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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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Absolutely you must serve your letter of claim – and as I have said earlier on it should go off immediately. Before you file this application. That means that you've got to get it in the post without any further delay.

 

 

In fact I don't understand why you have said in your draft that you have commenced proceedings – when clearly you haven't. You should issue the letter of claim and that then enters you into the pre-action protocol.

It's really about time this was done. It should be in the post tomorrow morning or not later than this weekend.

No I don't think you have any obligation to deal with Westbury. Ignore them. Deal with the builders.

I have added some additional edits in green and also restructured your draft

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No, you need to give them a chance to settle after receiving the Letter of Claim first.

 

1.  Send the Letter of Claim.

2.  Send the set aside application.

 

MCOL has to wait for the moment.  By all means register and draft something, but don't file a claim yet.

 

 

  • I agree 1

We could do with some help from you.

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Here is my Letter before action/letter of claim

 

Quote

 

9th September 2021

 

 

Letter before court claim

 

 

Dear Matthew Moore,

 

 

Re: Invoice 1554 Dated 12/03/2021

 

 

 

I am writing to you as to date you have failed to rectify the defective work undertaken at my property despite multiple attempts to request you to do so. You have also refused to engage in mediation.

 

 

Particulars

 

1.      A signed written Contract was agreed and signed between The Claimant (xxxx) and the Defendant (Lord Roofing and Groundworks LTD) to supply and install block paving.

2.      The contract stated that work would be completed according to manufacturer guidelines and in a timely manner. After repeated delays to the work, an unacceptable standard of workmanship was carried out which is in breach of building control and manufacturer guidelines putting the Claimant’s property at risk of further damage or loss.

3.      The Claimant repeatedly requested the work be rectified, and after some minor remedial work, the issues still remained. The Claimant and Defendant were unable to come to an agreement over the disputed work. The Claimant requested that mediation be entered, which was also a stipulation of the contract. The Defendant did not respond to the Claimant’s requests of mediation or for the defective issues to be rectified. Multiple tradespeople have been quoted for opinions on the workmanship and have confirmed in writing that the work is not fit for purpose. An Engineer’s report has also been obtained which confirms the same

4.      The Claimant instructed Westbury Collections LTD to begin proceedings against the Claimant for the recovery of the alleged debt. Westbury Collections LTD initiated a Statutory Demand against the Claimant despite the contested alleged debt. The Claimant feels this is an abuse of due process and an attempt at bypassing Small Claims Court. The Claimant has applied for the Statutory Demand to be Set Aside. To avoid taking court action, I am willing to use engage in Dispute Resolution to reach a mutually acceptable resolution

If I do not receive a satisfactory response from you within 14 days of the date of this letter, I intend to issue proceedings against you in the county court without further notice. This may increase your liability for costs.

 

 

I will accept full payment of £2905.00 in full and final settlement of this dispute. The breakdown of this amount is the following:

 

1.      Remedial work to rectify poor workmanship- £2550

2.      Engineer’s report- £355

 

 

I refer you to the Practice Direction on pre-action conduct under the Civil Procedure Rules, and in particular to paragraph 13-16 which sets out the sanctions the court may impose if you fail to comply with the Practice Direction.

 

 

I look forward to your acknowledgement.

 

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

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LBA/LOC same thing

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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Quote

 

Dear XXX

 

Letter of Claim

 

As you know I'm not happy with the quality of the work which are carried out on my premises.

I have tried to raise this with you and you have declined to cooperate in any way.

I have obtained a professional assessment of the quality of the work and it confirms my view that your work is not up to standard.

For the avoidance of doubt I am enclosing a copy of the report with this letter

The estimate I have received for the works needed to address your poor workmanship amounts to £2550. The report which I was obliged to obtain cost me £355.
I require reimbursement of the sums and if you fail to do so within 14 days then I shall start proceedings in the County Court and without any further notice.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Please check the above suggested draft. Check that it is correct and that there is nothing else to add.

Don't be tempted to start complicating the matter with any other unnecessary detail or legal language.

If you decide that you want to make changes then let us know. Otherwise send this off recorded delivery and also by email.

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I agree the amended letter looks better. However, I'm concerned it appears that without mentioning the contract in question that this is the total cost to fix both the front and back paving.

 

Shall I not mention which contract this pertains to etc. and that I'm only challenging one contract?

 

Also, I'll email the court with the reponse to the statutory demand with the attached appendices tonight.

 

Thank you for all of your help and I'll keep you updated.

 

Another question- At what point should I consider claiming for the front drive? Based on all the quotes I've obtained, I will not be able to use the small claims track (over 10k). I'm just concerned they will notice I'm only claiming for one contract and realise this. I want to think ahead to prepare for any traps they may set for me.

Edited by Chipsticks
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We've already told you not to send the response to the statutory demand until you have sent this letter of claim.

You signed a statement of truth saying that you have already engaged with the pre-action protocol and yet you are now preparing to send the demand before you have done exactly that.
This is all very serious and you must do it step-by-step in the right order and don't rush ahead

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There is no need to refer specifically to the contract. They know what it's all about.

I don't see why you want to start suing for the front patio at the moment. I thought this had already been discussed and I don't see why you are going back over old ground.

You want to avoid claiming over £10,000. This means that you sue initially either for the front patio or the back patio. We had suggested the back patio because it was the cheaper and therefore would be useful as an exploratory action. If you want to sue for the other one then that's fine. But don't sue for both.

Make sure that the figures in the letter of claim refer to the patio action that you are proposing to bring. Don't mix them up.

They stop worrying about traps et cetera. I think you are starting to overthink the whole thing and you are making it more complicated for yourself and also for us.

 

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The IAA must go into today without fail..should have been filed Monday ideally. (19 days) 

 

Quote

Our agents have confirmed that a Statutory Demand was served upon you personally at your address of xx on Monday 23rd August 2021 at 18.41 hours in respect of the outstanding balance owed to our above named client.

 

As you will note from the contents of the Statutory Demand, you have 21 days from the date of service upon you to “compound to the creditors satisfaction” and either pay this debt balance in full or make repayment proposals that are agreeable to our client and adhered to by yourself.

 

These 21 days will elapse on Monday 13th September 2021 and at this point our client will be in a position to issue Bankruptcy proceedings against you for the recovery for the full outstanding balance if no response or offer of payment is forthcoming.

 

From my digging around this guy at Westbury Collections is very trigger happy with SDs.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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An update.

 

The letter before action has been sent along with an email.

 

The court has also acknowledged receipt of my documents and application to set aside the statutory demand.

 

Matthew Moore from Lord Roofing and Groundworks has also replied to my email. I've copied it below.


 

Quote

 

Dear xxxx,

 

I am in receipt of your email now, as James has forwarded it on to me. I don’t understand why you did not send it to me as the letter is addressed to me.

 

I request a written copy of the quote you claim to have had for the repair at £2550 and also a copy of the receipt for the survey. I will add, at no point was permeable paving ever mentioned when we discussed the driveway or patio so why you have instructed a surveyor from a permeable paving company is beyond me.

 

Tobermore do offer a permeable paving product but that is not the product you chose yourself when viewing the samples, and I left you with the brochure to read through.

 

If you can supply ourselves with the quotes and receipt previously mentioned we can either look to remove this from the balance you owe and you can settle your bill, or the other alternative is we come back ourselves and rectify the issues mentioned in the report, as per the terms of our contract which states you have to give us the chance to put it right.

 

As per your contract signed, please see section 25: Defects liability period.

 

25.1 During the defects liability period we will put right any defects in the work due to faulty workmanship or materials.

 

 

Also, the report was complete in July, why have you taken over 6 weeks to send this to us?

 

 

I await your response via email, as you will not take my calls or reply to messages which has been the problem all along regards to communication with yourself.

 

Kind regards,

 

 


 

 

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Please will you give us your own comments in respect of the points he has made in his letter

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A few follow on questions and thoughts...

 

1. They clearly are worried as they now know I mean action and they have no real defence to almost all of my points against them. I do not really wish to engage with this company as I don't trust them and they have caused me a lot of stress and distress up to this point.

 

2. They seem to have assumed that the £2550 is the repairs for the whole work and not just the rear patio (the reference to the rear patio work was included in the email and letter)

 

3. They have breached the contract. Refused mediation and now are wanting to put the work right after I've challenged them. They clearly had no intentions previously. My understanding of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that I've given them more than one attempt at putting this right and its not occurred. Therefore they no longer have the right to do so

 

4. I don't know what they are talking about when they mention a "surveyor from a permeable paving company". I instructed a degree qualified Civil Engineer who works for a major construction firm

Edited by Chipsticks
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We need your comments on the letter as I've already asked

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I'm not sure what you mean Bankfodder. They originally stated there were no issues with workmanship. Refused mediation. Refused to instruct anyone to survey the work, and stated that Tobermore the manufacturer would not attend because I had not paid them in full

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Well he makes various points in his letter and I want to know what you have to say about them. Haven't you read his letter?

 

  • He requests a written copy of the quote – has he had this?
  • He requests a copy of the receipt for the survey – has he had this?
  • Was he given advance notice that the survey was good to take place?
  • He refers to permeable paving and the fact that you have instructed a surveyor from a permeable paving company – what have you to say about this?
  • He refers to a defects liability period – what is this about?
  • He says that you are refusing to communicate with him – what do you have to say about this?

Have a read of his letter and you may discern other points that he is making and we would like to know what you have to say about those as well

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o   I’ve not sent a written copy of the quote

 

o   I’ve not sent him a copy of the invoice I paid

 

o   I did not send the report previously. In post #37 you advised “Please hold off sending the report at the moment” and as debt collectors were instructed I had no further contact with Lord. The report was only sent today

 

o   The Engineer was not from a permeable paving company. The Engineer works for a major construction firm. The report mentions that permeable paving should have been used and the engineer mentioned that this may be breaching planning regulations. I trusted this company and they provided me with a brochure and just asked what paving I wanted. We had no discussions about permeable vs non permeable etc. The contract makes no mention either apart from the fact that the paving is called “Tobermore Pedesta”

 

o   I haven’t got a clue what this means either. The contract terms and conditions, section 25.1 state “During the defects liability period we will put right any defects in the work due to faulty workmanship or materials.” This period is not specified. No other documentation states this defects liability period.

 

o   I stopped all telephone communication after I received abusive and threatening phone calls from the company. My son was left a voice mail (which I have retained) which is the director threatening to come and dig up my gardens and remove all of my driveway. I mentioned to them that I would only like to correspond with them via email as I feel intimidated by them.

 

Edited by Chipsticks
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Quote

Dear XXX

For the avoidance of doubt I am responding to your letter dated XXX date.

You are quite right that I hadn't sent you a copy of the assessment. However you were already fully aware of the fact that I was dissatisfied with the quality of your work.
I'm reassured to find that the assessment which you have now been provided with confirms me in my view.

As you and your company purport to specialise in providing these kind of building services and you hold yourself out as professionals, I expect that the contents of the survey and the conclusions came as no surprise in any event.

When I have tried to raise my concerns with you, you have either failed to respond or have responded in an unnecessary brusque and aggressive way and instead of engaging with me to try and explore the issues, you handed the matter over to a firm of debt collectors who in their turn have threatened me. More recently you have even filed a statutory demand which if it was successful would lead to my bankruptcy.

I don't expect that anybody – and certainly not a County Court judge would consider that this is an attempt to deal with a customer's legitimate concerns.
Your approach could hardly be described as customer facing and in fact it is aggressive, domineering and bullying.

It is precisely the kind of behaviour that is calculated to make any ordinary customer frightened of dealing with you.

The fact that I sought an initial assessment from an engineer who referred to the fact that it might have been better to use permeable paving has nothing to do with the conclusion that they have eventually reached which is that your workmanship is seriously substandard and defective.

In fact the inspecting engineer is the first person who has ever mentioned the notion of permeable paving to me. Before this I had no idea that such a thing existed and as the engineer has suggested that it might have been better to have used this kind of material instead of the material which you chose, I now have to ask myself why, when you knew that I was relying on your professional experience and expertise, that you did not discuss this matter with me.
I would have thought that any professional had a responsibility to discuss this full range of options available and to make particular recommendations.
You did not do this.

You refer to section 25.1 of the contract which certainly does refer to a "liability period".  However, I do not see that this liability period has ever been specified in the contract.
You certainly have never referred to this in any conversations with me – either before or since the beginning of our dispute.
In any event, a "liability period" – whatever that means – will be subordinate to the limitation period for bringing actions for breach of contract or for negligence and which are subject to statute.

You claim that I have refused to communicate with you. We both know this is not true. I made strenuous efforts to communicate with you and once you realised that I was in fact complaining about your defective workmanship you reverted to your frightening and bullying approach which included making abusive and threatening phone calls to me and even to my son.

In fact a one point, my son was left a voicemail by a director of your company who threatened to come and dig up my gardens and removal of my driveway.
We have retained a copy of this voicemail which I am prepared to disclose to a court if necessary. In fact if the abuse had gone on much longer I would have gone to the police.

From that point on I refused to take any telephone calls and I made it clear to your company that I was only prepared to receive emails.

Frankly as we were in the middle of a serious dispute involving a reasonable amount of money, I'm surprised that you wanted to do things on the telephone anyway.


As I expect you are aware, I have now filed an application to set aside your statutory demand and also I have sent you a letter of claim and you should be in no doubt that I am intending to follow up at the end of 14 days by issuing county court claim against you for the sum named in that letter.


To be clear, it is your own aggressive approach which has forced me to take court action so quickly order to protect myself from your debt collectors and then from your request for a statutory demand.
This kind of action would not have been my first choice. 


It's up to you where you want this to go. You have been driving the situation but I have decided now to take control. However I can tell you that I no longer have any confidence in you – because of the standard workmanship, because of your breach of contract in refusing to deal with the defects in breach of your obligations under section 25.1 of your own contract and finally because of the way you have decided to escalate matters and because of your unacceptable behaviour as I have already described above.

 

Because I don't expect you to start taking a sensible view of things, I expect to get the litigation underway. During the course of the litigation I shall be commissioning more independent reports and I shall be giving you notice of these in advance so that you can comment but also be aware of any further fees which these will incur.

You are welcome to carry out your own independent inspections if you wish but they should be by appointment and I would require advance details of the person carrying out the inspection along with any fees and also an undertaking by you to provide me with a copy of the report whatever its conclusions are.

Naturally I shall be providing you with copies of any reports that I obtain.


For the record, I consider that your request for a statutory demand is an attempt to sidestep the regular court process and to avoid the transparency and independent scrutiny which comes with a properly conducted County Court procedure.
I expect that the court will feel the same way.

Yours sincerely

 

Please comment on this proposed letter

Edited by BankFodder
Edits in red
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Thats a very powerful letter.

 

All of the points are accurate and true. I think that summarises all the key points perfectly.

 

Is it worth mentioning all the relevant laws etc. and further breaches of their own contract, or will that be for court?

 

Now that they have admitted that the work is substandard I would assume this helps my case substantially. And also, that they have potentially offered to pay for the remedial work. I'm just hesitant to give them too much information. Tobermore the company, never got back to me with regards to my queries. They also want to know the details of the people providing quotes. The Engineer told me a lot of these tradespeople work together and rely on each other for work. Therefore I want to give them as little information as possible because I just don't trust this company and its employees.

 

I can go over all the emails and paperwork and see if there is anything I can add by the end of the weekend. I can't think of much more that would be relevant at this stage though.

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Let us know what you want to add.

In fact repost the letter as a draft with any amendments that you propose in red.

It's important that the letter is completed by Sunday morning

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I have made a few additions to the proposed draft above and you will see them in red.

Incidentally, I suggest that you look very carefully through all of your precontract discussions and also this contract and doublecheck that there hasn't been some reference to the extent of the limitation period. It would be rather embarrassing if this person turned round and pointed out something which you then realise that you hadn't noticed.

Also, in terms of this so-called contract – when was it given to you? Was it before the agreement was made or after the agreement was made?

Please tell us a bit about the timing of it

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I had expected that the draft would be done and posted up by now

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Sorry about the delay. I work shift work and weekends etc.

 

The quotations were given initially, and then the follow on contracts were signed by myself and "Lord's" director. The terms and conditions were generic and on the back of the contract. No specific terms were agreed apart from start dates and scope of work which was on the quotations.

 

I'm still collating and trawling through all the various emails and contracts to make sure I've not missed anything.

 

I'll aim to have this finished by tomorrow and I'll keep you all updated

 

 

 

 

 

 

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