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Who do I chase for the debt


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I am probably one of many people on this forum who has experienced a cowboy builder but any views on how to pursue costs would be much appreciated

 

A JCT small works contract (value £50k+) was signed personally with the builder with his home address in February 2014. In addition to this we had an offer of acceptance letter for his building company (Ltd). The company was registered in the wife's name.

 

Unknown to us he had already registered a new phoenix company in January 2014. His company went into liquidation in April/May 2014. The new phoenix company carried on the work until we terminated his services in September 2014. We have had major delays and quality issues throughout the build. The builder was notified in August of the intention to pursue LDs. Build was technically completed in December 2014 and I am out of pocket due to structural repairs etc. Excluding LDs I could probably pursue via small claims.

 

There is a track record of not paying suppliers or subcontractors, or paying late. This has happened to at least 3 other customers and many suppliers.

 

The chances of recovering any money are very slim. My assumption is that he will continue to avoid my requests to discuss the final account and LDs. I have heard he will be closing the phoenix company soon to avoid associated liabilities.

 

Can I pursue him personally based on the JCT signed or does the letter of acceptance mean the contract was with the company now in liquidation? I never had any contract (verbal or written) with regard to the phoenix company. We did make some payments to the new company in desperation to get the build progressed.

 

Sorry for the long message but any feedback gratefully received!

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