruct another company to complete the work and in doing so this costs more than the original company would have you can also look at claiming the additional incurred costs.  If the claim is less than £10k you can use the small claims process.  

Prior to intimating small claim proceedings, you will require to send a letter to the respondent. It is a simple letter stating that if they do remedy the matter as you have outlined (in the same letter), you will take legal action against them. This is referred to as a. pre-action protocol letter. You can complete the forms for a claims action easily online. You will have to highlight what the issues are and tell them how much you are claiming for, to be honest the first are straight forward and self-explanatory. If you feel you can do this yourself then you don’t really need to hire a solicitor, but I will provide details for you in case you feel you want to. You will then receive a response to the claim and a court date. On the day (unless they offer a settlement) you will appear at the local court and basically provide your evidence and give you claim to the judge, and they will response. The judge will assess the merits of the claim and defence and make a judgement this should be relatively easy for you to prove so the respondent may well offer a settlement in the meantime.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area. This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful. You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors (N. Ireland)

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.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further question for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.

RJM Law and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
question now: the fact that they haven’t even given me invoices - should I mention it inthe letter before court action and demand these or keep it under my sleeve so if it goes to court I can turn around and tell the judge that they haven’t even had the decency to provide invoices for the payments they received although they said they would do so many times in writing and they haven’t given me invoice for the money they allege I owe them? So the biggest damage would be my floor it’s about 60 square meters not only they overcharged me (which I guess isn’t that relevant as anyone can charge whatever they want) but the tiles are knackered and the underfloor heating destroyed. Do I need to get a quote from another professional as to how much it will cost to rectify this and perhaps a report explaining why it’s so bad or the pictorial evidence I posses that clearly shows the problems with it will be more than enough and I can start the claim based on them and ask them to refund me for the money they charged me to tile it as well aa the cost of the tiles?

Yes.  You will want to provide as much information as possible and put this in chronological order.  You will. also want to quantify the claim.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Sorry one thing I forgot to ask, am I allowed to post a review on their Facebook page without being rude, etc - just to describe my experience with them and to help other people who might be thinking of using them be careful ?

You can post a negative review provided you don't say anything defamatory.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
What counts as defamatory? Any examples? Can I mention for example how the opening date wasn’t met, how the works dragged on an excruciatingly slow pace, how they have been wanting to charge us for the same stuff over and over, how they messed up the tiling (in a polite way) and charged us 6500 for it and are now refusing to put it right and how they took our stuff and holding them as payment lever?

So long as you are truthful and don't say anything untrue don't use words like scam or con-artist, just state the facts you can show.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Perfect thanks

You are welcome and I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks
You're welcome.