Verbal quote for guttering, VAT added to invoice

elpulpo
elpulpo Posts: 6 Forumite
edited 5 November 2019 at 8:38PM in Is this quote fair?
Last year, my next door neighbours had an extension built onto the rear of their house. They told me that their builder had mentioned to them that my rear gutter needed replacing.

It’s a traditional northern England bitumened wooden gutter- a length of about 15ft.
I was told that he’d said, ‘it’d be £500’, which I thought was a bit steep, so I didn’t agree to him doing the work.

To be honest I forgot all about it, until this August, when my neighbours pointed out that the end of the gutter was leaking badly onto the flat roof of their extension- disturbing my neighbours elderly Father & causing them concern about damp issues.
They proposed that they pay their builder to do the work (I think they think I’m skint), but embarrassed that I might be inconveniencing them immediately agreed to pay for the work.

I presumed that the builder would knock on my door & speak to me before doing the job, but didn’t see or hear anything. I thought this strange.
A few weeks later, I asked my neighbour when the builder would be doing the work. It transpired he’d done the work very soon after I agreed, whilst I was out.

My neighbour took me to the rear (my house is a through-by-light cottage with no rear access) & showed me the gutter- it hadn’t been painted. My neighbour explained that the builder said that the wood needed to ‘weather’ for a while before he painted it.

Fast forward 3 months, & I’ve received an invoice for £500, plus £100 VAT.
The gutter still hasn’t been painted.

So. 2 questions

Was it misleading to verbally inform me, via my neighbour, that ‘it’ll be £500’?
There was no mention of VAT, nor did the builder speak to me directly or present me with a quote.
Do I have a valid argument to just pay £500?

Secondly, should I pay anything before the gutter has been painted?
I don’t know how long it needs to ‘weather’ for.

TIA

Comments

  • Socajam
    Socajam Posts: 1,238 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I would pay 50% and inform both neighbour and builder that the balance will be paid when the gutter is painted.
    I would also ask to see the invoice to ensure that the builder is registered for VAT
  • Socajam wrote: »
    I would pay 50% and inform both neighbour and builder that the balance will be paid when the gutter is painted.
    I would also ask to see the invoice to ensure that the builder is registered for VAT

    Should have pointed out that the builder sent me the invoice.
    It has a VAT No. which I’ve checked & it tally’s with the builders name
  • Dan-Dan
    Dan-Dan Posts: 5,272 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    You have been far to passive in the process, your best bet is as post #2
    Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
  • G_M
    G_M Posts: 51,977 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    elpulpo wrote: »
    ........
    I was told that he’d said, ‘it’d be £500’, which I thought was a bit steep, so I didn’t agree to him doing the work.
    .......

    They proposed that they pay their builder to do the work (I think they think I’m skint), but embarrassed that I might be inconveniencing them immediately agreed to pay for the work.

    TIA
    So you never got a quote direct from the builder?
    And you never looked for other builders/quotes?


    You have two choices
    * refuse to pay the builder since you never instructed him to do the work (it was the neighbour who instructed him), and never received a quote from him (again - it was seems it was the neighbour who told you £500.

    Expect relations wih the neighbour to plummet.
    Expect to be sued.
    Don't expect the gutter to be painted.


    * pay the bill, put it down to experience, and be a bit more pro-active with maintenance jobs in future.
  • G_M wrote: »
    So you never got a quote direct from the builder?
    And you never looked for other builders/quotes?


    You have two choices
    * refuse to pay the builder since you never instructed him to do the work (it was the neighbour who instructed him), and never received a quote from him (again - it was seems it was the neighbour who told you £500.

    Expect relations wih the neighbour to plummet.
    Expect to be sued.
    Don't expect the gutter to be painted.


    * pay the bill, put it down to experience, and be a bit more pro-active with maintenance jobs in future.

    Surely though, the onus is on the tradesperson to communicate clearly what the actual price would be, given I’m a consumer?
    He couldn’t be bothered to communicate beyond saying, via a third party, ‘it’ll be 500 quid’.
    Therefore, I can reasonably argue that it’ll be £500.
    He’s the one who should put it down to experience.

    What I expected to happen was that the builder would at least knock on the door & speak to me before commencing.
    It would only take him a minute to take a piece of stationary and write a quote-stating the price & avoiding the ambiguity of whether or not it included vat.
    I wouldn’t have agreed to £600- the reason I didn’t agree to the work being done the previous year was because £500 is steep.

    Looking at the situation from his perspective, he’s being instructed by one person to carry out work on another property- if I was him I’d be nervous that, as you say, I might turn around & say, ‘Well, I never asked you to do the work’.- & the neighbours say, ‘we ain’t paying, its not our house’.
    Then he’s stuck between 2 stools.
  • asharon
    asharon Posts: 1,226 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    to be fair it was £500 just £500+ which is normal for this.

    You should have got the quote in writing.

    Now pay or dont - you said they were going to pay for it so pay the 500 and they can pay the rest
    Nice to save.
  • unforeseen
    unforeseen Posts: 7,280 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 24 November 2019 at 8:27AM
    Surely though, the onus is on the tradesperson to communicate clearly what the actual price would be, given I’m a consumer?

    But the problem is that you are not the person who contracted with the tradesperson to do the job. In this situation your neighbour is the consumer not you.

    Maybe neighbour didn't mention VAT due to an oversight if they knew that person's prices would always be plus VAT
  • Builders never add vat, and don’t tell you about the vat, it’s annoying.

    (Ok I’ve had one builder lol).
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