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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 understand that you have other commitments – but this delay risks prejudicing your position.

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How long do I have to reply to them?

 

I need to clarify some things with my son (who works away) who negotiated on my behalf when the contract was signed. I want to make sure I'm 100% accurate with the information, as like you said, I don't want to look foolish if I mention something incorrect on which they prove me wrong. I want to make sure nothing was agreed verbally etc without me being aware.


Is it better to send a more generic email back without mentioning specific aspects of the contract? Then if it goes to court, I can mention each part of the contract or clause etc. which is being breached?

 

 

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My site team colleague @Andyorch will probably know the answer but I have to say that I don't think that you are taking this sufficiently seriously.

Frankly the people who are advising you seem to be more concerned about it than you are. It should all have been done by now. Have you actually filed the set-aside request?

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I am concerned. I've been spending most of my free time preparing, reading and researching and facilitating builders etc. whilst working full time. I'm also very grateful for all of your help. Its quite overwhelming and stressful and times so I'm sorry about the delay.

 

The court has accepted and is processing my set aside notice. I should have all the facts tomorrow and the finished email which I will post tomorrow. Thank you for the help and your support. I'm glad you're pushing me to move fast

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But have you sent the letter of claim?

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I would keep it general at this stage....no specifics...retain that for your Particulars of Claim otherwise you are showing all your hand pre litigation to enable them to prepare a detailed defence.

 

 

 

Andy

 

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7 hours ago, BankFodder said:

But have you sent the letter of claim?

 

?????

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I've been having some technical issues posting to the site.

 

I emailed this response to BankFodder yesterday, but I don't think they received it.

 

I've tried to make my response as generic and factual as possible without playing all my cards too early as @Andyorch advised. Any further thoughts/advice would be great. I've put in bold the changes I've made

 

Thanks

 

 

Dear XXX

 

For the avoidance of doubt I am responding to your email dated 10/9/21.

 

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 and yet ceased contact with me and refused my requests of mediation or to come to an amicable resolution. I’ve spent weeks attempting to find competent tradespeople and engineers to quote to repair your substandard work, whilst also working full time and running a household. You have caused me considerable stress, anxiety and inconvenience by your actions.

 

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.

 

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

 

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. I do not find any of this to be reasonable behaviour of a company whose motto states “honesty-affordability-quality-integrity-trust”

 

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. Your workmanship is seriously substandard and defective which I have been mentioning all along.

 

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. It begs the question when you knew that I was relying on your professional experience and expertise, why 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 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 at one point, my son was left a voicemail by James, A director of your company, who threatened to come remove all of the paving from my driveway if I did not submit to the demands of your company. 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.  I would like to make it explicitly clear 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. The only circumstances by which I would cease proceedings is if you were to provide me with funds to instruct a competent tradesperson to rectify all the issues raised. I have provided you with ample opportunities to do so thus far, and therefore I no longer have faith in your company. The Consumer Rights act 2015 states that you must carry out work with “with reasonable care and skill”. As you have not done so, and have been provided multiple opportunities to do so, you have forfeited your right to any further attempts.

 

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 the agreed contract

 

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.

 

If I do not receive full payment as per my letter before action, or a response I will commence county court proceedings at the end of the 14 day period

 

 

Yours sincerely

Edited by Chipsticks
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the forum had issues it was not you..

 

dx

  • I agree 1

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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I hope you haven't sent your version of the letter which you posted above.

I don't understand because your initial reaction was that it was accurate and summed things up perfectly.

Now you have removed a number of very important points and not only that you have ended it with a statement which makes it look like a supplementary letter of claim so that nobody really knows where they stand.

 

Also some of your letter is expressed in a way in which you appear to adopt the role of the victim.

I asked you for your comments but in fact you have rewritten your own version of the letter.

We really simply want your comments so that we know if there are things that you would like to add or if there are things which are wrong in it. You haven't done that.

I drafted this letter for you last Friday and we are now nearly a full week further along and the matter hasn't been dealt with and it hasn't been sent.

You keep on saying that you have had technical issues but you should understand that neither this company nor the courts will be particularly interested in the technical issues that you are experiencing.

We are doing our level best to try and work around all these technical issues which you keep on having but you shouldn't imagine that the other actors in this – the courts and the defendant will be nearly as helpful.

I've asked you at least a couple of times if you have sent the letter of claim. You haven't answered. I am supposing that you have because if you haven't then you have filed a set-aside request for the statutory demand in which you have told the court that you have sent the letter of claim and you have signed that off as a statement of truth.

Your version of the letter misses out a number of points which I have attempted to make either directly or rather more subtly so that later on they form part of an important paper trail.

Apart from anything else the letter is intended to respond to the letter that they sent you and yet you have not addressed their various points in rebuttal.

In particular they refer to a liability period and on the basis of what you have told us earlier, I refer to this and rebutted this in my proposed letter. You have removed this important point completely.
Please can you tell us why. Are you now telling us that in fact there was a liability period which was adequately described in the contract or in some other document?

 

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I'm getting really confused here. We extensively discussed the letter of claim/letter before action.

 

Forum post number 88

 

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.

 

Another one of your colleagues confirmed there was an issue with the site. I sent you a personal email with the draft as I thought it was just me having technical issues. Andyorch advised that I should not give too much away.

 

I've made it personal because I'm not a lawyer/solicitor and I wanted to express not just the financial cost and effect this is having on me.

 

There is no liability period. I took most of the information out, as I understood from Andyorch that I should try and be less specific and mention all the core details in the Particulars of Claim if it gets to the court stage. Am I not correct in asserting that the liability period is irrelevant- they have had multiple attempts to rectify the issue under the Consumer Rights Act. I therefore have no trust or faith in their services. Therefore they no longer have a statutory right to repair/put right their work. There is no liability period. Its not specified and it was never mentioned to me. I'm not hiding anything, and I've expressed all my acts of commision as well as omission.

 

I'm trying my best, and sometimes I don't always understand what you mean/want. If the consensus is that I should send your initial draft, then I'm happy with that. I'd been reading the legislation for the Consumer Rights Act, and the main reason I removed some parts of your draft was because I felt it was not relevant to the case, especially as they:

 

1. Ignored any requests for mediation (as per contract

2. Refused to put right my issues that I raised

3. Stated that the workmanship was adequate

4. Attended my property multiple times to "repair" their work

 

I hope that clears things up.

 

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The important thing here is to be pragmatic and factual. I'm afraid that they are not interested in the effect that it is having on you. In fact the more they think that it is having some kind of emotional or stressing effect on you then the better they like it because this has the effect of putting more pressure on you and making them feel that they can eventually get you to back down.
Telling them how stressful and inconvenient everything has been is simply trying to appeal to their conscience and you should have realised by now that this is not an effective gambit.

In fact telling them about the effects on you is effectively asking them to feel sorry for you and to go easy on you.

I don't understand why you have removed the references to the liability period because this is an important aspect of their argument and in my suggested draft we rebutted that and yet you have decided to omit it completely.
Not only have we rebutted it, we also demonstrated that they are now inventing aspects of their contract – and yet you have omitted it completely.

This letter should have been sent off on Monday. I thought you were going to deal with it over the weekend and put up your comments on the Sunday morning and that it would be sent off on the Monday. We are now at the end of the week and nothing has been sent.

Please send off my draft straightaway.
In future, please can you stick to the timescales that we set out

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They have got back to me pretty quickly. They haven't seem to have realised that the amount I was quoting them was for only the rear patio (smallest value work). Even with all the evidence I've provided they still are on the attack, and think they're doing me a favour.

 

I think @BankFodderyour suggestion to be assertive and aggressive back with them was a good idea.

 

I think I should reply and tell them that I am only claiming for the rear patio repair work at the moment. I'm concerned that this will make them wonder/realise I am doing this so I can challenge each contract separately (and rightly so)

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

Quote

 

Good morning xxxx,

 

I hear your concerns, although I certainly dispute both your allegation of what stems to aggressive bullying and also your assertion of your will to correspond and communicate. If required, I can certainly gather evidence of every unanswered text message, phone call or email.

 

I’m sure both parties would like to come to an amicable resolution to this ongoing situation, and with that being said, I’m prepared to offer you exactly what you have requested to ensure no more additional costs are incurred by both parties through court costs and litigation.

 

I’m happy to waive the charges that were invoiced for additional works requested by yourself that were up and above the original contract and quotation. Also, trusting your honesty, I’m also happy to deduct your 3rd party quotation to rectify the issues you are not happy with, as well as the cost for your report, without actually scrutinising the validity of either.

 

I will instruct our accounts department to produce a new and final invoice so we can settle this with immediate effect.

 

I believe the original final balance was £8,430.40 before additional works costs. I will authorise the deduction £2,550 quotation as well as the £355 for the report, as stated in your correspondence dated September 9th, 2021.

 

The final invoice, which I would request be paid within 48 hours, would total £5,525.40. Once this has been received, I will instruct our debt collection agency accordingly, and we can finally end this unique and unfortunate situation.

 

For the record, I would note that the material costs, labour, machine hire and business running costs for this project exceed £7,500, so my final offer is not only at a considerable loss to the company, but also ensures your requests have been made in full. I trust this will be the end of the matter.

 

Kind regards

 

 

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At whose suggestion was it that the work be fragmented into several different contracts?

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It was never discussed

 

As the company does roofing and groundworks, I was quoted for the various works accordingly. 

 

The company created separate quotes and provided me with multiple contacts to sign. 

 

Im not really sure how to proceed from here. Im almost certain they're going to refuse to pay for the full amount of remedial work. They have changed their tone somewhat which i would assume is in anticipation of court action

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Good. So it was on their initiative that the contract was divided into parts.

Stand by for a response over the weekend. I'll try and draft a letter tomorrow.

What date does your letter of claim expire?

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However I have just looked back and I see that I made a rather serious error in the letter of claim. I didn't identify which contract you are proposing to challenge in court.
I can understand that they consider that your letter of claim addresses the entire suite of contracts.

This will have to be addressed and I'm afraid that it will actually mean a delay in the issue of proceedings.

I'll deal with it tomorrow

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I suggest that you send the following letter which addresses the error which I made by not specifying the contract in question.
 

I'm pretty convinced that you will have to put this into court so please start to get into the mindset that you are about to embark on a process of litigation.

 

Also please doublecheck that I'm referring to the correct contract – the front patio contract. I'm afraid I'm rather losing track of it all. If that is not the correct one then please change the letter below.

Please check the letter to make sure that you are happy with it and that you're prepared to send as it is.

 

Quote

Dear XXX

Thank you for your message of XXX date.

I'm afraid that I misled you in my original letter of claim because I failed to specify that the contract to which I was referring was the contract for the works to the small patio – the front patio.

I believe that your response was attempting to address the entirety of the defective work which you carried out in respect of both contracts. I would point out that your proposals would have been unacceptable in any event.

Because of my omission, I am extending the 14 day deadline by further 14 days starting from the date of this letter.

Please understand that I will be going ahead with legal action at the end of that period unless you address the problem completely.

You are still welcome to arrange an appointment for your own independent inspection and also to make your own independent comments on the report which I have provided to you.
I fully expect that you will have to do this anyway once the litigation is underway.

If you feel that there is no point in further discussion then please let me know that you are prepared to waive the 14 day period then I am sure that I can get the court papers into your hands within two or three days.

Yours sincerely

 

If you're prepared to send this letter then please send it off immediately and confirm here that it's done. There's no time for any more mucking around.

Also, please have a look at the County Court money claim website and open an account there. It's all free but you need to get going and you need to start familiarising yourself with it.
Please confirm that you have done this.

 

I will post up a draft particulars of claim later on this weekend. It won't need to be very complicated.

Once again, you need to get this all sorted out and ready. I hope that maybe you are starting to realise that when you are dealing with this building company that you need to move swiftly and decisively.

Edited by BankFodder
Letter in response no longer needed
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The contract we decided to challenge first, is the rear patio (the smaller value contract)

 

When I sent the letter of claim I added and referenced at the top the contract which I was challenging, so it was clear that it was only one contract (rear patio) which I was challenging at that point.

 

They have assumed it is the whole works and have not read the letter of claim properly.

 

I think this means that the above letter you suggested I send, no longer is relevant

 

In my "Letter of claim" I sent the following at the top of the email

 

Re: Invoice 1554 Dated 12/03/2021

 

Which clearly references the rear patio. Your subsequent draft does not reference it, but the 14 days are from my email and letter sent to them on 10/9/21

 

I hope this clarifies things

 

 

Quote

 

9th September 2021

 

Letter before court claim

 

Dear Matthew Moore,

 

Re: Invoice 1554 Dated 12/03/2021

 

As you know I'm not happy with the quality of the work which was 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

 

 

 

Edited by Chipsticks
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Thanks for this – and I'm very pleased that you remedied my mistake. Well done.

In that case forget the letter I sent above but stand by  for another one.

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Quote

Dear XXX

Thank you for your message of XXX date.

I have the impression that you believe that my letter of claim was issued in respect of both of the contracts which you had with me to carry out works on my property.

I suggest that you read it again more carefully and you will see that I have referred only to the contract for work to my rear patio.

I believe that your response was attempting to address the entirety of the defective work which you carried out in respect of both contracts. I would point out that your proposals would have been unacceptable in any event.

 

Because you have now made an attempt to enter into some kind of dialogue, I am extending my deadline for legal action by a further seven days, so 21 days from my letter of claim.


Please understand that I will be going ahead with legal action at the end of that period unless you address the problem referred to in in that letter completely.

You are still welcome to arrange an appointment for your own independent inspection and also to make your own independent comments on the report which I have provided to you.

I fully expect that you will have to do this anyway once the litigation is underway.

If you feel that there is no point in further discussion then please let me know that you are prepared to waive the 21 day period then I am sure that I can get the court papers into your hands within two or three days.

Yours sincerely

 

Have a look at the proposed draft above. I think it is reasonable to offer them an extra seven days. They may need to re-evaluate the position given that they did not read your letter carefully. Also I think that the court will appreciate that you are trying to meet them along the route now that they have apparently tried to enter into some kind of dialogue.

As I said above, I don't think you will be able to avoid litigation so once you have sent this letter, register on the County Court money claim service and start getting used to it.

You can even start preparing your claim. At the very least you can name the parties et cetera. You can save your work as you go.

Also read up on this forum the steps involve taking a small claim in the county court. It's pretty straightforward but it is worth knowing the steps in advance so that you have more confidence in what you do.

We will draft a particulars of claim in the next few days.

If you do issue the claim for the smaller amount then I fully expect that they will attempt to retaliate by filing a counterclaim for the entire amount. Don't let it faze you.

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I've created a MCOL account and filled in all the details etc. and I'm familiarising myself with the process. I've filled in all the sections, apart from the "particulars of the claim"

 

I've also sent off the email you suggested in the previous post.

 

I'll let you know as soon as they reply.

 

Thank you

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I have just gone back and looked at their original contract which you posted up. I've looked at their so-called "liability period". This appears to set a time limit after which they apparently won't even be liable to correct their own defective work.

Of course this is completely unenforceable – insofar as that part is concerned, anyway. They are liable for any defective work for at least six years from the date that the defective work becomes apparent or should reasonably have done so.

Anyway  here's a very sketched out draft particulars of claim which we will amend depending on what happens by the expiry of the letter of claim deadline.
Please can you start off by giving us the figures which I've indicated below.

 

Quote

The defendant builders entered into a contract on their own standard terms and dated XXX with the claimant to carry out works to a rear patio. The contract was carried out in a substandard manner and needs substantial remedial work to address the defects. The defendant has been provided with a full independent assessment and quotation. The defendant has declined to cooperate and has employed tactics which have undermined the claimant's confidence in the defendant company so that the claimant no longer trusts the defendant with the work.
Contractual price: £XXX, deposit paid £XXX, cost of remedial works £XXX, cost of survey £XXX

 

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I've received a response from Lord Roofing. I've attached it below.

 

Im not really happy to allow them to keep coming to rectify the issues when they have had multiple attempts and not addressed my concerns. I know they will not repair the sub base or address the problems correctly.

 

My understanding g is they no longer have the right to keep trying to repair under CRA anyway. As you predicated @BankFodderthey're becoming more aggressive

 

 

 

 

Dear xxxx,

 

Please don’t try to insult my intelligence for the sake of prose. As previously stated, the company has tried contact yourself on many occasions, whether that be phone calls or numerous unanswered emails and text messages.

 

I will visit your property on Monday 27th of September as I’m currently on annual leave.

 

Once I have inspected the works, I will then arrange a time and date for the works to be rectified as per section 25.1 of the contract. I will have my senior groundworks manager perform the required works.

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