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Rogue Builder

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A local builder has wrecked my garden, charged me for materials he never delivered, consistently lied and failed to turn up when he said he was going to and built a wall which is unfit for purpose.  He has just walked away from the job and will not take my calls

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a) How did you pay?

b) was payment

i) in stages,

ii) quoted by individual tasks

iii) quoted “for the whole job”


If it came to court action :

c) is he working as a sole trader? In a partnership? As a Ltd company?

d) if it went to court and you obtained a CCJ, are there assets you can enforce against?

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a) Debit transfer into his personal account 

b) i - yes

    ii - yes

  iii - initially quoted £25,000 - £30,000 for the whole job.  This escalated to nearly £44,000.  Would ask for money in stages for materials and labour.

c) Runs a Ltd company with his wife

d) Assets include van, own digger, dumper and cement mixer but kept in unknown location 


Solicitor advised not to throw good money after bad as he could just shut down company.  

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The solicitor has raised a key issue : you could win a claim, but it turn into a hollow victory if you then couldn't enforce judgement.

Have you checked Companies' House (to see if he has been a director of multipole previous companies that have done similar?).

You may wish to see if there are factors that might limit him from folding / re-opening (for example, he might not want to give up 25 years of good trading history, or if he has done so quite a few times before, a further episode might mean he risks being disqualified as a director - but that'd likely take Trading Standards being involved). If he has a history of multiple failed Directorships, and the Ltd Company now has others has directors (such as his family) : that would be a bad sign, suggesting that he is ready for this to happen again*.


* To get around that you'd have to show / prove he was working as a 'Shadow Director' (if the Ltd Company doesn't have him as a director), and that is very tricky!


It seems very wrong if the conclusion is he'd likely get away with it. For work up to £30,00 it is a good idea to pay some on a credit card, to get section 75 cover, if you can .... then you can go after the credit card company, and leave them to chase the Ltd company!.

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