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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78665
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have had my bathroom refurbished which cost £6000. The end

Customer Question

Hi I have had my bathroom refurbished which cost £6000. The end job was not useable and dangerous I refused to pay the final payment of £1600 until I had it checked by a third party. It has cost me an additional £5500 to rectify his shoddy work but he is still insisting I pay the balance. My legal cover on home insurance won't touch it as he has no assets. I have photos and videos of the work he did to prove the condition he left it in. I obviously have minimal funds after paying again to rectify his work, so can't afford to pay out additional court fees if I'm not going to get it refunded by him. Can you give me an idea of how I stand with this situation please
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: West Sussex UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: A letter stating the consumer act rights and why I refuse him to rectify the work. And another exercising my rights to a refund to the value to rectify work . I have also issued him with a full lust of what was wrong and what was needed to rectify it He has had since end if May He has refused to acknowledge he has caused any damage and insists that half a day could rectify the minor snagging, which is what he sees it as
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 have the full backing of the company that rectified the work and they are a member of the plumbers guild
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
OK Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

I understand your query relates to a bathroom refurbishment that was not completed to a satisfactory level and the tradesman is wanting you to pay the outstanding balance. Did you provide him with the opportunity to remedy the work at all?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I know im legally obliged to, but due to the dangerous nature of his work I refused on the basis of having sufficient evidence to justify why I didn't
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.
OK and when was this job done?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
It was completed end of May by the initial contractor
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I may not respond for awhile occasionally as I'm also working, but I'm still in the conversation
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing the information requested. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

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)

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Whilst a party can make demands for payment, instruct debt collectors or threaten legal action, it is important to note that they can only really force someone to pay if they actually go to court, submit a claim and are successful with it.

There is, however, no guarantee that they will actually ever go that far. Many people issue threats and demands, without ever having the intention of taking the matter to Court. This is done in the hope that the scare the other party into complying with their demands to avoid the risk of being taken to Court. However, until a formal notification of a Court claim has been issued, there is never a guarantee that a claim will actually be made and it could always remain just a threat, rather than reality.

Even if a claim was made, due to the value of compensation sought, this matter would be assigned to the Small Claims Court. This is a relatively low-risk option because it is specifically aimed at the smaller, legally unrepresented parties. The costs of claiming are not that high, there is no need to have a lawyer and incur further costs as a result and even if a party loses the claim, they will not be liable to pay the other side’s legal fees. All they would have to pay is the court fees, which at most will be several hundred pounds and whatever the Court has decided should be paid to the claimant as a result of their original claim.

Also, once judgment has been issued, on the assumption you lose, the judgment is entered on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, where it will remain for 6 years. This is what is known as ‘having a CCJ’ and can impact your credit rating. However, if payment of the judgment is made within one month, the record will be removed from the Register and will no longer be visible. If payment is made after one month has passed, it will still remain on the Register for the 6 years, but will be marked as ‘satisfied’.

To conclude, it is possible to wait and see how far the other side is willing to take this before deciding on how to respond and even if a claim is made, it is possible to proceed and defend the claim in the knowledge that the financial risks of doing so will not be astronomically high and if any judgment made against you is paid within a month, there will be no further repercussions.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

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.
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but all of the above is in respect to the trader taking me to court for the money I have refused to pay. I want to know if based on the information I gave you, is there a successful way I can claim the additional monies I have spent to rectify his shoddy work I still owe him £1600, but have paid an additional £5000 + over and above what I paid him to do the job.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello again and thank you for your further queries, which I will be more than happy to answer. Only the second part is relating to the trader making a claim against you. The first part discussed your options to make them liable for any such extra costs.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

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.