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Conservatory Roof - frustrated agreement?


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Thank you Bankfodder.  I used the term frustrated agreement purely based on my own research and what I found on the Govt's website, especially in relation to Covid.  My situation appeared to fit but if it doesn't, it doesn't.


The length of time the actual works themselves will take is not written into the agreement but I was told 2 weeks, they are doing the interior ceiling and electrics too.


I was prepared to accept the new date of 7th Dec until I was told I couldn't speak to their Director for two weeks and then found out that they haven't applied for building regulations yet, this is something else they are doing on my behalf.  As they can't order anything until they have the regs through I can't see how the roof is in the process of being made (which is what they keep claiming).


I contacted the CAB as I wanted this wrapped up for the weekend and had two conflicting recommendations on this forum.  One to just let the credit card company handle things and others saying I must give more time.  I'm not complaining, am grateful for advice - just getting more and more confused as to what I can/can't do.


If I can avoid it at all I would rather not go through another 6 weeks of this, waiting for them to prove that they can't manage the Dec.date.  By that stage it could well be feasible that the roof is in the manufacturing stage, where as at the moment it can't be, which would further complicate things.


Based on all this and what the CAB said I sent the email below last night and received Homeview's response this morning.


If it came to it that I retracted what I've said and allowed them to go ahead for 7th Dec. and they didn't manage that date, wouldn't it be the credit card company that would recover the deposit - not me?  BTW I raised a dispute with Capital One last night.

 

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Well I've told you my view and I don't really know what else to say.

 

If you had insisted at the outset that there would be no delay or maybe only a week and that time was of the essence and that the contract will be treated as terminated then, then you would have been able to terminate the contract without any legal risk.

As it is you have given the impression that you are prepared to wait until the 7th of December and I'm afraid that as you have suggested, they may well have started committing expenditure to the project and having parts manufactured so that if you suddenly give notice now they will quite rigid mostly say that they relied on you I'm because of that they started in currency expenses for which you should be liable.

 

You are in a good position because they have volunteered 7th of December deadline so it will not be possible for them to say that you insisted on it and prejudiced them.

once the 7th of December deadline has passed then certainly you should wait the further 7  days and issue the claim if they have not reimbursed you because you will already have sent them your letter of claim.

 

I agree from what you say that as they have not got the necessary permissions etc it seems unlikely that they will be ready in time but I'm afraid that as frustrating as it might be I think that you are safest waiting until their own voluntarily expressed deadline expires.

 

I know that it may be inconvenient for you and you would rather it was out of the way but I'm trying to recommend to you the safest option which will give you the most powerful case if it goes to court.

If it does go to the 14th of December and they haven't reimbursed you then suddenly you should begin your claim but also you can think about bringing in the credit card company and claiming it back. I would have thought it will be faster to issue the claim form.

 

Additionally if you claim your money back through the course you will be able to add 8% interest and also we can try to factor in any other additional expenses that you have incurred as a result of their breach.

 

I wouldn't say that the different advice you have received on this forum is conflicting. I would simply say that it may be different priorities have been called in and also the advice is coming in from a different angle.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you. It was week commencing 7/12 they offered so it’s just dawned on me that if they start as late in that week as 11th or 12th they won’t finish it in time for Xmas as they’ve already said they have a two week holiday. So they’ll leave it half completed. I can’t help feeling this has been done deliberately so I reject it. 
I’m not sure what I’ve done to give the impression I’m prepared to wait for the Dec date? All I said was that before I could consider it I wanted to speak to their director which they refused. 
I did express time was of the essence when I met him. I said I wanted it done for the start of winter not the end.  That’s when I had the assurance that it would definitely be done by Xmas, the 8-10 weeks would be an early to mid November start which still allowed time for hiccups along the way. I suppose as it’s not determined anywhere what is a ‘reasonable delay’ customers are held over a barrel. 
I’ve certainly learnt some lessons before I go into anything like this again and will make sure any agreement had no allowance for any delays. 

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I didn't say that you had agreed but I did say that it might be argued that by being complicit in the delay you had given a tacit agreement.

They might then be able to say that based upon this tacit agreement they had gone ahead and incurred expenses.

 

It would be nearly impossible to agree a contract with no possibility of delay.

It would be for a court to say whether a delay was reasonable in the circumstances.

You best position would be to agree a contract with a definite time for completion and then if it looked as if it was going to go over, the write and ask for updates and if they weren't forthcoming, make time of the essence and give them a goodwill extension of, say, 7 days.

 

One of your problems here is that you done things on the phone - no paper trail, no recordings.  Big Fail.

Read our customer services guide

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So I understand that the date the work is expected to start is the 7th - 12th.  Not the completion date.

And they have already reserved their position in respect of a holiday.

 

I think that you should write to them and request a completion date.

 

I think that you need to start taking back control - because you have lost control at the moment.

You need to set deadlines - and make time of the essence and tell the the consequences of not meeting their promised dates.

 

Have you told them that you know that the permissions have not yet been applied for?

 

Also, are you able to get a quote for the same work from someone else? - as well as a timescale?

 

 

 

Send them an SAR.  Do it now

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I had quotes and timescales back  in July/August from other companies which will not be valid now.

 

Ironically the reason I went with this company was because I felt I hit off with the guy that came to see me - the very director that I’m now banned from talking to! Had a very stressful lengthy building insurance claim 2 years ago and this is bringing it all back. 


Yes I told them in my email last night that I knew they hadn’t applied to the council and their reply this morning said they use a consultancy who apply to the council on their behalf. 


Have just called the council again and they’ve now told me that other people besides them can provide building regs certificates. As they say they haven’t had one applied for and Homeview have said their consultancy deals with the council on their behalf I don’t know what to think. 


I’m sure if I ask for a completed date and not a start date she will just say ‘as I said we will start w/c 7 Dec.’ 

 

BankFodder have just seen your comment that I’ve done everything by phone.

I haven’t and not sure where you’ve got that from?  All has been done via email. 


I had two things verbally from the director during his site visit - that it would take two weeks to install and all would be done by Xmas. 

 

Can you explain how I’ve been complicit in the delay?

I was expecting the works to be done early Nov and last week was told it would be February which I immediately rejected. I haven’t agreed to any delay?

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I gathered that after your protests they had come back with the 7th after which you didn't raise any further objection.

Is that wrong?

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They offered w/c 7 Dec on Tuesday of this week.  I didn't accept it or reject it. I just said it was better than Feb but still not what was agreed.  I said I wanted to speak with their director before I would consider it and she refused.

 

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Ok. That sounds better. How long ago did they offer the 7th

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OK.  Well I think that in that case you need to react quickly.

 

I think that you need to give them a start date and  completion date.  You must appear to be reasonable and to consider their interests as well as yours - although of course you will prioritise your interests.

 

So I suggest broadly that you send a letter laying out in a bullet pointed chronology the series of events which have occurred so far in terms of promises, failures to respond etc.

 

Tell them that you appreciate the difficulties caused by the current crisis - but they must realise that their customers are also affected.

 

Tell them that their poor communication or their refusal to communicate has added to the problems.

 

Tell them also that you have asked them to provide evidence of various expenditure and they have declined to give you the answers.  That you have asked then fo evidence that the permissions have been sought and they have not given you the assurances that you believe you are entitled to.

 

Tell them that the delays and poor communication have gone on long enough.  Furthermore the way that have been dealing with you has undermined your confidence.

 

Tell them that their most recent promise of 7th to 12th December is far too vague and in any event because it is likely that the work would be interrupted by their 2 week Christmas holiday, that takes you to a completion date into January 2021 at the earliest.

 

You are talking about a contract worth quite a substantial sum and so you are not prepared to let things go on this way any longer.

 

In view of all of the above difficulties which have been of their making, you are giving them notice that time is of the essence and if the work is not started in 14 days at the latest with a completion date of the end of November then you will consider that the contract has been terminated by their breach.

 

Tell them that additionally you want a written undertaking within 7 days that they will commence and complete the work as require and that if this written assurance is not forthcoming, then you will treat the contract as terminated on the 8th day.

 

+++++++++++++

Most of this letter is to lay down a paper trail of sorts - which you have failed to do.

The detailed explanation in the letter is partly for the benefit if the supplier - but mainly for the court if it goes that way.

Draft the letter and post it up here for us to see.  Keep it pointed and not too much narrative

 

I told you earlier to send them an SAR immediately.  Have you done that?

 

 

 

 

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I do have a paper trail of all quotes, contracts, emails, I'm not missing anything and have written notes too.
I haven't sent a SAR - have been working and I don't know what it is?

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click sar <<<<<

It's all there

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Thank you.  I'm not too concerned about personal info they may hold but would sending this mean they have to disclose where the order is, what stage it's at, who's applying for building regs and how far they've got with it?  Sorry I'm just trying to understand how sending this will help me.

 

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Just send it.  It's free and you never know, it might turn up something useful.

It also asserts yourself

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Also send the SAR and the letter I have suggested - separately - in separate envelopes.

Both recorded 

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