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Landscaper walked off job. Am I obliged to take a partial refund for small amount of work already completed?


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Hi all.

 

Taking a break from the motoring forum to sort out a new issue.

 

Moved into a new build property last year and in the spring started looking around for a landscaper to sort out the back garden.  Basically I wanted the patio to be extended, the ground levelled off and artificial grass to be put down.  

 

Found a landscaper who came recommended by the person who had moved in 4 doors up who came and gave me a quote for the work (£3,000 incl materials and labour) and an estimated completion time of 2 weeks, which I accepted.  

 

The work was started, he brought up a mini digger to level the ground off, and for the following two days they were placing rocks down (presumably to create a solid foundation for the artificial grass).  

 

Landscaper then asked for £2,000 to cover the cost of the materials.  He asked for the payment in cash initially which I declined and insisted on a bank transfer instead so there was an electronic record of it. (I now realise that this wasn't a great option either).  This was paid on the 11th June.

 

Since paying the £2,000, no more work has been completed.  Communication with the builder has become very sporadic and there's usually some excuse like a family emergency, labourers letting him down etc.  Several times he'd message me to say "we'll be back on Monday next week to finish off" but nobody has turned up and it's taken several messages from me to get an answer.

 

He's eventually gotten in touch a few weeks later last Wednesday (21st July) saying how sorry he is etc, and that he's bringing a builder up to look at the site that day, and that if he can't complete it he'll give me the £2,000 back.

 

Obviously he didn't arrive, so I sent him a message asking for the return of the £2,000.  Now he's gotten back in touch, saying "well you've had a grand's worth of work done, so I'll give you back £1,000".  My answer was that I don't think it's £1,000 worth of work, and even if it was, I'd say that 5 weeks of no-shows and broken promises was a fair trade.  

 

He's now countered with an offer of £1,500, but I'm reluctant to take it, especially since he already offered a full refund in his message last week.  Worth mentioning at this point that all communications have been via WhatsApp, so I have a written record of everything that has been said.

 

I'm reluctant to name the builder at this stage, but is there anything else I can do short of going down the small claims court route?

 

Thanks

CD

 

 

 

 

Please note;

 

I am not a legally qualified solicitor and all my advice is based on my past experiences in the relevant field. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidance only.

I would always recommend to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Reduce the size of the problem. Accept the £1500 and then think about going for the rest afterwards.

Before you go for the rest, you will have to get an independent assessment as to the value of the work which was carried out and if it was poor work, then the cost making good and continuing the project.

My suggestion is that if you can reduce the size of the problem it will make things much easier. Much easier to sue for £500 than for 2000

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Another advice point is to screenshot the messages 

 

WhatsApp occasionally allows the sender to delete received messages

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Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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Cheers BF.  I'm just a bit concerned that if I accept the £1,500 he'll see that as the matter settled.  I haven't been able to arrange for anyone to come up and give me a quote to complete the work yet but even I can see it's going to need to be started from scratch again because since it's been left for so long, there's grass and weeds coming up through the rocks that have been laid down.  

 

Also good point thanks Labrat.  I believe once Whatsapp messages are read by the recipient they can't be deleted for all parties but I've screenshotted everything anyway as a precaution.

Please note;

 

I am not a legally qualified solicitor and all my advice is based on my past experiences in the relevant field. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidance only.

I would always recommend to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Just a quick update, after a bit more back and forth with the builder in question, he's agreed to pay me back the full £2,000 I've paid out.  He's due to give me £1,000 tomorrow and the other £1,000 next week.  Whether he actually does or not remains to be seen.

 

Thanks for your help with this

 

Cheers

CD

  • Thanks 1

Please note;

 

I am not a legally qualified solicitor and all my advice is based on my past experiences in the relevant field. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidance only.

I would always recommend to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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