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General builder ripped me off, so I sued...


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Hi.

 

I had a plasterer come to do plastering for me - gave me a quote which was very reasonable and I accepted. Unfortunately, the condition of the walls was such that he couldn't prepare them until they were dry (long story), and he levelled with me that he wanted to get the job done quickly as he needed the money, but couldn't, in all conscience start work when the walls were damp as the job would only be good for a few months, or a year at best.

 

So, in the meantime, I was also replacing all doors and door frames. I asked him to quote me for that job too, and I accepted his quote and asked him to start on that immediately whilst the walls were drying (I had hired dehumidifiers).

I gave him the money for the materials up-front: 7 door frame kits and 7 doors. After a few days he did not return to the job, and eventually messaged me to inform me that he had lost his driving licence for 4 months. I said, "tell me that you ordered the door kits, and I will fit them myself". He replied that he had spent the money.

 

At this point, he and I, between us had removed all the doors and rotting door frames, so I had no doors at all. I begrudgingly fronted the doors and frame kits again - this time having them delivered directly.

He then returned a little while later and actually did a reasonable job. 

I then wrote an agreement between us, giving him 3 months to return the money I had fronted him for the doors etc...which he and I both signed and had witnessed.

Upon reaching the date in the agreement, he then said that he didn't have the money. I gave him an extra month to pay it back to me.

 

Since then, he ignored all messages, and I, of course, still didn't have the money, so I sent him a letter giving him 28 days to pay up, or I would take him to court. He ignored it, so I started proceedings against him.

It had now been another month, and there has been no acknowledgement and/or defence, and as such I applied for judgement and was awarded it.

 

It has since come to light that he has done similar things to many other people, and for far larger sums than I fronted him. Initially, I was going to leave it there, but, in honesty, I feel that rogue traders like this should be taught that taking money from people then ignoring them is NOT on.

 

Judgement was issued last week.

 

So, my question is...what next?

 

 

Edited by numpty
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What is his name and what is the value of the claim?

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You could instruct bailiffs but that will cost you about 50 quid or so and of course if they can't enforce then you will lose that too.

Does his mother know about it? You could let him know that there may be a visit from bailiffs at that address and is he ready for that?

And of course if he's done that to other people then you could tell in that you are going to inform the police – and of course if you wanted you could go ahead and inform the police.

He sounds like a sad guy who's gotten himself into a mess. Frankly I think it's gonna be very difficult for you to get your money back if you can't identify any assets. I think you have been extremely generous with him.

The final thing you could consider is simply walking away and accepting the loss

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I think you're right. He seemed like a nice bloke, but I think he must have some kind of problem, as I was fronting him materials per room plastered (Aside from the doors), and then paying him on completion of the plastering - again per room. Almost immediately after paying him (a day or two), he'd have problems getting back to the job due to having no money for petrol. I helped him out with this on more than one occasion.

The last thing I wanted was to kick a man when he was down, but then came across facebook posts of people looking for him - he'd supposedly taken £1000 as a deposit from someone's grandmother, and then not returned to do the job. Another claimed that she'd had to take him to court for £3000 for unfinished work etc...

 

I'm in two minds. I still don't want to kick someone who's having a hard time, but I feel that someone with a skill like plastering at the moment, should be able to make a killing legitimately without having to resort to this kind of thing.

 

I'm inclined now to go the bailiff route, if only to put the wind up him a little. If it means risking another 50 quid, so be it.

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Be aware that the bailiffs are unlikely to be able to enforce the judgement. You might be better off telling him that you're going to instruct bailiffs to visit his mother's home. However it may be that she is already in distress about it.

 

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This is the issue. I have obviously never met his mother - she might be a perfectly lovely woman who is concerned that her son appears to be ripping people off.

 

I don't want to add that kind of stress to someone. I've been on the other end of it, and it's not much fun.

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I'm glad I'm not in your shoes!

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Ha, well, fair enough.

 

I've done what you said, and I've sent him a message saying that the next step will be to send bailiffs if he continues to ignore me.

 

Time will tell...

 

Thanks for the responses. Hope everything is going well.

 

 

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Is Gary Kellar in Ashford, numpty? I see he responded to someone on Facebook who wanted some building work done.

 

There's also a company, now dissolved, with a director of that name.

 

FIND-AND-UPDATE.COMPANY-INFORMATION.SERVICE.GOV.UK

Free company information from Companies House including registered office address, filing history, accounts, annual return, officers, charges, business...

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I think that's him, yes. The address I had was in Sandway, so not a million miles from Ashford - so very likely.

 

I can't find a post from him on there, so assume he has me blocked/banned (I don't really use Facebook much). Whoever it is needs warning!

 

Edited by numpty
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Ah, I see. He does have a habit of doing this kind of thing apparently, from what I can gather. I was looking to warn whomever it might be.

 

Well...I've warned him in a text that bailiffs might well be on their way soon. We'll see what he does/says next.

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