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    • I unexpectedly had a couple of hours free this afternoon and thought I would have a bash at helping simeon drafting his counterclaim.  Everybody please feel free to comment on and - hopefully improve it!  (In particular I am not sure if I've got the terminology correct vis a vis counterclaimant and defendant - so that may need correcting).   I am aware that Andyorch and BankFodder often stress the importance of keeping POCs to the bare minimum so as not to give away your case too much.  Whether I've given too much detail - or not enough - here, I don't know.  As I say, it's free to be pulled apart, but simeon seems to have nothing else.   Paras 1 - 16 (in black typeface) are simply a precis based on what has gone before and I've used them to put the counterclaim in context. Paras 17 - 19 (in red typeface) are simply my attempt to provide a basis for simeon's counterclaim.   At the end of the day this is simeon's documant - nobody else's.  simeon has to satisfy himself that it is both accurate and true, and also says what he wants it to say.  He will also have to order and sort out any attachments.  As I said earlier, I'm NOT giving legal advice!   Here goes... ===================================================================================================== Counterclaim   1.      The defendant agreed to undertake building work (Project 1) at the counterclaimant’s property in relation to 3 specific areas of work for an agreed price of £4300.  The work was:   a. To underpin the bay window at the property, b. To replace and repair a previously removed chimney breast and, c. To install a new beam to the patio door.     2.      It was agreed that Project 1 was to be carried out under the instructions of a structural engineer engaged by the counterclaimant and that the defendant’s work would be as a result of instructions received following the structural engineer's assessment of the property.   3.      Between June and July in 2020 the counterclaimant provided the defendant with a full copy of the structural engineer's report which detailed instructions to the defendant for the works to be carried out.   4.      It was agreed between the parties that the works would commence on 13 August 2020.     5.      It was agreed between the parties that payments for Project 1 would be made in three instalments. The first payment would be made at the start of the defendant's work. The second payment would be paid at the halfway point of the defendant's work. The final payment would be made on completion of the total works.   6.      The defendant commenced work on 13 August 2020 and the first instalment due was paid.     7.      On 24 August 2020 the defendant asked the counterclaimant to arrange an inspection of his work by the Building Control Inspector.  The defendant also stated that Project 1 was approaching mid-way and the counterclaimant paid the second instalment due.   8.      The Building Inspector arrived to inspect the defendant’s work but the defendant was absent.  The inspector was obviously very displeased by the standard of the defendant's work.  The inspector spoke to the defendant by telephone, asking him why he was absent and interrogating him about the work he had done.  The inspector then gave him some instructions over the telephone and also left a list of instructions with the counterclaimant to be passed on to the builder.  The building inspector then said he would be getting in touch with the counterclaimant’s structural engineer with his findings and the counterclaimant should hear from the engineer soon.   9.      The counterclaimant passed on the Building Inspector’s instructions to the defendant who agreed to follow them.   10.  The structural engineer visited and recommended piling to complete the underpinning for Project 1.  The defendant explained that he could not undertake this work. The structural engineer then suggested an alternative company to the counterclaimant to do the necessary work and this company was engaged by the counterclaimant to complete the necessary piling at an additional cost to the counterclaimant of £3300. (See receipt at Attachment1).     11.  The defendant asked if the counterclaimant needed any more work to be done and, despite the problems encountered on Project1, the counterclaimant agreed on 7 September 2020 to have more work done (Project 2) at an agreed price of £2580 and on similar payment terms to Project 1.     12.  As work commenced on Project 2 and was continued on the remaining work for Project 1, the counterclaimant had occasion to make several complaints to the defendant regarding the standard of his work.   13.   Barely a week after starting on Project 2, the defendant demanded payment for that work.  After a period of negotiation the counterclaimant agreed to pay him £2000 on 18 August 2020.    14.  The counterclaimant subsequently paid the defendant  £1500 in cash.  Both parties agreed that this left a balance outstanding on Project 2 of £1080.     15.  It later came to the counterclaimant’s attention that the defendant had removed material (including a steel beam) from the counterclaimant’s property that the counterclaimant suspects either belonged to him or had been paid for by him in connection with Project 1.  When challenged the defendant admitted he had done this.  The counterclaimant has included the value of this material in his counterclaim detailed below.   16.    On 21 September 2020 the counterclaimant highlighted and sent a snagging list to the defendant (Attachment 2).  Over a month later the defendant sent an employee to attend to this work.  It was not carried out satisfactorily and resulted in an updated snagging list being sent to the claimant (Attachment 3).  All of this snagging work remains undone by the defendant.     17.  Apart from the outstanding snagging work referred to in para 16 above, the defendant also left other work from Projects 1 and 2 uncompleted.  That work which was not completed is listed at Attachment 4.   18.  During the course of carrying out work on Projects 1 and 2 the defendant also negligently caused substantial damage to the counterclaimant’s property (as itemised in Attachment 5) by not executing the work with the skill expected of a reasonable tradesman.   19.  The counterclaimant seeks an order from the court directing the defendant to pay to the counterclaimant the sum of £nnnnnnn {Simeon - put in the actual total amount here} in respect of:   (a)   the cost of the piling referred to in para 10 above which the defendant could not undertake and another contractor had to be paid to complete; (b)   the cost of completing work the defendant had left undone from Projects 1 and 2; (c)   the cost of remedial work to put right the damage negligently caused by the defendant and referred to in para 18 above; and (d)    the cost of the steel beam referred to in para 15 above.   A receipt in respect of item (a) - see Attachment 1 - and two priced quotes in respect of items (b) and (c) - see Attachments 6 and 7 - are attached in support of this counterclaim.     =================================================================================================================   What I'm not entirely clear about are two points.   First, it's not 100% clear to me whether simeon can properly claim the £3300 in paras 10 and 19(a) or not.  What I mean is, simeon is arguing that this work required by his structural engineer was always within the agreed scope of Project 1.  But it's not clear to me if it was within scope or whether it was entirely new and unforeseen work.  As I see it simeon can only counterclaim this amount from the builder if it had already been incuded in Project 1.   Second, the basis of the counterclaim still seems extraordinarily thin to me.  Is it sufficient at this stage just to allege that the builder caused any damage negligently and is therefore liable to pay to put it right.   That's it from me I think...    
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Southern water charging £45 to pass debt DCA ***Resolved by Southern Water ***


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Hi all

I had an email today from Moorcroft asking us to pay them directly for our small outstanding water charge, bearing in mind we have been paying £15 every 2 weeks.

because we haven't got an agreement in place they transferred the decreasing bill to Morcroft and have added a £45charge for doing this.

 

I pointed out to SW adviser that I actually dont have a contract with SW that states there will be a £45 charge should they transfer the account.

 

any thoughts 

thanks in advance 

lets

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Can you give us more detail about the debt – how long have you been in depth, what the starting total was, how long you have been paying these instalments and have they raised any objection to the instalments in the past

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Also, the £15 fortnightly instalment that you are paying – is that simply reducing the debt or is it also dealing with current bills as well?

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Hi BF

The £15 every 2 weeks is for the current bill, when we get a water bill in, we pay it off at £15 every two weeks until it clears normally the bill is around £90, (although should be cheaper as i found out today I qualify for a 20% reduction)by time new bill comes in its just that that needs to be paid, because i didnt pay for 4 weeks and did not get any communication from SW, so presumed it was all cleared then I get an email from Moorcroft with a £45 charge added.

we have been paying t his way for years and not had a problem, told this to the call handler who said our payment history is irrelevant its what it is today

 

cheers 
lets 

 

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its a penalty charge unlawful!!

 

moorcroft dont buy debts and can simply be ignored, pay SW directly.

 

why are you even talking on the phone to a powerless DCA?

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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This I certainly agree with my site team colleague that this is probably an unlawful penalty in that the £45 probably exceeds their administrative expenses – assuming that there is some breach of contract.

However, it seems that you have established a pattern of payment going back several years and there has been no objection from the water company so I think that it is reasonable to say that that establishes an implied term that this is the way the bill will be paid. Of course you have now made a mistake and interrupted the pattern of instalments and so you have opened a small window to them being able to say that as you have now breached the implied term of payment, you have made it possible for them to say that you have vitiated the instalment arrangement and that they are now entitled to impose new terms.

In view of the fact that if there is a breach of the instalment agreement, it is extremely minor then clearly they have acted disproportionately.

Why did you assume that everything was clear? Do they normally contact you every month?

I'm trying to understand what you are saying but I gather that they are providing you with monthly bills which you are settling in to payments rather than one payment – is this correct? And this effectively means that you are never in arrears – at least not more than one month. Is this correct?

I see that you've been here since 2009 and that is very lucky because you are well aware of the advice that we are giving everywhere on this forum that you should read our customer services guide and record your calls.
This means that you have evidence of everything that has been said on the telephone and you are keeping good backups of it. Well done. This may come in very useful. 

 

And now we come to the 20% reduction. What is this reduction about? Why didn't you know about it before? Does it simply apply to current and future payments or is it backdated? Is there any chance that they owe you money?

If would help if you would volunteer information little more than you do.

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Hi BF 

no the bills are every 6 months normally January and June.

the 20% reduction is for medical reasons, did apply before and was turned down.

the 20% reduction starts from today apparently.

Assumed it was clear as had no letters whereas if it wasnt clear they would send a red letter at which point it was lower than what the red letter would state.

so as had no communication pressumed it was all cleared and upto date. ( we pay our council tax this way too, they kicked up and i told them that if they didnt take it i wouldnt pay it)

cheers

Lets

 

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What I'm going to say now that I think that you had better start taking a bit more care and control of your bills. Conducting your finances in a way that you only react when you get a warning is a recipe for trouble.

So you get six monthly bills and you settle those bills by means of fortnightly instalments – is this correct?

I'm surprised that your bills are submitted six monthly. Does this mean that you are being billed according to some rateable value rather than a water meter?

If you are entitled to a reduction for medical reasons than a bit surprised that it only starts now when in fact your medical condition is apparently existed for some time even though you were apparently refused before.

How come you were now approved for this reduction? Did you make a fresh application? Please could you link us to the scheme.

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Hi BF

No, as soon as a bill comes in, it is split into equal payments, incl C/T. and payments are made after i have contacted the company and told them what I am doing. then by time new bill is in old one is cleared. most of the time have a month or 2 clear without any bills...Last years C/T was in credit by £198 by christmas last year.

With SW we pay every 2 weeks and whilst we are paying we get a red one by which point it is down another £15 from time they have sent it to time we get it, me not leaving bills till get red one at all. payments start as soon as we get em 

cheers 

Lets

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water bills are 6 monthly for those on a water meters.

 

This is standard, Well has been for me since 2012 when l moved here.

The discount is not always published like the discounts of other places. They are voluntary as they can chose not to do them all.

People on benefits are mostly getting discounts but only under some rules eg medical conditions which can mean extra water usage or children's ages under 18s normally tho l am under 2companys and both have different rules under the discounts.

Example the water company essex and suffolk only do a medical discount for cancer patients and up to them if they want to allow other medical reasons.

 

I know l have been refused it due to partners health as he sweats a lot due to meds which means washing bedding daily 2 lots of towels for him. 

 

The children one is also up to them.

E+s only give till 16 but anglian gives til 19.

 

Anglian we are on for waste water and we get all the discounts for them. 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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Okay.

When I suggest that you write to the water company – and send a copy to Moorcroft.

Tell them that first of all you have no intention of paying the £45 fee. It has never been agreed and if it really is an admin fee then it amounts to a penalty because it exceeds any administrative expenses caused by any breach – although there has been no breach.

Tell them that you have been paying your bills in the same way for many years and this is been accepted by the water company without question and you will continue to pay your bills in this way.

Tell them also that to instruct Moorcroft in the situation where you inadvertently miss payments for one month despite an excellent payment record over XX number of years, is unreasonable and disproportionate.

Separately, send them an SAR. Make sure you do this separately because these people are too rigid to understand that a single message can deal with two separate issues.

Once again, I suggest that you take control of the way you do things. I have to say that pulling the company the position where they always have to send you a red notice actually does mean that administrative expenses are being incurred and I don't think you are doing yourself any favours.

And did you record the calls? You don't seem to have addressed this point

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  • 3 weeks later...

and ONLY by letter!

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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You haven't told us the date that you sent the message and received the reply that they would contact you in 10 days – so we don't know when that deadline expires.

Also you seem to be avoiding my question as to whether or not you recorded your calls? Is there some reason for this?

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Hi Guys

Here is an update.

I sent a complaint via their online contact page stating the charge was excessive and was a penalty and that i will NOT deal with Moorcroft.

 

Today I got a phone call from Southernwater and the charge has been removed and they are happy to accept the £15 every 2 weeks when a bill is due ....so when bill comes in £15 per fortnight paid until bill paid ...not only that as I have a need to use more water than average, they have put me on the water preference where we get 20% reduction on our bills.

they have also retrieved the account from Moorcroft.

 

Cracking result, many thanks for the advice on this one

 

Cheers

Lets

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told ya.

 

glad we could help.

 

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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  • Andyorch changed the title to Southern water charging £45 to pass debt DCA ***Resolved by Southern Water ***

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