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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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I’ve re-posted my thread as suggested by BankFodder. I did not mean to offend or upset anyone. I thought by posting as much detail as possible in my previous thread I was ensuring that the information was there to hand.

 

I appreciate that this is a free website and I’m very grateful for any help and support that can be provided to help with my situation.

I’ve re posted the key facts and details of my situation, and if there are any questions/further information required then I’m happy to provide it.

 

 

Background

 

I contracted a building company (LTD) to undertake various ground and roof works for my property which I own. I contracted them as they are a large firm and I wanted some comeback if things went wrong etc. How foolish I was. The work has started late, taken multiple weeks to complete and is now is such a poor standard I’m quite embarrassed. Please see below for a timeline.

Work was agreed with Company director (who later I was told only deals with roofing). His brother is the Groundworks director. Four separate contracts for different projects were written up. These contracts are vague and do not have details as to what work will be carried

 

Work 1 Rear Patio, total £2,650.00. Deposit Paid - £530.00

Work 2 Front Drive total £7,888.00. Deposit Paid - £1,577.60

Work 3 Porch roof total £1,678.00. Deposit Paid - £335.60

Work 4 guttering total £3,456.00. Deposit Paid - £691.20  

 

The dispute and issues are with Work 1 and Work 2. Work 3 and Work 4 have been paid in full.

 

 

Timeline

·         12/3/21- Company contracted to repair porch roof, guttering and block pave front garden and portion of rear garden. Deposit of £3134 paid and agreed on start date of 26/4/21

·         23/4/21- email sent to company asking when work will commence as no confirmation or information given by company. I was informed that there were delays due to materials. Advised scaffolding will go up on30/4/21 and works will commence 4/5/21.    

·         14/5/21-invoice received for work 3 and 4  

·         17/5/21- invoice paid for roof and guttering £4107

·         1/6/21- work commenced on front drive (works 3). Issues raised as the porch builders left a supporting wooden post on bricks, which was now too short to be installed on the driveway being produced.  

·         2/6/21- chased company director regarding mistake made with post and issues with workmanship

·         7/6/21 received text message that post would be repaired

·         9/7/21 multiple delays to work for front drive (work 2). Arguments between subcontractors regarding delays to material from company. They began to threaten to walk off the job. I rang company director immediately to inform builders have left site. He became hostile so I said I’d contact via email and hung up. Received text stating builders would be returning to collect “tools etc.” - Company director left voicemail stating he would be instructing his solicitors to charge interest on additional work performed and interest on day’s payment is withheld. Additionally stated that as payment has not been made, as per his contract, all the materials belong to him and he will come and remove them all.  

·         12/6/21 Invoice received for Work 1- 6310.40

·         14/6/21 Email sent as rear work has not commenced. Building materials left in the street on the pavement and neighbours beginning to get angry. Explained to director that this was not acceptable and that pedestrians could not get past.

·         15/6/21- sent email explaining that there were issues with the workmanship and quality which were unacceptable. Requested that they be rectified. 

·         30/6/21- Groundworks director sent email stating that someone would attend to rectify work. Did not answer any questions or points raised.

·         14/7/21- email received that workers would attend tomorrow to complete remedial work- still did not confirm or accept what remedial work this would be.. Groundworks director sent text message that I was breaching terms and conditions and that someone would attend tomorrow. Another email received that workers will attend for the front and will attend for the rear another day.

·         16/7/21- email received on Friday by groundworks director stating that all the work looks good and that everything which has been done is “goodwill”. Now want full payment.

·         19/7/21- another email from “accounts” requested immediate payment.

·         20/7/21- Email from “accounts”

 

I’ve attached some pictures showing issues with the workmanship. I hope this is enough information. I’m happy to provide whatever will help my case. I’m also happy to name the company as I’ve got nothing to hide. I’m just concerned it may prejudice my case if it goes to court. I’m happy to be advised as I have very little legal knowledge.

 

Pictures.pdf

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Please tell us the name of the company.

 

 

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Lord Roofing and Groundworks LTD
 
WWW.LORDROOFING.CO.UK

One of the leading roofing companies in the North East, with an expert team of roofers...
 
FIND-AND-UPDATE.COMPANY-INFORMATION.SERVICE.GOV.UK

LORD ROOFING AND GROUNDS WORKS LTD - Free company information from Companies...
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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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Posted (edited)

I contracted Lord Roofing and Groundworks to complete four pieces of work on 12/3/21.

 

1. Rear patio- total £2,650.00. Deposit Paid - £530.00

2. Front drive- total £7,888.00. Deposit Paid - £1,577.60

3. Porch Roof- total £1,678.00. Deposit Paid - £335.60

4. Guttering- total £3,456.00. Deposit Paid - £691.20 

 

3 and 4 have been fully paid (total £5134)

 

Front driveway and rear patio have been poorly laid.

Deposits only have been paid (Driveway £1577) (rear patio £530)

 

The front porch guttering should have fit in with the drive drainage. This has not occurred.

This is unsightly and not functional.

 

Additional work requested at time of contract was pointing of front brickwork. This was written in contract as "goodwill".

 

This is now being charged for as a result of dispute being raised. When front drive was being laid, a step was also laid. This is also now being charged for as a result of the dispute.

 

Contract states both parties should engage in dispute resolution. I have requested this but been ignored.

 

The company suggested getting an independent Tobermore (block paving manufacturer) representative to inspect.

This has never occurred.

 

Crux of my dispute is the front and rear patio have been poorly laid. I have mentioned that this does not adhere to British Standard 7533.

This has been ignored.

 

A few attempts have been made to rectify the worst of the issues (replacing some terribly cut bricks).

 

The majority of the issues remain and have not been addressed.

 

There have been constant threats of additional charges and debt collectors if the outstanding amount is not paid.

 

A new bill of £10809.40 has been sent today (22/7/21) and the debt has been sent to Westbury Collections.

 

An additional £2378.40 is now being claimed.

 

Additional charges have been threatened unless immediate payment is made.

 

 

Edited by BankFodder
Restructured in order to make it more accessible
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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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An additional £2378 is being claimed for work which was originally agreed as goodwill. Little extra jobs such as pointing of brickwork near the house which Lord had agreed to do as part of the contract for free. A step was not agreed as part of the contract to get to the property. I was informed verbally this was extra and paid £40 in cash for this. Now they are charging for this work because I’ve raised concerns with the workmanship at inflated prices.

 

No work is outstanding, it is just the workmanship which is the issue. The work was verbally agreed to start on 26/4/21. No start dates or timescales written in contract. With hindsight I can see why. Received final invoices for work on 19/7/21 when Lord have stated all work has been completed.

 

I have attached redacted PDF files of the contracts and work agreed. I have also attached a copy of their terms and conditions

 

I have already been requesting further quotes from other tradespeople and companies to rectify the poor workmanship. I’m trying to get as many of these as possible and I’m waiting to hear back from the first one.

 

I wrote an email response to prevent the bombarding messages I have been receiving. I mentioned the following:

 

1.         A Tobermore representative was due to attend to inspect the work. Why has this not occurred?

 

2.         I have received no evidence that the paving was laid according to the correct British Standard 7533. Can you please provide me with evidence of this to alleviate my concerns?

 

3.         I previously expressed, as per the contract that I would like to resolve this as amicably as possible and I was amenable to dispute resolution. Why have you not responded to this? Why have “debt collectors” been instructed, and are you unwilling to engage with dispute resolution?

 

4.         Additional pieces of work which were either classed as “goodwill” or written under an existing contract are now being charged for. I did not agree to this and this will not be paid. Additionally, attempts to intimidate me through debt collectors and additional charges will not result in me making payment.

 

Their own contract clearly states that the work should be in line with the latest guidance and British Standard. I contacted Tobermore some weeks back to request their British Standard and specifications. I wanted to be as objective and specific as possible. I didn’t want to unreasonably expect them to correct work which was acceptable and vice versa.

 

I’m happy to post their response or I can summarise it for you. I don’t want to overload with information.

 

Thank you

 

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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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You are correct in thinking I have not commissioned a formal report. I had just requested tradespeople to attend and provide a quote highlighting issues which require rectification.

 

Would a civil engineers report be sufficient and have enough weight? I've been researching some possible options and my impression is that this would be better than a tradespersons report.

 

I have re-attached the files in the format you have requested

 

First PDF is all of the relevant contracts (1- guttering and goodwill work (now being charged for), 2- Driveway, 3- Rear patio). Second PDF is of page 1 and 2 of the terms and conditions. The paper is pink, which is why the document is pink.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Lord Roofing & Grounds Works Ltd Drive-Patio-Guttering Contracts.pdf Terms and Conditions page 1 and 2.pdf

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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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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your responses. I have some additional information that I feel is helpful. Lord have admitted to me that the work does not conform to the British Standard and that they are under no obligation to do so. This was from their last email:

 

Me:  I have received no evidence that the paving was laid according to the correct British Standard 7533. Can you please provide me with evidence of this to alleviate my concerns?

 

Lord: Not anywhere in the terms and conditions of our contract does it state it would be laid to the standard you mentioned. What it does state in section 1 Lord Roofing and Grounds Works will carry out the work with reasonable care and skill and to a reasonable standard. The carried out work was as such, and only small areas were required to be rectified to bring the work to such standard, which it has been and above in our opinion.

 

The contract states:

10.1 any material or goods we supply will be

·         Of the appropriate British Standard and codes of practice, in force at the date of placing the order; and for for their normal purpose

 

I had existing large paving slabs in the rear garden which they have just placed the block paving on top of. This is in clear breach of the British Standard and manufacturer guidance for example. The sub base was not prepared and that (in my opinion) is one of the main reasons why the patio is defective and not level.

I have repeatedly requested dispute resolution or the instruction of an independent assessor. I was informed that Tobermore (paving brick manufacturer) would not send out a representative until payment was made in full. This seems untruthful to me.

 

Contract Paperwork states:

  • ·         Trading standards approved
  • ·         Member of consumer protection association
  • ·         Trustmark.co.uk (I’ve checked their website and this seems to only apply to Velux windows and installation)

 

I’m in the process of finding someone suitable to give a professional report of the work done. I’m going to try and see if Tobermore will do so and I’ve sent off emails to them.

Thanks BankFodder

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Chipsticks
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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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Posted (edited)

Good news.

 

The manufacturer of the paving slabs has asked me for more details and will hopefully provide me with more information. They provide a 25 year warranty for the work carried out, providing that it is installed according to their specifications.

 

The fact that "Lord" advertise on their website that the Tobermore products come with a 25 year guarantee should support my case, and that they are an approved installer. I would hope if Tobermore state that they will not warranty the work due to it not being installed correctly that would be extra evidence to support my claim?

 

 

Edited by Chipsticks
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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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I appreciate your point about the manufacturer and I agree with your concerns.

 

I felt that as they were already contacted by Lord then I had little to lose. I'm arranging a professional report by a civil engineer which should be available in the next two weeks. If they state that the work is acceptable then they would have to warranty the work which would seem a foolish thing to do if they agreed it was substandard

 

Should I inform Lord that I am undertaking this report and give them an opportunity to instruct their own etc? My reluctance at naming them in the beginning was the risk of them following this thread and having an advantage over me. Or is it better to just absorb the cost of the report myself in case they involve someone potentially biased like the manufacturer with whom they have vested business interests?

 

Also im not quite sure what or if I should correspond with them until the report.

 

Can they admit this thread in court? I can't see them rectifying the work at present as they've been obstructive from the beginning and reluctant to admit any wrongdoing.

 

I want to make sure I protect myself as much as possible and forsee as many problems as I can

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1 hour ago, Chipsticks said:

Can they admit this thread in court?

 

sorry?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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post your reply to this thread not make a reported post of it  please.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Im using the mobile site at the moment so must have made an error.

 

In my previous message I meant, could this thread be used against me in court if Lord have found it or are monitoring it.

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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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I understand. Thank you.

 

Due to a change in their availability,  I'm getting a civil engineers report done this evening which should be finished by the end of the week.

 

 

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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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I've just received a letter before action from "Westbury collections LTD,". Their paperwork shows the contracts signed and a total claim of £10,809.40

 

Would all the contracts come under the same claim for small claims court or could each one be defended separately to stay under the £10,000 limit? Im concerned about the liability for legal fees if more than £10,000.

 

Also, I've been informed the report should be available by Monday next week.

 

Thank you

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