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Tariq2009

Builder has issued a Letter before Claim over a disputed Build Cost

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I had builder coming in to do extension work

 

Cut long story to short

we agreed on price

they came and worked 8 hours in 2 days and one of them asked me for some payment

i paid £500 and they didn't come for 2 days

 

turned up on 3rd day and made an excuse that they cant find the required doorframe

i called them

they promised to come after a week as one is sick and other one on holiday

 

When the week finished i ask them what are you guys up to

they start making excuses like they needed a skip so they could clear rubbish in the garden

i told them that's not the priority, do the interior work and by the the time you finish i would have ordered the skip as it take upto a week to order

 

They went funny

they are not coming until i get the skip which made me angry and told them not to come

i asked them to give me my money back and i refused to let them take their tools they have left at my property

It escalated to them accusing me of robbing them of their own tools

 

they turned up at my property

they called the police

police told them they will not get involved which they did not like

 

After that incident they saw me at one of the guys building, i didn't know they were working in there

they saw me and got physical and snached my phone

 

i reported this to the police

they asked me to leave the site and see them in the police station for an interview which i did

i was told by police they will not get involved in this as it is civil matter but the police officer said that he will call the builders and warn them that physical behavior is not acceptable if they acted like again the police will get involved .

 

After this i have received the letter below from the builder which i ignored them .

Today i have police visiting me asking for the tools and telling me that i cant keep their tools as it is theft of tools which really got me angry

i said ok fine you get my money back from them and take the tools

 

they said this is a civil matter

well then if you take tools and wont give them back to them that is the leverage

 

i got on to them to get my money back so you are more welcome to take them but take they wont take responsibility for the money back

 

they then said are you happy for us to hold the tools until you guys resolve the matter

i said fine as long you promise not to give them back its fine

 

they looked at the tools and kind of backed down holding on the tools saying there is too many

they admitted they only came because they were told by the builder that i sold the tool

i said look they all here they're no good to me

 

they then took pictures of the tools to show them and ask me not sell them as that is not legal and will get back to me and they left .

 

What is the best way i can deal with them now

 

thanks

letter prior to court action.pdf

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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Hi.

 

I've edited some paragraphs into your post so we can read it more easily.

 

Could you resave your jpegs as pdf files please? They're too small to read. Our upload guide may help.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Did you have a contract or any sort of written agreement with the builders please?

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
Typo

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Regardless of what happened, you cannot keep the tools as leverage or hostage.

You take the builder to court.

 

From reading the letter he has sent you its a labour only contract.

Your to source everything else.

 

If what the builder is saying is true, and its not uncommon from answers and a timeline they have given, from any other builder.

For example they didn't want to leave your house unsecured when they couldn't source a door frame.

That's reasonable.

 

From your story and their letter I'm of the feeling you'll lose

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Thread moved to the appropriate forum...please continue to post here to your thread.

 

 

Andy


We could do with some help from you.

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For example they didn't want to leave your house unsecured when they couldn't source a door frame. That's reasonable.

 

From your story and their letter I'm of the feeling you'll lose

and i went and bought the frame from wicks and got someone else to fit it for me .

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Did you have a contract or any sort of written agreement with the builders please?

 

HB

nope and they agreed with me £1600 to do the job and in this letter they just put figure of £2200 which is wrong

 

they only came 2 days turing up @ 11 and leaving @ 3pm

 

all of the hours on the letter are lies

they only put 10 plaster boards on in 2 days within 8 hours which i was being reasonable and told oke there was 2 of them £150 for the main guy and the helper £100 for 8 hours you spend £250 plus £50 as a good faith keep £300 and return me £200

 

As you see from the letter they Put the £1600 to £2200 to justify their time spent and also asking me that i owe them more

Edited by honeybee13
english

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doc converted to PDF in 1st post.

 

can you try and read your posts first tariq before sending as some of the english you've used makes it difficult to correctly understand the story.

I've done my best with post 1 for you.


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

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If they agreed to do it for £1600 I take it you have it in writing

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thread title updated to better reflect your issue


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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If they agreed to do it for £1600 I take it you have it in writing

 

The letter in post #1 says a quote for £2200 was emailed on 22/2/18.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Firstly, I think that although it sounds a bit extreme, I think that you are entitled to keep their tools in the circumstances and I certainly don't see any basis for saying that it is theft. However, you are responsible for keeping them in good condition and safe. If I were you I would take pictures of them – although you should done that immediately to show the condition and to show what you have. Be prepared eventually for someone to say that the tools are damaged or that they are not all there. That would certainly give you a problem.

 

  • I understand that you contracted to have work done. You say it was for £1600. They say it was £2200.
  • You don't say what the work was or how long it was going to take. Are you able to tell us how long it was going to take?
  • After two days of work they asked for a payment on account and you paid them £500. This is a very normal arrangement.
  • However, they then failed to turn up and do any more work for two days.
  • On the third day they turned up but did not do any work because they said they needed certain materials.
  • After that you telephoned them – presumably to see where they were – and they told you that one of them is ill and the other one is on holiday.
  • A dispute developed and they refused to continue work and you then told them not to come back and that you wanted the return of your money.
  • You also said that you would not allow them to take back their tools unless they had returned your money.
  • There have then been several comings and goings and the police have been involved but by and large nothing has changed the situation.
  • A little while later, you met one of them and he snatched your telephone from you. – Has this been returned to you and is it in good condition?

 

They are now threatening to sue you.

 

They say that they have emailed you a written quotation. Is that correct? Does it detail the work to be done? Does it say that the cost of the work is £1600 or does it say that it is £2200?

 

I think you need to list out the work that you commissioned from them and then I think you need to indicate what parts of that work have been done and what remains undone.

I think it would also be worth getting an idea of how long, in principle, work like this would take to be done if it was being done on a daily basis.

 

Under normal circumstances you would be required to pay them for as much work as has been done. However, if it is possible to say that no part of the work has actually been finished – for instance a wall has not been fully plastered, then you probably wouldn't be required to pay for that. On the other hand, if all the walls are plastered but they have not been painted, then it is probably possible to say that the plastering is a task on its own which has been completed and the painting is a separate task. In that case, you would be liable to pay for the completed task and it would probably be unreasonable for you to withhold payment for the whole job.

It's all a bit involved and it's all about something called "severable contracts" where you can identify the various jobs which make up the entire contract and you can reasonably give a value to each part which has been fulfilled.

 

So for instance, if the job entails interior decorating and exterior decorating and they only complete the interior part, then it would be unreasonable for anyone to refuse to pay for the whole job. The client have at least to pay for the completed part of the contract – the interior decorating.

I feel I'm getting a bit over involved here and not explaining myself very well. I hope you get the picture.

 

What we need here is to understand what the entire contract was for, and what has been completed. When we know that we can then figure out what you should reasonably pay for in order to bring the whole arrangement between yourself and the builders to an end. It's clear that the confidence between you is so badly damaged that it will not be possible for them to continue the work for you – and I expect that you wouldn't want that.

 

I think also you need to get an assessment as to the value of the tools. You have paid them £500. If they have done less than £500 worth of work then clearly they should reimburse you and it might be reasonable to hang onto the tools or some of them until that money is forthcoming. On the other hand if it turns out that the value of the work they have done is more than £500 then you should return the tools and pay them the extra money.

 

One thing you should understand is that if it turns out that you owe them money and yet you are hanging onto the tools, then they could reasonably bring an action against you in trespass to their property.

 

Withholding access to the property is a good move, but you need to calculate things very carefully if you want to avoid trouble in the end.

 

Once again, list out the work which has been commissioned. List out the work that has been done. You will also eventually need to get an independent assessment of the cost of completing the contracted work by somebody else and also the value of the work that has been done.

 

You're going to need to do this very quickly.

This could exceptionally be a case which would be suitable for mediation.


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both you and the builder keep banking on about the time they spent there, that is immaterial and unless you said the work must be completed by such a date it is for them to decide how they fit it in with other jobs they are running at the time.

 

You need to respond to this letter by stating what you agreed at the time,

why they have failed to keep their side of the contract and what you believe is the current situation regarding the alleged debt.

 

for example, if they fitted the door frame badly did you give them a chance to redo the work?

 

If their work is below an acceptable standard you can invoice them for your additional costs in remedying their mistakes.

 

Also find out if they belong to a trade association like the Federation of Master Builders as they have free mediation and arbitration schemes.

Edited by dx100uk
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Sorry, but I disagree with this. I think it is very clear that there will always be an implied term that the work must be completed within a reasonable time. Furthermore, if there are delays and breaks in the work being done then I think that there is also an implied term that the customer is kept appraised of the situation and understands which days there will be no work and when the work will be resumed.

 

It is not possible for a builder or any other service provider to treat a contract is completely open-ended in terms of the time for completion simply because it has never been discussed or agreed.


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the pertinent thing here is reasonable.

 

i wouldnt suggest that any agreement is open ended but the OP wasnt employing them on a day rate so whether they arrived late or early is immaterial to actualy getting the job done in a timely manner.

For example, you wouldnt fit a door into new brickwork the same day nor lay tiles on a new concrete floor because they need time to set properly. The time taken to do a part of the job has no bearing on thie waiting time for such things.

 

that doesnt excuse rudeness or bullying by the builders though and clearly they have failed to communicate properly with the customer both at the outset and later on as the work and its problems developed

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By and large I think you're wrong.


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