Money Moral Dilemma: A building firm hasn't invoiced me for shoddy work - should I chase it up?



  • SStitanic
    SStitanic Forumite Posts: 21
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts
    change your number and forget about it. 
  • fruitloop3001
    fruitloop3001 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Have you sent a forwarding address for your new home? Or are the builders now hounding your purchasers for payment? 
    If you were happy with the corrective work, you should pay for it, ask for a small discount for inconvenience, but clear your debt (and your mind). 
  • squirrel59
    squirrel59 Forumite Posts: 47
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts
    As you've moved away, it's entirely possible their bill was delivered to your old house. If you took the trouble to write MSE about it, it means you know you should contact them. If they've written it off, so much the better. If they haven't, you can dispute it all you like. But the work was done, and since it was clearly good enough to sell on, it's worth some payment - if the company still wants to be paid. Only one way to find out.
  • DRP
    DRP Forumite Posts: 4,255
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    if previous comms have been by mobile phone, then i wouldn't be worried about getting in touch yourself - they know know how to contact you.

  • ANNEH_2
    ANNEH_2 Forumite Posts: 2
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    I'd wait for them to contact you in the first place. When they do, remind them of their poor service and try to negotiate a reduction. You are not trying to evade paying, just that you are unhappy with the standard of work and the inconvenience.
  • Danien
    Danien Forumite Posts: 24
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Are you having your mail redirected?

    Have you gone back to your old house to collect any mail? (Even if you have redirection some mail gets missed)

    Have you checked your credit file - some companies who have not received payment after sending invoices will register a ccj against you which will stop you getting credit in future.

    If you have been collecting your mail then I would not worry about chasing up a disorganised contractor who additionally did bad work. (My last contractor did great work and I paid them immediately, and there was one snagging issue and despite already being paid, someone was round within a couple of hours to fix the issue).

    However, if you haven't been collecting mail, I would be worried about the risk to my credit - no one is sending an invoice by text, and if disorganised, who says they still have your phone number?
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Forumite Posts: 15,118
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Morally you owe them the value of the work that they ended up doing. Given that you had a lot of stress getting them to return and put things right, probably what you owe them is less than the amount you originally agreed to pay, but this need to be negotiated. And certainly their work was worth something to you, since it enabled you to sell the house in question.

    Now, if you fail to chase them up and they eventually find you (as they will) you will have to pay them the full amount to which you originally agreed. At that stage, if you ask for a reduction because of the quality issues they will tell you that you should have complained at the time, and a court would support them in this. So if you do nothing you will end up paying more than if you act now to find them and negotiate a fair amount.
  • scepticalhuman
    scepticalhuman Forumite Posts: 2
    First Post
    It is their responsibility to invoice you (most seem to come by email these days so street address not so important). Then you negotiate if you want to. Having said that, I use a contractor to do the gas safety certificate annually for a rented house which I manage; I know he is hopeless at admin, I like him, and after chasing his last invoice a couple of times I just paid what he usually charges + a bit for cost of living. I hope he does this year's check and I expect the same may happen.
  • Groom
    Groom Forumite Posts: 48
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Mobile232 said:
    You've had the work corrected now and since moved house? Does the contractor have your new address ( or contact details?) If not I'd contact them as they may not know how to contact you
    The OP said that all communication was by text and that he hasn't changed his number. 
  • jonnydeppiwish!
    jonnydeppiwish! Forumite Posts: 909
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    So 2 things:
    1. I have put questions myself on here and know they 'simplify' the phraseology somewhat and sometimes miss key nuances 'condensing' the question...
    2. I have had a very similar thing occur (although I didn't sell my house at the time).

    In answer (and assuming the works were put right to a 'serviceable' standard regardless of what you, perhaps, actually wanted initially):
    As long as they have a valid way of contacting you - the onus is on them to contact/invoice you. After this occurs, you can, indeed, argue your point and as long as you stay in active and reasonable contact with them (being the critical thing), you are freely entitled to dispute / argue your point(s) with them on the 'sub-standard' works etc to negotiate a 'settlement' and by all means - go to small claims court if needs be. 
    Having said all that - strongly suggest, as others have, put money to one side that you 'would' have paid them and leave there of a few years. After which point (assuming they came back to you in 3-4 years for example), most small-claims judges would throw out invoices exceeding this period without mitigating circumstance from the contracting company but this is NOT a legal precedence but 'reasonable expectation' in light of circumstance. ** I am NOT a Lawyer - I can only speak to what happened in my case and there are many parameters to consider so I can't say this will/will not happen in yours... I 'think' the legal threshold is technically 6 years ...
    If you want to get something more definitive on this, suggest an hour of time with a lawyer (there are online legal experts who will not charge much) but do give them all the info and not bias towards the outcome you want ;-)

    You can, of course, reach out to the company with a letter advising you are not happy with the standard / parts supplied where not as originally spec'd and as such, offer to pay them £x and get the situation resolved. Odds on, assuming you are reasonable and note all valid key points - they will accept and you can move on and 'save a few pennies' for a rainy day.

    There might also the possibility (perhaps?) the company has gone into liquidation/wound up and administrators are trying to sort through so that might account for the long lead time in contacting you to invoice...
    Doesn’t a debt have to be asked for within 6 years, not 3-4? Has an invoice already actually been sent prior to or during the purchase/fitting period?
    2006 LBM £28,000+ in debt.
    2021 mortgage and debt free, working part time and living the dream
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