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Can/should I sue this builder?

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In January 2009 we hired builders after checking several companies, getting referrals and looking at their work to build an extension. We realized later that their referrals were friends of theirs who were in on the [problem]. We did staged payments and only paid into a bank account electronically. The council's planning department knew early on they were cowboys, but never told us until the builders walked off the job with claims they were being harassed by the planning department. We found out they did not use insulation, the roof was only plywood and the electrics and plumbing put in ran to nowhere. The brickwork was not even straight and the footings were too high. The reason why they walked off the job is instead of using insulation and hardcore they just threw any old junk including planks of wood for the floor. The planning officer caught them halfway through concreting over it and had a row with them. I was told by the planning department I could also be held liable for allowing them to contravene the building regulations! I asked them why they never told me what was happening and was told they do not get involved with such things and their only job is to ensure that the work is done within regulations. The builders took £14,500 of our money and called to threaten us if we did not pay a further £4000. They also refused to return the key for our gate to get into the back. I called the police and never heard from them again.

 

Our livingroom was left open to the elements and scaffolding was holding up the steel beam and the place was a mess. I got a good builder in and it was discovered that none of the walls were even, masonry fell and there was no insulation in the walls. Plus one wall had to be partially redone as it was moving back and forth. In total, it cost us another £15,000 to redo this when the whole thing should have cost £23,000.

 

We traced them and found that the original person we were in contact with has a legitimate business and he was working in partnership with the cowboy. But, it was presented to us that they were in business together as so-called brothers and the contract we did and all dealings were with the legitimate partner. He later tried to say he only introduced us and had no dealings with it, but we have evidence that he was just as involved. He told us he does the tiling and decorating and his brother does the building side of things.

 

The one who does not have a legitimate business was using 3 different addresses and I contacted the insurance company he had. They refused to take any responsibility. I contacted Trading Standards and was told they can record it, but unless they get at least 5 similar complaints against the same company they cannot take them to court. They also said that even if I did take them to court and won I would most likely not be able to collect any money. Shortly after all this I became very ill and nearly lost my life. It took a year to recover and now I am thinking of seeing what I can do. I know that the one brother has moved and is still in business.

 

Can anyone give me some advice about the possibility of suing and was I told the correct information from Trading Standards? I am unable to seek legal advice as I cannot afford and cannot get legal aid.

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Why don't you start by posting the name of the builders. That might persuade others to come forward with their own complaints.

 

If you think that you can target the responsible person or company and if you think that you can get your judgment enforced against them, then yes. You should sue.

 

As fas as the Council not letting you know, it seems crazy and unfair. If I were you I would begin a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman. The LA won't like this but push your way through to the end.

 

TS can take your complaint if they want but they probably have a 5 complaints rules because of their own lack of resources.

 

It sounds to me that the situation is so obvious that you really don't need any legal help with the claim.

 

You can do it yourself. We can help you here.


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Thanks for that. I know I can do a small claims, but I want the whole amount back, which is above £5000. Is it a similar process as in small claims? I have pictures, the contract and videos, as well. And emails.

 

The builders are: George Bush Builders in Cramlington.

 

He was in partnership with John F. Pearson, who is from Newham, London. Because he is using three different addresses, we are not sure which one is the correct address. George Bush used to be in Essex, but has now moved to Cramlington.

 

Because we were threatened with legal action by the planning department we backed down. The manager was also involved and came to look at what was done. I was told because they knew the builders and the planning officer was coming on a daily basis to check up on them. And that it was ultimately my responsibility, not theirs. My council are cowboys themselves and do not even follow their own policies. They are a disgrace.

 

We have learned a lot from this, but we are in debt because of it.

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The process is the same as small claims. However, the size of the claim will take you onto the multi-track.

 

You need to check very carefully that people are who they say they are, that they are at the addresses they say they are at and that there are no defunct ltd companies etc.

 

Ideally you need to find out the personal addresses of the people involved and check on the land registry website to see if they own their homes. This would give you some certainty that you can enforce any judgment you obtain.

 

You need to get independent assessments of the quality of the work which has been done and the cost of repairs.

 

You need to be aware of the cost of starting this action which could be £350 - but you need to check it and also the cost eventually of an allocation questionnaire.

 

I see that they are ltd company. You need to check that they are the same ltd company as the one you contracted with. It is quite straightforward for companies to wind up and then to start trading again under a similar name.

 

You must have independent statements or reports to corroborate everything you say.

 

If you have then you can go ahead and be fairly confident of a good result.

 

If you get involved in any phone calls, then make sure that they are recorded and also logged


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Thanks for this. I did do a land registry check and found the properties were all owned by the local council. I do know this is the same company because I checked into it already and tracked them when they moved. I believe his partner is still in the area and I can hazard a guess on which property he actually lives in, but I think the tenancy is in his girlfriend's name. I also have the bank account details where I transferred the money.

 

I did do all the right things, but they knew how to get around it. Bush tried to play like he only introduced us to his brother and they were not in business together, but I have evidence they were doing business together. I originally found them through mybuilder.com and when I told mybuilder, Bush tried to say he should not pay any fees to them, but they made him responsible anyway based on the information I gave them. :wink: At least I got him in that way.

 

I have the builder who worked on the property and video and photographic evidence. as well. I am sure I can get information from the planning department, as well.

 

But, now my other half is saying he does not want to sue them as he does not believe we would be able to collect anything if we win as neither are home owners.

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From waht you say it would appear that it will be a long hard road to chase these people and go to court, stressful enough fot the fittest of us.

And as it is a LTd co and they appear to be men of straw, the chances of actually getting anything does seem slim.

So it does make sense to consider proceeding if you have any health ossues.

It is shocking what these people get away with.

All the best.

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Hi, I am new to CAG, so not sure how to open new thread, hope it's ok if I post it here?

I am opening a restaurant in Dublin in Ireland and got a carpenter in, who was organizing a plumber, roofer and a painter. He was delaying the build and we couldn't open on time.

 

He build the roof over an outside toilet out the back, but the roof was leaking and now we have plaster boards wet and all the tiles popped out. He is taking no resposibility for it, he tells us to dry it out ourselves.

Electrician that we got to fix the light there got electricuted cause he wasn't isolated from the ground, water was on the floor and walls.

Same builder layed down the floor, but didn't level it properly and floor bends when you step on it, he tells me it will settle.

 

Through out the build he was adding up items to the original quote, like skirting, when we agreed price for the floor. He tells me that I should have known that this price was floor tiles only, then it's skirtings, but I'm not a builder, I wanted the floor done, so I thought our price included skirtings, which is finishing of the floor.

 

Then he was breaking simple jobs into two, charging separately, for example he was to cover up a hole above the door. He charged extra for interior and exterior, saying it is 2 different jobs, cause he needed to get 2 different materials, one waterproof, bt labour I thought should be the same, it just didn't make sense to me.

Not to mention doubling up same things on the quote mentioned few lines below the original one, when caught, explaining it was a mistake and we can scrap it out.

 

He also forced me to give him most of the money before he finished, saying he needed it for wages and materials to cover him, otherwise he will come back to the job on Mon (This is Fri and he meant to work Sat to make sure it's finished before the opening on Mon).

 

Out 6500 Euro he got 6000 and now he has one day left of work, but I won't have the tiles fixed in the toilet and the floor leveled properly, not to mention the damaged plaster work in the toilet, also painter is on stand by, but he might not come after all, as it's only a bit of payment left.

Is there anything I can do about this situation. I know where he lives, but can I sue him and how would I go about it?

Thanks for your help.

Edited by PKalko

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I have recently been a victims of John Pearson whilst it isn't necessary to go into the complete background of the matter save to say that he caused a significant amount of grief stress and inconvenience. His threats culminated in the police having to become involved.. I recently issued proceedings against him in the small claims court it is my intention to enter judgement as soon as possible if those proceedings are not defended or the claim remains un paid. Hopefully a CCJ will disrupt his behaviour to some extent.

 

It seems to me that those who have been a victim of this man need to co ordinate efforts to give trading standards enough evidence to peruse and prosecute this man.

 

To assist in collecting and co ordinating the collection of evidence to present to trading standards I have set up a face book site as a,shared forum to post information seeking to bring this man to justice. The face book address is John F. Pearson Builder. If anyone can build a link to this web page, it will be greatly appreciated

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Hi would like to talk to you if possible we have had exactly the same case with this man John Pearson. Would like to know how far you progressed with your case

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Hi would like to talk to you if possible we have had exactly the same case with this man John Pearson. Would like to know how far you progressed with your case

 

It would be best to start your own thread to get advice specific to your needs.


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I have recently been a victims of John Pearson whilst it isn't necessary to go into the complete background of the matter save to say that he caused a significant amount of grief stress and inconvenience. His threats culminated in the police having to become involved.. I recently issued proceedings against him in the small claims court it is my intention to enter judgement as soon as possible if those proceedings are not defended or the claim remains un paid. Hopefully a CCJ will disrupt his behaviour to some extent.

 

It seems to me that those who have been a victim of this man need to co ordinate efforts to give trading standards enough evidence to peruse and prosecute this man.

 

To assist in collecting and co ordinating the collection of evidence to present to trading standards I have set up a face book site as a,shared forum to post information seeking to bring this man to justice. The face book address is John F. Pearson Builder. If anyone can build a link to this web page, it will be greatly appreciated

 

I just saw this. I am interested in contacting you as I also have everything from what happened including pictures and videos. We are still paying off credit card debts as we had to max them out in order to undo all the damage this ****** did to us. It cost us £25000 to redo the place. Our savings have been wiped out and 5 years later we are still paying for it. I sent you a message on your FB page and email address.

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I have also been a victim of John. Also known is JONSON DEVELOPMENTS LTD (included in case people google that - when we hired him I didn't have is surname to look for - I found nothing on Jonson, and am heartbroken to find plenty now I know he's also John Pearson).

We are pursuing him through Action Fraud - he has walked off with £27,500 of our money and has left my flat in ruins with no kitchen and no bathrooms - completely uninhabitable.

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Hello,

 

I am a victim of John "the mother******** conman" Pearson! He's walked off with ALOT of my money and left my flat in an uninhabitable mess.

 

It looks like I am the 5th person on this forum to fall for his lies - time to get Trading Standards onto him.

 

I would love to hear from you as there is no way I want him to be allowed to get away with it any more.

 

Do get in touch.

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Hello,

I am a victim of John "the mother******** conman" Pearson! He's walked off with ALOT of my money and left my flat in an uninhabitable mess.

It looks like I am the 5th person on this forum to fall for his lies - time to get Trading Standards onto him.

I would love to hear from you as there is no way I want him to be allowed to get away with it any more.

Do get in touch.

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1SLA, two of us have gone to Trading Standards and they know about him. I am happy to help you as he needs to be stopped.

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Just for added information

 

John Pearson links:

 

Jonson Develpoments Ltd

 

Status: ACTIVE

 

Company Number: 09084011

 

Company Type: Private Limited Company (PLC)

 

Incorporated: 12th June 2014

 

Registered Address: 365 Katherine Road, Forest Gate, London, E7 8LT

 

Directors:

 

Mr John Pearson, Year of Birth 1982, Appointed 12/06/2014

 

Mr Sunny Smith, Year of Birth 1990, Appointed 12/06/2014

 

Ownership (Shareholders):

 

Mr John Pearson, Shareholding - 50 Ordinary at £1.000000, Ownership - 50%

Mr Sunny Smith, Shareholding - 50 Ordinary at £1.000000, Ownership - 50%

 

Links to confirm the above information:

 

http://companycheck.co.uk/company/09084011/JONSON-DEVELOPMENTS-LTD/directors-secretaries

 

http://companycheck.co.uk/director/918850118

 

https://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/09084011

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

Now Mr Sunny Smith Director above is linked to:

 

Series Builders Ltd

 

Status: ACTIVE

 

Company Number:09366313

 

Company Type: Private Limited Company (PLC)

 

Incorporated: 23rd December 2014

 

Registered Address: 3 Parkway Cresent, London, Stratford, E15 1AB

 

Directors:

 

Mr Sunny Smith, Year of birth 1990, Appointed 23/12/2014

 

Ownership (Shareholders):

 

Mr Sunny Smith, Shareholding - 1 Ordinary at £1.000000, Ownership - 100%

 

Link to confirm the above information:

 

http://companycheck.co.uk/company/09366313

 

http://www.endole.co.uk/company/09366313/series-builders-ltd

 

https://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/09366313


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1SLA, two of us have gone to Trading Standards and they know about him. I am happy to help you as he needs to be stopped.

Absolutely, has anyone else had any luck retrieving their money or getting any legal action against him? How can I contact you outside of this forum?

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i would do a ccj search online. if they are not paying ccj's then it will be the same with you and you could waist your time going to court.

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Hello,

 

I am sadly a recent victim of John Pearson. We hired him to finish the renovations of our house. We extended the mortgage to do it and he did about a third of the work before making off with almost all of the money. He has not provided us with any of the materials we paid him for and has used one excuse after another before finally refusing to take our phone calls or return to site.

 

So far the work has taken ten weeks but was a five week project. Please get in touch with us as we would really like to find out how the below thread has progressed / action you have taken. We just wish we had seen this before.

 

Thank you,

 

Kate Daine

Edited by honeybee13
Phone number removed.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing problems.

 

I've removed your mobile number as we don't advise posting personal information on the forum. Previous contributors should have notification that you've posted and hopefully they will answer you.

 

I expect the forum regulars will be along later with advice for you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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report him to trading standards as others have done.

other than you can write( recorded ) giving him a date to complete or you will take him to court. ( LBA ).

getting a judgement and collecting any money is another thing.

 

 

At least TS should get him banned from being a director again?

 

 

I know its being wise after the event but never pay any money up front, only on completion and you are satisfied?

you have to do due diligence when engaging a builder; search for info. on net, check references, make sure they are aware of CDM ( construction design and management regulations - criminal not to comply ).

Use a contract, free from RIBA, surveyors or on the net.

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report him to trading standards as others have done.

 

.

 

Members of the public can no longer report anyone to TS. You have to do it through the Citizens' Advice consumer line. Google for the telephone number. If you them something the builder did that counts as 'misleading' then they will report to TS.

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