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LORD ROOFING AND GROUNDS WORKS LTD Refusing to Repair Poorly Laid Driveway and Using Intimidation to Enforce Payment


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Please tell us the name of the company.

 

 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to LORD ROOFING AND GROUNDS WORKS LTD Refusing to Repair Poorly Laid Driveway and Using Intimidation to Enforce Payment

Thanks for posting this up again. It's much clearer but still we don't really understand the bottom line.

You entered into four separate contracts but basically for the same job with Lord Roofing and Groundworks LTD

 

You have paid down payments on various aspects of the work – maybe you could give us a total.

I understand that two of the projects relating to the porch and the guttering have been completed and paid in full and I get the impression that there is no problem with these. Is this correct?

If that is the case, I understand that we are dealing with two pieces of work: one to the rear patio and one to the front drive. Is this correct? These are the jobs which are going wrong is this correct?

If I have understood this correctly then I'm afraid already you've been complicating the issue by referring to matters which are not in dispute.

It would be helpful simply to distil the outstanding issues so we can understand exactly what the dispute is about.

We don't need to have a complete timeline but it is certainly confusing that you have told us that the porch has been fully paid and that there are no issues with that and yet you have gone on to tell us about problems with some post which was put up which was incorrect in its dimensions but presumably has now been resolved.

It would be helpful if you could simply post the story as it refers to the disputed parts of the contract and keep it short.

 

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If you don't mind, I would rather you simply posted up your replies without simply annotating my own post.

It's much easier to deal with and also we don't have to put up with a quoted text.

I realise that I seem to have been hassling you for this kind of stuff since you joined us but it's much easier for us and you'll get into the mindset very soon

 

Also, it's unhelpful if you simply answer by referring to information that you may have post in the earlier post.

I'm trying to get it into one place I don't have to keep on bobbing around the thread to put together the information I need.

Just tell it in one single story as if you were telling somebody in a pub.

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Thank you.

You said that it has now been sent to a collections company. You should ignore them. There is nothing they can do unless they take you to court. If they write to you, tell us about it – but don't respond.

You say that an additional £2378 is now being claimed. In respect of what?

Does Lord Roofing and Groundworks consider that the work is finished? If so, on what date to they claim to have finished?

Apart from your position that the work hasn't been completed to a satisfactory standard, is there any outstanding work? When should the work has been completed?

You say that there has been some written agreement. Please can you put it up here in PDF format.

 

Have you had any independent inspections of the work?

I think independent inspections are going to be a necessary next step. I would suggest that you get one independent inspection and also a costing for remedial work to bring it up to a satisfactory standard if the inspection agrees that the work is of poor quality.

If an initial inspection concurs with your view of the quality of the job, then probably you will have to write to Lord Roofing and Groundworks with a copy of the inspection and inform them that if they want to dispute it then you will be commissioning further independent inspections and which if those inspections confirm the situation, you will be adding the cost of any of those inspections to the amount which you will eventually be claiming from them.

Please can you answer the questions which I have asked above and also start looking around somebody who will be qualified to carry out an assessment of the work. At this point, you don't need to have somebody who is absolutely an expert. You need an initial opinion from somebody who is "competent" but who will give you a written assessment. There may will be a fee for this but if your opinion is borne out then you will eventually be able to recover the money from your contractor.

We need to do this methodically, step-by-step. The business of preparation and information gathering is essential – especially when dealing with Lord Roofing and Groundworks which seemed to be a particularly aggressive company on this matter.

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We'd like you to post these documents in a single file multipage PDF please.

If the file contains four different documents then identify each one by writing of the top what it refers to.

In terms of your document containing the terms and conditions, that is a multipage single file document – but they are simply photographs and very unhelpful. We need documents properly scanned.

Given the value of this issue, it really shouldn't be any kind of problem to scan the documents properly and to present them properly in a way that you would like to receive them if you are providing help to someone.

Thanks

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In terms of your contacts with this company, I would tend to cease contacting until you have got your own independent information. 
What you want is your own independent inspection.

You say that you are waiting for a number of quotes – but this doesn't suggest to me that you are getting a proper independent inspection followed up by report – and then a quote.

At the moment you don't need lots of them. You only need one. Has to be somebody from a reputable independent person or company that is experienced in the area that we are dealing with.

How long ago did you start putting these "quotes" in hand? It wouldn't at all surprise me to find that if tradespeople discover that they are possibly in the middle of some kind of dispute, that they may be reluctant to go any further. Partly because they don't like that kind of thing – and also possibly because they figure that there really isn't any money in it for them and you are simply trying to get an assessment but no work will be heading their way.

You do need a written assessment and a written report.

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An initial report is essential – and in writing giving a description of the work, reporting on the quality of the work and remedial work needed.

At this point, I don't think you need to go for a top expert report but a report from a competent professional who is prepared to set it all out carefully – and not simply a handwritten estimate for works.

If you are view of the quality the workers confirmed then we will contact the other side and let them know and are some of their comments and tell them that you are proposing to put a proper form inspection in hand and invite them to suggest independent experts who might be prepared to do this.
The important thing is to give them an opportunity to cooperate. If they refuse to provide you with any names then you are then activity to choose your own inspector.

The fact that they give you some names of course could mean that the names they suggest are not independent – and you will have to do your own work on this.

Is Lord Roofing and Groundworks a member of any professional association? Is there a professional association that deals with this kind of thing? Because eventually you might ask them for a list of experts.

However at the moment, I think the important thing is to get a competent report – well presented – and without spending too much money.

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In terms of the report carrying out "weight" – you only need to be concerned about this when you are having reports commissioned because you will be relying on those reports when you start litigating.

Even then, if you get two or three or even four reports from competent professionals, well presented and broadly coming to the same conclusion, then combined they would have enough weight.

It would then be for the other side to have their own reports produced in rebuttal.

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Okay. Although they seem to have missed the fact that they are bound by that term, you will see need to show that they have fallen short of that standard and by and large they haven't admitted that.

So what you have produced is very helpful, you now need to get an assessment which shows that they have fallen below the standard.

Make sure that whatever assessment you get refers to that pretty standard – and to that term in the contract and specifically concludes that the work full short of that standard.

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That could be helpful – but I have to say that I would have been more comfortable getting an independent inspection first.
Although it would be a very good idea to get the manufacturer installed at some point, it is highly likely that they will enter into an independent exchange of correspondence with Lord. You won't know what is being said or discussed and at the end of the day you can't be too certain where the interests of the manufacturer lay.

If Lord are a frequent/regular customer of the manufacturer then the manufacturer may find that they have a bit of a dilemma because they won't want to lose a good business customer.

I suppose that it is you who has put this enquiry in hand but I think that you have gotten ahead of yourself and it would be better to get at least one independent assessment first of all because then if you had decided to bring the manufacturer in, you would have a documented assessment to show to them and this would have put you in a stronger position.

I'm afraid that by alerting the manufacturer before you are ready with all of your own authoritative assessments, you are ceding control.

I hope it doesn't cause problems – but at the end of the day, all of these people are serving their own economic interests
 

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They could certainly produce it in court if they wanted but to what purpose?

You have said nothing here that suggests that you are trying to invent stories or to somehow gain and unfair advantage over them. You have said nothing here which is dishonest or otherwise than straight dealing.

We are simply having an honest discussion and giving you the best advice we can – and you really shouldn't worry about them finding this discussion.

If anything, if they saw this discussion they would become anxious about having this kind of thing going down over the Internet.

Please don't worry about it. We would not put you in jeopardy and as long as you are honest and straight dealing then everything is fine.

 

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Good. Well done.

When you get report, tell us all about it and then we will figure out the best way to present it to Lord and to invite them for their comments.

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They have brought a single claim for more than £10,000 so it is quite likely that it would go on to the fast track and as you have already understood, this would mean liability for a large proportion of the costs by the loser.



Please can you post up the claim form here in pdf format.

How are you doing on your inspections and reports?

 

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My bad. For some reason rather I thought it was the claim form.

My site team colleague above is absolutely correct.

Please will you post up a copy of the letter of claim here.

Also, as I've already asked – how are you getting on with your own inspections and assessments?

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Sorry, I got badly sidetracked and eventually forgot to come back here.

The so-called letter of claim which they have sent you doesn't appear to be a "letter of claim". It doesn't make it clear that there is a deadline and it is simply a rather more generalised threat.

I suggest that you hold fast and get your survey and then let's see what it says.

Also, I suggest that you keep all your correspondence with Lord Roofing and don't bother to reply to these people at all.

If you start responding to them that it validates their existence. No need to go down that road.

I see that you expected to get the report today. Has it arrived?

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Not just busy – but then went on to forget. Please don't be shy about giving me a shout @BankFodder if I haven't responded at some point.

The report seems amazing – how much did that cost you?

It certainly bears out everything you say – as far as I can understand it. It seems very well expressed and even as a layperson I can get a fairly good understanding of it even on one quick reading.

I have a sense that quite frankly it's not a question of correcting the job but a question of lifting it all up and redoing it. Is that your view?

Have you had any quotations for any works to it?

Are there any circumstances under which you would accept the work in this condition – and I suppose I'm talking about reduction in price or foregoing payment altogether?

Are there parts of the work which must absolutely be redone and other parts which can be accepted if suitable terms are offered?

It certainly seems to me that there are two aspects which will need to be completely redone. I gather that some of the workers being laid on existing concrete which means that it is impermeable which I suppose means that water will not drain away.

Secondly, that some of its slopes towards the house which of course will feed water and damp into your home.

Is this the correct understanding?

 

 

It seems to me that the cost of undoing all the work and then carrying out the work again but to the original contractual specification is going to be far more than the £10,000 that they are seeking from you.

Can you remind me how much of their so-called claim is made up of the work which was intended to be a goodwill gesture?

Have you got this goodwill gesture in writing?

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I think that this constant reference to the goodwill element of this contract is unhelpful. It's not the principal issue and it seems just to be diverting you – and rather the same way that in your opening post you started talking about work which had been carried out satisfactorily and which we now understand is not in issue at all.

The situation here is that there are two pieces of work which were carried out and according to the assessment which you have just received, the standard work was so poor that really the whole thing needs to be taken up and redone.
Is that a correct assessment?

What was the proposed cost of the work which was done? How much have you paid towards it? How much is outstanding?

They apparently are proposing to chase you for about £10,900 that it seems to me that the issue is far larger than that.

You say that you have had a very rough estimate of about £15,000 to have the existing shoddy work taken up and replaced to proper standard.

We are going to have to do get some definite figures here and also at least one quotation – and preferably two.

Once you have had some quotes for the work then that will be the time to send a copy of your report to Lord and to ask them to comment and invite them to carry out their own inspection if they wish.

At this point in order to avoid escalating the conflict more than necessary, I don't think you should refer to the cost of the report – but certainly if they lead you into litigation as I'm sure they most certainly will, then you should include the cost of this report and any others.

It seems to me that they say that you are than £10,900 but you will be saying that they are you about £15,000. As you are aware, this takes you well over the small claims limit.
Rather than planned and actual litigation, for the moment I think we should simply play it by ear. See what their reaction is when they have received your report and a quote – although let's see a quote here first.

It may be more prudent simply to show them the report and keep the quotation for the work back until we see how they react to the report.

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Please hold off sending the report at the moment.

I suggest very strongly that you post a draft of any communication with them up here before you send it for us to have a look and see what you are proposing to say.

I appreciate the getting the quotes is difficult – but I don't think that we need to react in a panic to them. You have an excellent report there for which you paid good money, let's hold fire and use it in the most effective way possible. And that means – not yet.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Please monitor this thread for a reply tomorrow. However, there can be no attempt to make you bankrupt without a judgement in court and nobody has issued any proceedings yet.

You don't need to worry about this.

 

 

Edited by BankFodder
Incorrect info
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Firstly I have to apologise because I told you that there was nothing to worry about in respect of the statutory demand but having flagged it up to my site team colleague, it appears that I was completely wrong.

I'm sorry for misleading you and even more importantly I can imagine that seeing the correction made by my site team colleague has worried you even more.

I'm afraid I've been away for quite a while so I'm trying to get my head back into the loop.

It looks to me as if you are going to have to go ahead and make a claim in order to move this forward and also to protect yourself.

The problem is that the quote you have takes you too much more than £10,000 which puts you into the fast track and as you know there is a risk of paying the costs of the other side if you lose the case. Also, having seen how assertive/bullish this company is, I can imagine that they will spare no expense in trying to defeat you.

At the outset you said that your arrangement with the builders was that there were four separate contracts.

It seems to me that a good tactic would be to identify one of the contracts and the failings on that contract and the cost of remedying the situation on that particular contract which I expect will come in at far less than £10,000 and then sue on that.

If this idea appeals to you then clearly we need to move things along. It's already been stalling and I realise that this seems to be caused by the problem of getting people to give you quotations for the work. 

 

If you want to go ahead on this basis then please can you let us know which one of the contracts shows the most problems and which may be easiest to prove. You need to get a quote simply to remedy that piece of work.

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In terms of the statutory demand, I think that we need input from @Andyorch.

 

Meanwhile, we need to proceed independently with beginning your claim.

Of course you could contest a claim in the fast track and without legal representation but as I've already said you lay yourself open to paying a substantial part of the other side's costs if you lose. Of course if you win then you will also recover your own costs on a litigant person basis. However your adversaries here will without a doubt instruct solicitors and incur a considerable amount of expenses which will also put a lot of psychological pressure on you as you realise that your risk factor starts to mount up.

Claiming for the two contracts as separate claims is exactly what I'm suggesting. I think that you should do one at a time. There is a risk that if you claim for both at the same time that the defendants might make an application to have them joined as they are related to substantially the same transaction and substantially the same facts.
The thing to do is to deal with one at a time. This will make it easier to focus and also reduce your risk factor in terms of the cost of the claim and also the risk of having to bear the other side's costs if you happen to lose.

You've identified two contracts – rear patio and front drive.

Which piece of work is more seriously defective and in terms of the assessments you have obtained so far, which one is more easily provable?

You will have to have a quote in place for the remedial work to each one of them separately

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Suggestions to make in terms of getting a quote for the work. It's really quite essential and has to be the next step we understand how much you are going to claim for.

I must say I would have gone for the smaller job myself because the risk factors are far less and also you could consider it as a kind of exploratory claim and only that if you won that claim then there would be a good chance that they might put their hands up in respect of the rest. Bring the claim in respect of the smaller contract with send them a message that you are serious and that the claim for the larger contract will be on its way real soon.

We've been through the whole of August and no quotes have been obtained – but instead the delayed silence is now prompted the other side to take actions in respect of statutory demands. This is partly because of their assertive style but also because they will be have the impression that you are simply trying to let it go quiet and avoid paying.

I'm sure you realise how important this is but you now need to prioritise it – even if it means that you're going to have to pay for the quotes but it is extremely important. I think it would be difficult to move forward without this and they have upped the ante and so I think that the matter is even more pressing

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Andyorch - as just let me know that he will be along later to get involved with the statutory demand problem.

Meanwhile, on the rear patio claim, please could you post up the inspection report or that portion of it, and also the quote – or that portion of it which refers solely to that. I'd like to disentangle all the stuff so that the issue is completely clear to me.

To forget that you have first hand experience. We are simply trying to understand what is going on through what we are receiving here

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Notwithstanding the need to prioritise the statutory demand, I think it will be worth making sure that you are fully prepared in terms of reports and quotations to launch your claim the moment that the statutory demand matter has been dealt with.

This might give you extra time to try and get further reports - mainly on the rear patio claim – but on the front one as well

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Please wait for a reply tomorrow.

 

However I think that you will need to issue a letter of claim for the patty of work which we have already discussed and this letter of claim should be referred to in your more request to set aside the statutory demand

 

 

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