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 JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16730
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I would like some advice please, I am a property sourcer/

Customer Question

Hello i would like some advice please, I am a property sourcer/ packager and Director of my Ltd company where I have sourced and packaged a property for a private investor. I sourced the tradesmen to refurb the property where one trade a plumbers work was substandard. The invest refused to pay for the work done by the plumber as the investor had to pay a different plumber to rectify the original plumbers work. The original plumber is now demanding payment from me! As the property is not mine and the investor funded all the work for the refurb he said I am and my company is liable to pay him! Is this right?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: swansea, South Wales
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: nothing I need to know where I stand first
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
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

Whether your limited company is liable depends who the plumber had the contract with.

I appreciate the investor funded the work but it comes down to privity of contract and who that contract is with. If you commissioned the plumber then it's liable your company contracted with the plumber which is why they are demanding the money from you.

You could refuse on the basis the work was poor and on that basis they are in breach of contract.

They should send a letter before action to you if their debt collection attempts fail - which is required under the pre action protocol to give you the chance to avoid court action. They usually give you 14 days to pay before they will take civil court action.

It is recommended that you reply to this letter given the courts expect parties in a dispute to engage and discuss their dispute, to try and avoid court action.

If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help.

You should not ignore the court papers as if you do, the claimant will apply for judgment in default meaning they win and you would not be allowed to defend the claim.

A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

If the claim has no merit (e.g. the contract was not between the plumber and your limited company, or if they don't deserve payment because the work was sub standard) then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived.

You should first invite the claimant to voluntarily discontinue their claim within 7 days if it gets to this point - tell them if they don't then you will apply to strike out and seek your costs if you are forced to do so. If you have no response or they reply and refuse then you could apply to strike out. The application costs £275 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record.

If required I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.


Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

I hope this helps

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim



Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim



Customer: replied 15 days ago.
There was no contract in place with the plumber. Where do I stand now? Also will it go to court without a contract, estimate of work. Just an invoice from plumber?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

A contract doesn't have to be written to be valid. It can be verbal or even implied by conduct. So yes it can still go to court even if there is nothing in writing.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for clarity on this matter I shall be intouch soon. Thank you
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

My pleasure, thanks