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  • FIRST POST
    • kaya
    • By kaya 23rd Feb 17, 8:45 AM
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    kaya
    Cowboy Builders and smalll claims courts
    • #1
    • 23rd Feb 17, 8:45 AM
    Cowboy Builders and smalll claims courts 23rd Feb 17 at 8:45 AM
    Morning!
    I won't bore you with the details too much but we have just parted ways with our builder, sent him a letter recorded delivery informing him that i am instructing another builder to complete the work he has refused to do, checked two jobs, spoke to the owners, got a written quote wih his home address, phone number and name on, made him sign for the cash he had so i think we dotted the i's and crossed the t's. His paperwork is all in his personal name and home address so there is no company for him to close to avoid any judgements and i know he has penty of equity in his house to recover debts from.
    Aside from walking out before the job is done he has completley destroyed my driveway, failed to follow the architects spec sheet and missed out on insulation, failed to fit a vapour proof layer under all the insulation so most of the roof will have to come off and be redone (once again this is in the architects spec sheet he agreed to work to in his written quote), fitted an underfloor heating system that has now been tiled over that will not in any way meet building regs( as i understand it the building control people can make me have it ripped up if i inform them of its existence)
    The remedial works will probaly exceed the 10k max allowed in the small claims court but i am disabled and don't have access to funds to pay costs in the mainstream courts(just handed over my 60k savings to bob the chuffing builder). he took over 7 months to "not complete" a 3 month job and has failed to meet building regson several points, fortunatly being disabled i have been around to see that the building control people have checked all the footings and floors/steelwork etc so i know they are ok.
    My questions being due to the poor standard of his work i don't want him back here to rectify the faults and is there a limit to how many small claims i can make against him? can i take him to court for the remedial roofing work and then use the system again for the driveway and heating? also what happens during the work? it will probably involve the roof being removed and replaced which isn't to intrusive but ripping up my kitchen floor and tiles (it has a brand new 15k kitchen just fitted) isn't something i want to be present for, stress is a huge affectting factor with my health and the last 7 months have really taken their toll, it got so he was arriving at 9.30, smoking half a packet of cigarettes then popping off for breakfast between 10.30 and 12 and going home at 2.30 every day. He left chisels, suerglue, aerosols and even stanley knives and blades all over my home during the work and i have a 3 year old(fortunately well behaved).
    Will i be restricted to claiming once or can i make several smaller claims?
    Last edited by kaya; 23-02-2017 at 8:48 AM.
Page 3
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 24th Feb 17, 12:16 PM
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    Doozergirl
    That isn't him dealing with BC either, is it? It's relying on you. Who has their name on the application and paid the bill?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • kaya
    • By kaya 24th Feb 17, 12:19 PM
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    kaya
    the architect submitted all the forms to planning and bc, i paid bc the £300 or whatever it was when the job began and paid the architect all other relevent fees
    • kaya
    • By kaya 24th Feb 17, 12:25 PM
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    kaya
    Keeping below the threshold doesn't explain why he needed cash. I have a seven figure turnover and I'd have trouble getting rid of that much cash.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    its none of my business why he wanted cash, maybe he wanted to avoid declaring his income on his tax returns and paying income tax?
    lots of businesses work in cash it doesnt automaticly make them dodgy
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 24th Feb 17, 12:30 PM
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    Annie1960

    their seem to be a few no win no fee solicitors about

    I think you will find that solicotors are regulated, and there are only specific types of case where they are permitted to work on a 'no win no fee' basis, such as personal injury. I doubt whether they can work on this basis for a consumer law case.

    Is there anyone on here with relevent legal experience who can add anything rather than just personal opinion?

    No, there is not, which is why I gave links to people who are qualified to help in post no. 17.

    You have done nothing wrong, you have receipts for payments.

    Originally posted by kaya
    ......................
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 24th Feb 17, 1:12 PM
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    Doozergirl
    I can't quote on my phone, kaya, but it is your business.

    If you can put 2 and 2 together and come up with income tax evasion then you are also clever enough to know that you were probably complicit in VAT evasion too.

    Lots of legitimate businesses do deal in cash but not in fat lumps totalling £55k. The only way I could shift that without attracting attention would be if my subbies were also tax evaders. That is not a legitimate business. I don't employ people who aren't registered subcontractors because they do not have integrity in their jobs - no other decent contractor has or will take them on.

    For the record, I also don't take on clients who ask to avoid tax as they are troublesome themselves and value money above people.

    It is a question of integrity. If someone cannot deal with HMRC with integrity then anyone else they come across is potentially in trouble. HMRC have the full weight of the law and the resources to get people to pay. You are alone and he knows it.

    I am sorry you are in this situation but there were warning bells there that you probably chose to ignore.
    A £3k job is not comparable to £30k, which is not comparable to £60k.
    A part-time groundworker would be a part time a project manager if they were a competent project manager. The money is far better, the job demands it.
    £60k in cash is not normal. Tax evasion is not carried out by purely wholesome personalities. If you want the best chance of integrity you must discount people who show any sign of being otherwise. You may have saved VAT but it sounds like it could cost you the VAT in rectifying the work.

    I got a CCJ against someone. I get £10 a month. Funnily enough, they don't declare their income and so they look skint. If I get all my money, it will take 20 years. You can get a charging order on a house but that costs money - and if they never sell their house, you'll not see a penny.

    I genuinely hope you get a result. I've been screwed over by a client on an even larger scale and all we can do is learn from it. Having taken legal advice, even being right may not see us with a penny of what is owed once the legal fees are paid.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • kaya
    • By kaya 24th Feb 17, 2:33 PM
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    kaya
    I had 4 quotes for the work all from supposed reputable local builders two were reccomended and two were from local jobs/papers. out of the 4 quotes only one added V.A.T to the estimate (should i have reported the other 3 on suspicion of fraudulant activities before employing them or maybe insisted that they all register for V.A.T as a condition of me awarding them the contract?) , i have 2 friends who own tattoo parlours and its not unusual for them to bank amounts of £5000 each weekly in cash so im afraid i don't automaticaly associate large cash amounts as fraudulent. With hindsight i could have chosen to pay a different builder £10,000 more and then added an extra 20% on top for VAT and insisted i paid them by cheque or bank transfer instead of cash but would that have guaranteed a better job was done and/or made the pathway to getting my money back any easier in a court? The answer is no im afraid, all it would have meant is that instead of paying out £55,000 for a substandard job i would have paid £78,000 and had £23,000 less to sort out the problems with.
    for those that missed it:
    1) got 4 quotes
    2) two were reccomendations
    3)didn't accept the cheapest quote
    4)got the detailed quote in writing
    5)made sure i had the builders name and address on the paperwork(i knew his address so i didnt just believe what he said) along with a home phone number as well as a mobile
    6)visited two jobs the buider had done and spoke to the people who assured me they had had no issues
    7)got a written payment schedule from the builder based on stages of completion
    8) had him sign for and date every payment he recieved

    i didn't employ the cheapest guy with no details and references or any supporting paperwork , not being VAT registered is not a criminal offence nor does it infer criminal intentions neither does not questioning a contractors VAT regstration make me a criminal or have criminal intentions. Asking for payment in cash does not make someone a criminal or mean they have criminal intentions just the same as paying someone in cash as requested does not make me a criminal or have criminal intentions.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 24th Feb 17, 2:49 PM
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    comeandgo
    Does your builder have liability insurance? You could try going through that. Is he a member of any federation? Again the federation may be interested if one of their members did shoddy work.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 24th Feb 17, 4:56 PM
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    Doozergirl
    No one is calling anyone a criminal. I think you could have done better. Judging by where you are, you could have done better.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 25th Feb 17, 7:50 AM
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    Furts
    nowhere have i colluded with the builder to dupe building services,

    i do understand that employing someone to manage a big commercial building project would be a smart move but this is a small home extension on a residential property

    whilst i thank everyone for their input it would be hepful if we could make it relevent to the type of project i have rather than big commercial projects where people need clerks and project managers.
    Originally posted by kaya
    Whilst you do not like what I post and are critical of this, I will persist once more. My recollection is the ufh was something between you and the builder and not to be notified to the Inspector. This is where the word collude comes into matters.

    You are wrong regarding a Clerk Of Works. They are not exclusive to large contracts. If a council house has a kitchen upgrade, or a new heating system or replacement windows then one will be involved. This is because building skill levels are so low that one is necessary and it is cost effective. You could still engage one. I have advise you to do this.

    I have advised you to get a report. You choose to dismiss this.

    You believe you can go forward based on builders quotes. These could vary, they may not be based on the same assumptions and will be challenged by your builder and the courts. I say this is a bad strategy.

    You say you had a Full Plans application, though you have not itemised what was included with this. Assuming this application was in order then you have a case against the Inspector over the flat roof. In your responses you have not picked up on this. This is another area where you are being given good advice but not recognising, nor thanking, people for offering it.

    If you are emotive, or confrontational, or not factual,or not technical, then you will be unlikely to succeed in a challenge of the Inspector. You would benefit from professional help. I have advised this but you choose to dismiss this.

    You believe the courts are you magic silver bullet. Maybe they are, so I wish you well.
    • kaya
    • By kaya 16th Jun 17, 3:08 PM
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    kaya
    In conclusion to this thread i would like to say to all the doom-mongers that today i got a judgement for £10,666 awarded to me against the builder, i didn't pay any solicitors, didn't pay or ask for any specialist reports, didn't have to involve the building control inspectors and didn't get questioned for any "colusion" to defraud anyone or anything.
    He ignored my letter to discuss or rectify the problems, ignored the mediation request and filed an acnowledgement of service then failed to enter any defence(as i said he hadn't really got one) so i won a judgement by default, you can expect to see him starring on can't pay we'll take it away next season. The total cost to me was less than £500 which was the cost of the claim and has gone on his judgement. The court will apply interest at 8%per annum and i can put a charging order on his property for £150 so if it takes 20 years thats quite a little nest egg when he sells his property , thanks again for all the input both good and bad im off for a celebratory pint :-)
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 16th Jun 17, 9:24 PM
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    teneighty
    Excellent result, well done.

    Interesting that the charging order is only £150. I am also looking at enforcing a judgement so that might be my course of action too.
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 18th Jun 17, 6:25 PM
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    Annie1960
    Well done, kaya. Everyone should stand up against these cowboys. If they are allowed to get away with it they will continue to do this to other people.
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 19th Jun 17, 11:34 AM
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    Annie1960
    Well done, kaya. Everyone should stand up against these cowboys. If they are allowed to get away with it they will continue to do this to other people.
    Originally posted by Annie1960

    I'm glad you ignored all the bad advice to get a specialist report done (the Justice system detailed guidance goes into the reasons for this), and that you also were not persuaded by the unhelpful comments accusing you of collusion in tax evasion.

    Another victory for the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 19th Jun 17, 12:47 PM
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    teneighty
    I'm glad you ignored all the bad advice to get a specialist report done (the Justice system detailed guidance goes into the reasons for this), and that you also were not persuaded by the unhelpful comments accusing you of collusion in tax evasion.

    Another victory for the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    Originally posted by Annie1960
    Not really, the case was undefended so the OP won by default. It would have been interesting to see what the outcome would have been if the defendant had bothered to submit a defence.

    The OP was very lucky and this should not be taken as an example of a typical claim against a rogue tradesman. There was a similar thread recently where the homeowner lost the claim because the tradesman submitted a defence which was a pack of lies but the plaintiff had no paperwork to prove he was lying.
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 19th Jun 17, 1:14 PM
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    Annie1960
    Not really, the case was undefended so the OP won by default. It would have been interesting to see what the outcome would have been if the defendant had bothered to submit a defence.

    The OP was very lucky and this should not be taken as an example of a typical claim against a rogue tradesman. There was a similar thread recently where the homeowner lost the claim because the tradesman submitted a defence which was a pack of lies but the plaintiff had no paperwork to prove he was lying.
    Originally posted by teneighty

    Can you post a link to this thread, please?
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 19th Jun 17, 1:27 PM
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    teneighty
    No problemo.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5663141

    Happy to help.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 19th Jun 17, 8:06 PM
    • 3,319 Posts
    • 2,091 Thanks
    Furts
    I'm glad you ignored all the bad advice to get a specialist report done (the Justice system detailed guidance goes into the reasons for this), and that you also were not persuaded by the unhelpful comments accusing you of collusion in tax evasion.

    Another victory for the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    Originally posted by Annie1960
    Countless consumers have no idea where they stand with their concerns unless they seek professional guidance.
    • kaya
    • By kaya 13th Jul 17, 1:12 PM
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    kaya
    He paid the debt in full this morning after the high court enforcement officers intervention and spending 5 days hiding behind closed curtains and parking round the corner, 14 day wait before the funds are released to me to comply with some insovency law. The "sheriffs office" featured on tv has been sold and all the staff now work for pheonix high court enforcement in croydon if anyone should need their services, very hepful and polite and would reccomend them to anyone needing their services
    • kaya
    • By kaya 13th Jul 17, 1:13 PM
    • 2,319 Posts
    • 2,694 Thanks
    kaya
    Not really, the case was undefended so the OP won by default. It would have been interesting to see what the outcome would have been if the defendant had bothered to submit a defence.

    The OP was very lucky and this should not be taken as an example of a typical claim against a rogue tradesman. There was a similar thread recently where the homeowner lost the claim because the tradesman submitted a defence which was a pack of lies but the plaintiff had no paperwork to prove he was lying.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    thats hardly comparable if the plaintiff ignored every warning and guideline and failed to get anything in writing,
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 13th Jul 17, 2:52 PM
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    teneighty
    He paid the debt in full this morning after the high court enforcement officers intervention and spending 5 days hiding behind closed curtains and parking round the corner, 14 day wait before the funds are released to me to comply with some insovency law. The "sheriffs office" featured on tv has been sold and all the staff now work for pheonix high court enforcement in croydon if anyone should need their services, very hepful and polite and would reccomend them to anyone needing their services
    Originally posted by kaya
    That is a turn-up for the books. Well done.
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