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Aspire Housing Solutions Ltd Withholding deposit


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Hi,

-contract signed 24/11/20

-deposit paid by bank transfer £3725.90 29/11/20

- cheque received for £3103.31 10/12/20

Builder retained;

£322.59 IWA fee 

£300 admin fee

 

-I have not cashed cheque as I don’t want this to be an assumption of settlement.

-Builder refuses to pay back £622.59 of remaining deposit

 

kind regards 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was there any covering letter accompanying the return of the deposit?

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Also have you made any response to them in respect of the cheque which you have received?

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Thank you.

Firstly, I think you should cash the cheque you have received. There is nothing that I see that suggest that the cheque has been paid to conditionally – and even if it were, I'm not really certain that it would be possible to contract out of distance selling rules under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

You should cash the cheque because firstly, it means that you've got the money away from the builder. It seems unlikely that this builder is going to find themselves in trouble – but better safe than sorry.
Secondly, you have a duty to mitigate your loss and the builder has paid you the cheque and by cashing it, you are reducing the issue to a mere £600 or so. If you sued for the entire £3700, it is very likely that the builder would at least defend on the fact that you had been paid over £3000 and that it was your decision not cash the cheque.
I suspect that a court would be swayed by this argument and it could have an effect on any award of costs against you – even if you won the case for the rest.
Thirdly, if you reduce the size of the issue by £3000 then if you have to bring a claim, the cost of bringing the claim will be substantially less in terms of a reduced claim fee and also a reduced hearing fee if it goes to a hearing.

I don't see any disadvantage to you in presenting the cheque for £3000 immediately. I only see advantages.

I'm becoming a bit cautious here because I'm starting to understand that you don't necessarily give us the whole story at one go. Is there anything in your dealings or in correspondence with the builder which might be construed as having agreed that certain works or applications et cetera could be commenced before the expiry of the 14 day cancellation period?

It is essential to know this because this would form the basis of any defence the builder might rely on if you bring a court action.
 

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COVERING LETTER TO DEPOSIT.docx

 

 

No costs of indemnity insurance was ever discussed. This is a service the builder claims they provide for all cases and merely said you will get a certificate direct from the insurance company. Nor is there anything in the cancellation clause about this.

 

We have only signed contract once. when he brought it around on the 24th Nov. So his paragraph about two contracts is incorrect and assume he refers to us first advising him that we were concerned with reviews on his company and knowing the current safety problems on site at a colleagues premises. A structurally unsound roof, external walls not straight, an unregistered engineer removing a gas boiler flu (my partner was paid to go and make safe), unlevel floors with incorrect materials being used.

 

The survey he refers to was his partner coming around to measure three windows that would be replaced as part of the build on the 13th day of cooling off period. We sent the cancellation at 15.26hrs and his appointment was due at 1600hrs. He was at my colleagues house that day which is 15 minutes away. So he was in the are he works, and would not have been able to attend before 1600hrs as I would have been at work. He had already tried to attend that morning at 1000hrs and I said no as I was working.

 

I have not argued with them the inaccuracies because we are in our cooling off period, the cancellation clause says full reimbursed, no mention of insurance nor admin fees. So didn't want to waste any energy on negativity.

 

He has replied via email which is incoherent and said he refuses to pay. 

 

The cancellation clause states reimbursed by means paid. 

I will follow your advice and cash the cheque, although this will mean driving 30 minutes to the nearest bank, paying for parking. So its the inconvenience and doesn't follow his contract. Should I advise him that although I will cash the cheque it does not mean I accept that as closure?   

 

I am sorry you feel I have held information from you, that was not the intent but I just gave you the facts that relate to anything in writing of the signed contract.

 

Nothing in writing nor discussion was mentioned at any time of any costs being passed to us if we cancelled during the cooling off period.  When we first asked for reassurance that we would not have the same issues with our build as my colleague had experienced, he emailed saying he would rather we cancel than have nervous customers before the build had even started.

 

 

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Please will you post up the incoherent email.

Yes you may as well send him a note telling him that you will be cashing the cheque and that he shouldn't take it as an acceptance of his position.

If you can sending this note this morning, then I would wait until tomorrow to cash the cheque just to see if he makes any response. However, even if he raises an objection – I don't see anything in the correspondence which suggests that the payment has been made conditionally. In any event, the 2013 Regulations would not permit him to apply conditions to this reimbursement.

Under the 2013 regulations, he is not permitted to start any work before the expiry of the cancellation notice unless the matter has been agreed with you. This is why ask you to be very certain that he is not going to be able to point to some conversation and say that that amounted to an agreement that certain work would be started.

You say that there was an attempt to visit your premises for some purpose at 10 o'clock in the morning – was this by agreement? Did you know anything about this? There was then an actual visit later on that day. Was that by agreement? Did you know about that?

 

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Great thank you. Windows were going to be replaced before the build works. But we were never given a date for when this would be verbally January sometime. 

We were promised that he would provide a project plan/timeline of works as we needed to arrange a test dig ourselves before any works could start. But we couldn’t book this until we had a start date from Aspire. 
 

Re measuring the windows, it was arranged for 1600hrs about a week before verbally.  I received a text the morning of the appointment that he will see me at 1000hrs. I immediately replied saying no our appointment is at 1600 because I have work so it cannot be before that time. To which he said ok I’ll see you at 1600

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I hope you can see that that nearly every step of the way, we just happened to stumble on more information.

Now if finding out that there was an agreement to have some building works – but before that they were going to be some window replacements for which you didn't receive a date. We don't know whether the deposit and the withheld money relates to the building works or to the window replacement or when the windows agreement was made – or maybe it was part of the building works.
We also now find that you had agreed that some work would be commenced before the end of the cancellation period – and although this work was agreed verbally, the fact is that it was agreed – and there was even then a texted attempt to make an appointment which you then changed to a later appointment.

You should certainly cash the cheque that you have received and reduce the issue to the 600 odd pounds – as I have already suggested above – and for the reasons I suggested above.

You can also begin a claim for the balance, but it seems to me that you are dealing with a firm of builders here who are pretty determined to hang onto some of your money. Also, you can be pretty certain that they have got a very good detail – at least their version – of everything they say that they did for you and maybe they will say that it was all done by agreement – in which case you may have a fight on your hands in court.

I think if you want further help from us then you really are going to have to tell us very carefully what was agreed, when it was agreed, what the agreed price was, what bits of advance work were agreed – either verbally or in writing – and please don't make the mistake of thinking that a verbal agreement has no binding effect. You will be catastrophically wrong.

Frankly once you have whittled this issue down to a dispute over about £600, it seems to me that you are no longer in a hurry and you may as well start acquiring detailed information so that you are fully prepared and you have a better understanding of what they think which will help you to understand your own position.

I would suggest that you send them a subject access request. This requires that they disclosed to you all the personal data that they hold on you within 30 days. On that basis you should get a full file of their view of any agreements, arrangements, verbal or non-verbal et cetera.
I think this will give you a good picture of where you are, what you can claim for and your chances of success.

I think you need to look very carefully at the way that you are telling us your story. I feel that you are rationing it out to us and of course it makes our life much more difficult and it doesn't help you in the slightest bit.

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PDF inaccessible 

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I see that you have asked for your account to be deleted.

If you want it deleted then we can do that without any problem and remove all of the personal details that you might have included as part of your registration process.

However, we don't remove published material from the forum

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