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  1. Thanks for this. To an extent, that is what my original letter said. They have come back with the reasons in (2), (3) and (4) as to why it wasn't frustrated. And even then, their second leg of defence is saying even if it was, they can claim the deposit as a minimum of costs incurred under (5). The bit in (6) is what worries me as I don't want to be liable for any more than i've already lost.
  2. Thanks - and sorry for the confusion on getting there. Do you think there's any specific way in which i should push them in response to the points they've made?
  3. "so the proposed date of the event has been and gone and didnt happen" - The proposed date was May 2021 and we did not have their catering services for the event given the restrictions in place. "and you didn't cancel by i month before may?" - Technically, we didn't cancel (there was no formal request to cancel). In April 2021. we were discussing cancellation charges as it was apparent the original contract for 300 couldn't be changed to 15 in a way we both agreed, and therefore we were disagreeing on cancellation costs (they were claiming it was c.£4.5 for costs incurred to date - i disagreed). The discussion dropped off at this point whilst I looked to prepare a formal letter to request my deposit back. I sent the formal letter and received the above response. Apologies for lack of clarity - I can answer any further questions you have.
  4. Given the wedding was during Covid times - we were constantly in communication to 'monitor' the rules. So firstly, when the Wedding was originally in October 2020, it got to about August 2020 and we decided that rules would not flex enough so signed the addendum to move to May 2021. From Jan 2021, we again determined it was unlikely rules would flex for 300 so were were in regular conversations with the caterer as to what could be offered for a smaller wedding but these discussions broke down by April as they were looking to charge 10k for a 15 person wedding (with a few meals but nonetheless, proportionally outrageous). We didn't technically cancel, as we enquired as to what the cancellation charge would be so we could make a decision and as part of that conversation, discussions broke down. So the reference to cancellation charges means that their lawyer is saying that cancelling one month before the wedding triggers the contract cancellation charge (16k) and so they are threatening to come after me for that amount.
  5. Apologies for the confusion. They have offered to pay me £1k to settle the matter. (I am chasing the £3k deposit I paid)
  6. BACKGROUND Wedding for 300 in October 2020 - in England Contract signed and deposit of £3k paid in December 2019 Full contract value is £25k In August 2020, delayed wedding to May 2021 (addendum signed) In Jan 2021 entered into discussions to move venue/delay further No addendum signed Discussions continued until April as costs for 15 people were suggested to be £10k. Asked for cancellation costs and told this was in excess of deposit (basic breakdown given with no detail) Discussions broke down. CORRESPONDENCE Sent letter explaining why contract was frustrated (significantly different guest numbers). Caterer's solicitor has sent response with the following points: (1) It was not impossible for the caterer to provide services. (2) An alternative method of performance was possible - referring to The Furness Bridge [1977] case (3) When the addendum was signed in August 2020, the alleged frustrating event should have been foreseen - referring to Armchair Answercall Ltd v People in Mind Ltd [2016]. (4) Similarly, when the addendum was signed in August 2020, the alleged frustrating event was already apparent - referring to Flying Music Company Ltd v Theater Entertainment SA and Others [2017]. (5) Even where frustration is determined - they determine their costs are fair as they don't even include their overheads - referring to the CMA judgment in the Bijou Wedding Venue case. (6) The client reserves the right to seek their cancellation charges per the contract (c.75% of contract value). They have offered £1k to settle CONCERNS My key concerns are as follows: Biggest risk is them seeking their cancellation charge and me being liable for c.£16k (or even if less) - I want to avoid this at all costs and ensure no position puts me at risk of losing any more money. They are relying on the addendum to avoid falling into frustration, if that is the case, it opens the door for them to seek cancellation charges per the contract. Then, even if there is frustration, they are saying that their breakdown is sufficient to cover my deposit. And even if not, they can add in overruns by relying on Bijou's. REQUEST I can see us moving to small claims at some point - but i don't want to risk this if there is a chance i could lose even more money. Is there any defence to the arguments they've posed? Would you recommend I settle and take the £1k, or do you think there's any way to recover the full deposit. If so, please do share any insights or potential lines of response to their points.
  7. The wall was an external retaining wall. There were no building inspections. The independent reports went into detail on where the issues were. Please do let me know if there is anymore information I can give to help build an understanding.
  8. Hi all Update I sent the CC company a response to state that i should be put in the position if the contract was done properly. I've had a response from the CC company. They have not changed their initial offer, and say that they think this is fair and reasonable, given what work originally took place. They've said due to the "extra amounts I want to improve my claim" they think this would be best resolved though the courts. They've also said the CC company could be a co-defendant. Current position My understanding is that I have an equal claim against them as I do the builder. And that I don't want any extra amounts, just what is required to put me in the position of if the contract was done properly. I appreciate this amount is much higher than the original contract amount - but I'm not sure whether that should make a difference!? Any advice on how to go back would be appreciated.
  9. Hi all Just as a follow up, I've decided to proceed with obtaining the engineer report myself and see whether there is an issue with the wall. Then I will respond to the bank. Will keep you updated, just in case it helps anyone in a similar position. Thanks
  10. Note - sorry if this should be in the specific banking section - it was a toss up between the two and I went for this. Please feel free to move! Brief Intro Hi everyone - I've only discovered this forum today (by chance) and am amazed at how helpful it is. I've gotten myself lost in a number of random interesting threads where there has been so much help and guidance. Looking forward to joining the community! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Quick summary of my post (to avoid the long read!) Agreed contract with builder for work. Agreed cost was £10k, split as follows: £10 CC deposit upfront 3 installments of £3199.67 - paid by bank transfer Final 'snag' payment of £400 - UNPAID Builder did not complete / built to a sub-standard (see below) and did not respond to my follow ups over 3 months I contacted my bank to claim a breach of contract under s.75 As instructed by Bank, I obtained three independent reports. Reports stated average cost of removing sub-standard work and installing correctly in line with contract is c.£30-50k (see below!) Bank have offered £10k + report costs. My overarching question is - what is my best route to obtain the full costs of rectifying the work? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ DETAIL Background to work Contract agreed for building work in Summer 2019. Builder was found via CheckATrade and had good reviews. I insisted on paying a small amount on CC (luckily) Work commenced and seemed to be going ok. I paid my installments in advance of each phase. After paying the last phase - work slowed down, and areas which I flagged to the builder were outstanding were not rectified. Builders stop showing up and a few months of chasing later, more fundamental issues started to show with the work. Final chance In Spring 2020, I issued a final note to the builder to provide them opportunity to resolve the outstanding issues, giving them 14 days to respond. They did not respond. I therefore asked an independent builder to come out to inspect the issues and provide a price for rectifying. S.75 claim I made my claim to my bank, explaining the background and why I considered there to be a breach (independent report provided). The bank asked me to obtain two more independent reports - after finding a few that would do it for a fee, the bank agreed to pay for these (c.£150 each). Reports I obtained two further reports, which were in line with the initial report. Since the initial report, more issues had surfaced, and therefore the original independent builder came back to re-inspect and update their report. The average cost to remove the sub-standard work and repair ranged between £25k-35k. The reason for this huge increase on the original price is that the work to remove the sub-standard work would be quite significant, in addition to the fact the original builder had likely under-estimated the work. In addition, all three independent builders made the following two disclaimers: They could not comment on the structural quality of an retaining wall that was built (as the wall was covered from the back); and The rectification they could see was based on what they could inspect from the surface (i.e. until they started the work and tore apart the old work they wouldn't know 100% what all of the issues were). Retaining wall Before sending the 2nd, 3rd and updated 1st reports to the bank, I contacted two independent structural engineering companies for a quote to inspect the wall. I sent the reports and the quotes for inspection to the bank, asking if they were happy for me to proceed and obtain the inspection, and if necessary, obtain independent quotes for rebuilding the wall. Response from bank The bank's response (technically their first 'offer' or 'response' that wasn't asking for info) was to offer a refund of £10k (the original agreed cost) plus the small costs for the second and third independent reports. They did not address the retaining wall or the quotes to inspect. This was about a week ago - I told them I would respond in a few weeks upon checking a few points with the independent contractors. Post-bank response Regarding the retaining wall - when one structural engineer came out to quote, in conversation he suspected some issues (subject to a formal inspection). I therefore contacted one or two independent contractors on what cost it would be to remove the retaining wall and re-erect it. I have received a response from one that the cost would be £15k. I am waiting on others. Current status / questions My understanding is that under s.75, the bank is liable for the breach in contract. I think it's well established (and the bank has essentially admitted in their offer) that there was a breach. In the event of a breach, the damages are not stipulated by law, but the general legal mechanism is to put "the innocent party 'so far as money can do it…in the same situation…as if the contract had been performed" Question 1 - I saw something on the Ruxley v Forsyth case where the claimant was rejected damages because the cost of re-building because this would be totally out of proportion to the loss he had suffered. My view is that this is different as the building, whilst cosmetically usable, has fundamental building issues that makes it not fit for use. The independent reports suggest this and whilst the cost of rebuilding is out of proportion to the original contract amount, it is not out of proportion to the loss. It's also my understanding that my loss would be a pecuniary loss which would be normally considered under expectation-based damages. Do you agree? Therefore, my expectation would be that the bank would be liable for putting me in the position of had the work been done properly. In practice, this would mean removing the sub-standard work and rebuilding it correctly. This would also include the retaining wall. Question 2 - Do you agree with this? Question 3 - One additional point to flag is that I have not paid the final £400 snag installment. This has not been 'withheld' per-se, but originally was supposed to be paid on agreed completion. The builder never returned to complete the work and has never asked for it. In the phone call referred to in below's "side note", the builder didn't even bring it up. Do you think this harms my claim at all? I am prepared to pay it if it would help to not damage my claim (though reluctant, as he has not done the work!)? Before responding, I would like to know (as accurately as possible) the total cost to rectify - which means learning whether the wall needs replacing. Therefore I would like to obtain one of the independent engineers report (one was £300, the other was £700 - so probably the cheaper) and then if the wall does need replacing, get a few more quotes for the wall. This would mean I have a clear idea on the work that needs doing (the original reports + the engineer report), and the costs to rectify (original rectification + rebuild wall) Question 4 - I have been very careful to "minimise my loss" and avoid any unnecessary costs without prior approval from the bank. Do you think I will be in a position to reclaim the engineer report amount without prior approval from the bank? Question 5 - Do you think this is a sensible approach prior to responding to the bank? I would then suggest I respond to the bank with some support to say that they are liable for the breach and that the loss is X,Y,Z (i.e. rectification costs + rebuilding the wall) as evidenced by independent reports. Question 6 - Do you agree with this approach in responding to the bank and how 'heavy' would you suggest I am in this response (i.e. do i show I've done some legal research, or keep it fairly plain and to the point)? My other concern is around two additional costs that could arise : (1) The 'under the surface' costs all three independent contractors referred to, that may not be known until they start work. Question 7 - Is it possible for the bank to be liable for these if they cannot be identified at the moment - or is there some mechanism to estimate them - or are they simply lost costs I would have to pay? (2) The other additional cost is materials the builder used that I purchased (e.g. bricks). The original agreement stated I would purchase them and the builder would use them. Of course, there is no debtor-creditor-supplier link with these items, however, the builder did use them and I would have to repurchase them to get to the original contract state. I sent the invoices for these as part of my original claim to the bank Question 8 - Do I have any right to claim for these additional costs? Question 9 - FINALLY - Do you have any advice on the overall approach I'm taking with this claim? - It has been over a year since the work started. I am keen for the bank to solve and not go to the ombudsman as that could take another two years. In addition, I do not want to try to claim costs from the builder - partly because I know the bank is also liable, but also to avoid the upfront court costs and potential difficulty in getting the money (haven't looked at this approach in detail) - as well as the time. Of course, if push came to shove, I'm prepared to take all of these avenues to achieve a result - it's just that my ideal scenario would be getting the bank to agree. Side note - response from the builder I should note that upon submitting my initial claim, it would appear the bank sent a note to my original builder asking for their side, also indicating the level of rectification work indicated in the first independent report. The builder called me in a angry/anxious state insisting from their perspective the work was done (bar some very minor finishing) and that they had done me a favour as the work had "cost them loads" etc.. They also noted the original company I contracted with was now liquidated (I checked and they were struck off last summer. Still operating as a sole trader I think). I responded to them to just tell the bank their view. I followed up with the bank to let them know about the call. Something almost identical happened after I sent the second and third reports to the bank. I got the panicked call as the bank had contacted them, I listened then informed them to just give their side of the story to the bank, and then I informed the bank of the call. A small part of me is concerned as they know my address and if the bank chases them, there's a possibility they could take it out on me. But I am not letting that worry get in the way of rightly claiming for the cowboy job they did! Further disclaimers Apologies for being deliberately vague in saying what the building project was, who the builder was and who the bank was. If any information is pertinent for the time being - please let me know. I understand that I perhaps should have done more diligence on the original contractor and the price they were offering (though it wasn't hugely un-comparable to others) I also understand that perhaps I shouldn't have paid as much in advance of work being completed. Hindsight is a wonderful thing...! Thank you in advance for any help. As I've seen in several of the posts I've read today, I will be sure to keep you updated on all progress until this issue concludes!
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