What's the best way forward with this trader? Re Unfinished work.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
8 replies 882 views
shop-to-dropshop-to-drop Forumite
4.3K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
Hello and thanks in advance for any replies.

Had someone in (a sole trader) to provide and lay flooring almost a year ago. The job should have taken no more than a three days.

Most of the work was carried out but the fitter was waiting for some materials to be able to complete the work and promised that he would get the materials within days but had another job next week so would return no longer than 2 weeks later.

He didn't! About 3 months later we got a later asking for payment or to get in contact if we still wanted the job finished.

We replied by return of post saying ofcourse we still wanted the job finished. To contact us again on a given date a couple of weeks later as we were just going on our summer holiday. We had no further correspondence from him until today we have had a letter asking for payment but not offering to complete the work. In a few days time it will be one year from when the work was started.

We have not paid any money in advance, we were happy with the work that was carried out but none of it is finished. The trader was pleasant and there was no problems at all while he was here.

What should we do next? Anyone know where we stand legally?

Thanks.
:j Trytryagain FLYLADY - SAYE £700 each month Premium Bonds £713 Mortgage Was £100,[email protected]/6/08 now zilch 21/4/15:beer: WTL - 52 (I'll do it 4 MUM)

Replies

  • The next step to take is to ask him to complete the work, it could be that he has forgotten and just assumes it was finished.

    Legally, you are obliged to pay him to the stage that it was completed.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • Is that right. If a trader decides for no good reason not to complete the work you still have to pay them? How much is the unfinished work to be valued at?

    Thanks for your reply.
    :j Trytryagain FLYLADY - SAYE £700 each month Premium Bonds £713 Mortgage Was £100,[email protected]/6/08 now zilch 21/4/15:beer: WTL - 52 (I'll do it 4 MUM)
  • He definitely knows the works is unfinished, it is mentioned in the letter.
    :j Trytryagain FLYLADY - SAYE £700 each month Premium Bonds £713 Mortgage Was £100,[email protected]/6/08 now zilch 21/4/15:beer: WTL - 52 (I'll do it 4 MUM)
  • maninthestreetmaninthestreet Forumite
    16.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture
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    Send a letter back (via recorded delivery) telling him time is now the essence of the contract, and that he must complete his side of the contract by a certain date, and then you will pay him. If he doesnt complete his side of the contract by that date, he will be in breach of contract.
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • Yes, you can either pay them to the stage that it has been completed, or you can sue for specific performance (ie for them to complete the contract).

    As for how much the unfinished work is to be valued at, it is a case of how much did he complete? For instance, if he completed half the work, then you should pay him half of the total.

    I really would make my first step to be to call him and see what he has got to say for himself. Perhaps he thinks that you don't want him to finish the work? I would be interested to know his explanation! x
    Gone ... or have I?
  • Thanks for the reply. if he is in breach of contract do we have to pay anything?

    Also if he does finally complete the work are we obliged to pay the amount in full even though it has taken a year to complete rather than 2 weeks?

    Appreciate the advice. Thanks.
    :j Trytryagain FLYLADY - SAYE £700 each month Premium Bonds £713 Mortgage Was £100,[email protected]/6/08 now zilch 21/4/15:beer: WTL - 52 (I'll do it 4 MUM)
  • The thing with sending letters in this situation, is that you will not get anywhere fast. If he then writes back saying what about this date, then you have to write back again etc. It could never get done!

    In the first place, a phonecall would be much more efficient.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • If he is in breach of contract, then yes, you still have to pay for the work completed (but only for the amount completed).

    If he completes the work, then you would still be liable for the full amount, unless you were able to negotiate a discount with the tradesman.

    If you did want to take this further, then I do think that your lack of input would be questioned, in that you have only contacted him twice to sort the problem out. Playing devils advocate, your lack of contact could be seen as you accepting the work as it was. Therefore I think you are best to settle this as amicably as possible.
    Gone ... or have I?
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