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  • Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

    I need help as I am in the unfortunate position of being in dispute with a builder who was doing a building job for me. I sacked him before he finished the work because he is incompetent. Not only that but he lied to me, didn't turn up most days, had a near miss involving a neighbour and generally didn't do what I expected.

    My main concern is that he has said I am in breach of the contract because I have a duty to let him rectify any problems. My position is that he is so incompetent that allowing him to "rectify" anything will make it worse. I have had a surveyor inspect the work and he agreed it is to a poor standard. He is now saying that he will take me to court for non payment as he has demanded 75% of the original quote within 7 days. Where do I stand regarding the breach of contract? I have searched for ages on Google and not found much help to be honest.

  • #2
    Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

    planB - is this your area?
    I'm the forum administrator and I look after the theme & features, our volunteers & users and also look after any complaints or Data Protection queries that pass through the forum or main website. I am extremely busy so if you do contact me or need a reply to a forum post then use the email or PM features offered because I do miss things and get tied up for days at a time!

    If you spot any spammers, AE's, abusive or libellous posts or anything else that just doesn't feel right then please report them to me as soon as you spot them at: webmaster@all-about-debt.co.uk

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    • #3
      Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

      Has the surveyor provided you with a report? If not get one asap.
      Was BCO informed? Should they have? You will be responsible

      Rotten stinking builders do this al the time. anything like ours would have walked off with the money doing nothing.

      Have you legal advice on home insurance? Get in touch with them. If he gave you indemnity insurance, check that out.

      The builder must provide a proper service, with appropriate level of skill. He is in breach of contract.

      NB FMB and other trade organisations are fan clubs, and provide nothing to the customer.

      Hope he chokes on his contact. Bitter me??? Damn right.

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      • #4
        Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

        If possible get the surveyor to estimate the cost of works to date, and the cost to bring the works up to standard. Then sue/counter sue him. It costs a heck of a lot more to put a bad job right than to mess it up in the first place. It also gives you ulcers as no other builder will touch it, except at an extortionate price.
        A for the chance to put right, you have lost faith, which is acceptable if he cannot show competence. Your house, your rules.

        Hate them with a passion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

          Originally posted by julian View Post
          Has the surveyor provided you with a report? If not get one asap.
          Was BCO informed? Should they have? You will be responsible

          Rotten stinking builders do this al the time. anything like ours would have walked off with the money doing nothing.

          Have you legal advice on home insurance? Get in touch with them. If he gave you indemnity insurance, check that out.

          The builder must provide a proper service, with appropriate level of skill. He is in breach of contract.

          NB FMB and other trade organisations are fan clubs, and provide nothing to the customer.

          Hope he chokes on his contact. Bitter me??? Damn right.
          I have a surveyors report and it confirms that the work is of a bad standard. I have had the building control officer look too and he has agreed that it's bad. So bad in fact that 90% of the work must be ripped out and redone. I do have a new builder commencing in approx 3 weeks. He has been fantastic. My home insurance has told me that building work is not covered under my legal cover.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

            Originally posted by julian View Post
            If possible get the surveyor to estimate the cost of works to date, and the cost to bring the works up to standard. Then sue/counter sue him. It costs a heck of a lot more to put a bad job right than to mess it up in the first place. It also gives you ulcers as no other builder will touch it, except at an extortionate price.
            A for the chance to put right, you have lost faith, which is acceptable if he cannot show competence. Your house, your rules.

            Hate them with a passion.
            Indeed I have lost faith because the builder is totally incompetent. Is lost faith enough to terminate the contract though?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

              Originally posted by sebaab View Post
              I have lost faith because the builder is totally incompetent. Is lost faith enough to terminate the contract though?
              How was the contract entered into?

              Was there a Works Specification drawn up so both you and the builder were clear on what should be done and how it should be done and by when it should be done?

              You're probably protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which you can read about here > http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-righ...-building-work

              If this went to court (let's hope not) the DJ would order an Independent Expert to provide any report.

              I completely understand your anger and frustration with this job which has clearly gone terribly wrong. So the first thing you need to do is build your case/defence from the ground up.

              The Act says (rightly or wrongly) that in theory you should give the rogue builder the opportunity to correct their mistakes. You may have gone passed that point in the relationship.

              So first things first. How much money are we talking about and what was the job?

              Di
              I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

              I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                I dont think you argument would be loss of faith but incompetence. If 90% has to be rectified then he has failed to maintain his side of the contract. (In my view). Have you spoken to trading standards?
                I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

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                • #9
                  Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                  Originally posted by sebaab View Post
                  I sacked him before he finished the work because he is incompetent. Not only that but he lied to me, didn't turn up most days
                  How did you "sack him"?

                  What did he "lie" about?

                  Did the contract expressly state what days he had to be 'on the job' or did it state a 'finish the job by' date without any specific reference to his hours on site?

                  I'm on your side (I've dumped loads of builders in my time) but a DJ isn't on your side or on his side.

                  You say he's threatened to take you to court unless you pay 75% of his original quote. Have you received a Letter before Claim (LBA) from him?

                  Have you paid him any money so far?

                  What are the (stage) payment terms in the contract?

                  Di
                  I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

                  I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                    Originally posted by sebaab View Post
                    I do have a new builder commencing in approx 3 weeks.
                    The wise thing to do is get three quotes for the remedial work.

                    That's what a court would expect you to do.

                    Di
                    I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

                    I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                      Originally posted by sebaab View Post
                      My home insurance has told me that building work is not covered under my legal cover.
                      Legal Expenses cover included in home insurance policies generally covers you for bringing proceedings not defending proceedings.

                      You may need to ask them (your insurer) to send you details of the policy before dismissing this potential option out of hand.

                      Di
                      I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

                      I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                        Originally posted by Never-In-Doubt View Post
                        planB - is this your area?
                        Yes it is actually

                        Di
                        I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

                        I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                          Thank you. So glad you have had experience of this. Can I request that we move this case to the private area please for obvious reasons?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                            This is really not ideal for going private. You can but it's really not good as in essence you're stopping others from seeing things which may assist them. Protected section is really for claims, but it's your call. I'm suggesting against moving it there - keep it discrete and nobody will link it to you

                            Please confirm decision. Move or stay.
                            I'm the forum administrator and I look after the theme & features, our volunteers & users and also look after any complaints or Data Protection queries that pass through the forum or main website. I am extremely busy so if you do contact me or need a reply to a forum post then use the email or PM features offered because I do miss things and get tied up for days at a time!

                            If you spot any spammers, AE's, abusive or libellous posts or anything else that just doesn't feel right then please report them to me as soon as you spot them at: webmaster@all-about-debt.co.uk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help Needed Cowboy Builder Threatening Court

                              Originally posted by Never-In-Doubt View Post
                              This is really not ideal for going private. You can but it's really not good as in essence you're stopping others from seeing things which may assist them. Protected section is really for claims, but it's your call. I'm suggesting against moving it there - keep it discrete and nobody will link it to you

                              Please confirm decision. Move or stay.
                              Ok let it stay. I want to help others in this situation. It's a horrible place to be.

                              Comment

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