Enforcing a CCJ against a Builder

Long story, so I'll try and keep this short.

I contracted a builder to build an Extension and knock through. Work started in November 2021 and was supposed to take 3 months. Here we are in December 2023 and work is still not completed to my satisfaction and I've been left with incomplete work and a non functioning heating system. I have tried multiple attempts to resolve this issue direct with the builder, including face-to-face meetings, emails, formal letters and nothing has resolved the issue. In fact, the builder has played every trick in the book to absolve himself of his responsibility.

I reached the point in September when I could take no more, and having exhausted all avenues to come to an amicable resolution, and then being ignored by the builder himself, I raised a Money Claim. With the interest, this claim totals just over £10k. I received notification just before Christmas that the CCJ had been enforced as the builder failed to respond to anything sent to him via the court service.

I have checked the online guidance, but it's really unclear what my next steps should be to enforce the CCJ and get some of my money back. The only real thing I can find is a Warrant of Control (EX322) which seems to point to my only option being to issue a writ in the High Court.

I'd be grateful for some guidance on this if anybody knows any further information. I need the money back so I can start to put right the shoddy and incomplete work that the original builder has left behind in his wake.

Comments

  • knightstyle
    knightstyle Posts: 6,969
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    It will cost you more money to enforce this so are you sure the builder has money to pay, is the claim against a person or company? Plus are you sure the address the courts use is correct?

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,186
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    You now have a default judgement. We talk about judgement being awarded. Enforcement follows.This is where the fun starts.

    1. You can ask bailiffs to see if they can access his assets. As it is over 10k you cannot use the county court bailiff and must escalate it to High Court. (HCEO) There are many companies who will help you with that

    2. You can raid his bank account by 3rd party debt order

    3. if he's self employed you cannot do attachment to earnings

    4. If he owns property you can do a charging order. This may not be as effective as you think.

    5. You can make him attend court to fill in a form about his assets etc. Failure to comply results in 2 weeks in jail.

    6. The nuclear option is a statutory demand, where you force bankruptcy unless he pays

    https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment

  • pumbaa
    pumbaa Posts: 64
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    It will cost you more money to enforce this so are you sure the builder has money to pay, is the claim against a person or company? Plus are you sure the address the courts use is correct?

    Oh, he has the money to pay. This guy lives a lavish lifestyle and spends half his life on holidays around the world. I've already had his company assets checked and it's more than sufficient. It's a listed Company that's on Companies House which I can post the link to if that's allowed
  • pumbaa
    pumbaa Posts: 64
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    fatbelly said:
    You now have a default judgement. We talk about judgement being awarded. Enforcement follows.This is where the fun starts.

    1. You can ask bailiffs to see if they can access his assets. As it is over 10k you cannot use the county court bailiff and must escalate it to High Court. (HCEO) There are many companies who will help you with that

    2. You can raid his bank account by 3rd party debt order

    3. if he's self employed you cannot do attachment to earnings

    4. If he owns property you can do a charging order. This may not be as effective as you think.

    5. You can make him attend court to fill in a form about his assets etc. Failure to comply results in 2 weeks in jail.

    6. The nuclear option is a statutory demand, where you force bankruptcy unless he pays

    https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment

    I thought that was the case, just needed someone to validate my thinking. Option 1 is where I'm going next by issuing a writ in the High Court.

    Thank you.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,262
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    pumbaa said:
    It will cost you more money to enforce this so are you sure the builder has money to pay, is the claim against a person or company? Plus are you sure the address the courts use is correct?

    It's a listed Company that's on Companies House which I can post the link to if that's allowed
    I don't see why not, though bear in mind the last filed accounts will only show the position on the relevant date (and assets will vary in how easy they are for you to "get at").
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,186
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    The High Court option is what most people will try. They are not as universally successful as their promotional tv programmes would lead you to believe, but relatively cost effective.
  • pumbaa
    pumbaa Posts: 64
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    edited 3 January at 9:08PM
    I'm back for some further advice, but firstly thanks to those who've posted above, been a great help.

    The owner of the Company is currently seeking to liquidate this business, and to my knowledge open another construction business under a different name. I appreciate this happens a lot. The listing for his "current" business is still active on Companies House, but I also appreciate it can take some time for records to update.

    Now, the registered address is a rented unit on a small industrial estate. This has been re-possessed by the Landlord wef 4 December 2023. When I submitted the Money Claim in October 2023, the registered business address was a residential address that was listed on Companies House at the time - I double checked when I submitted the claim. I've since found out the Company Owner rented that residential property and now lives at the different address.

    Before I launch enforcement action through the High Court, how exactly can I find out where this guy is now? I know where he is living, but can't absolutely pinpoint an address as it's a house he has built on his in-laws farm.

    Once again, thanks in advance for any help and guidance.

    EDIT. Since posting this, I've found out that he is now trading under a different name that appears to have been active since May 2023. Gets more curious.....
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,186
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    edited 3 January at 8:38PM
    So is the farm address the actual address? Or has the house been registered as a separate dwelling?

    For £3 you can check if he is the owner on

    https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

    Don't use any other link or you'll be paying extra to a middle man

    It could be useful info as things develop
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,262
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    pumbaa said:

    I know where he is living, but can't absolutely pinpoint an address as it's a house he has built on his in-laws farm.
    Knowing where he is doesn't necessarily help you any if your judgement is against the company? Surely you need to find assets of the company?
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,674
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    pumbaa said:

    EDIT. Since posting this, I've found out that he is now trading under a different name that appears to have been active since May 2023. Gets more curious.....
    He's allowed to have more than one business. Many people do. Just make sure that you claim against the specific business who did shoddy work for you. If you accidentally claim against one of his other businesses, even with a similar name, your claim will fall at the first fence.
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