Legal advice

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz MoneySaving
2 replies 1.6K views
FabeFabe Forumite
1 Post
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz MoneySaving
RE: Legal advice re: building contract work, Issue of limitation, and litigant in person .

Between 2009-2010 I carried out design and build work on a property for a client. The project was the building of a loft and rear extension.
In 2009 work started on the loft and we were due to commence on the rear extension near completion of the loft.
A contract / schedule of works was drawn up but was not signed, both parties where however in agreement on that details of the contract / schedule that formed the agreement. The loft was approx. 85% complete save for the internal work on a separate bathroom.
I was forced to terminate the works, due to non payment which arose from mainly (a) the the client disputing the cost of 3 built in cupboards, which were variation to the original schedule and (b) a party wall matter, where the neighbour started his own extension without serving the appropriate party wall notice, and started constructing what I considered to be a sub standard party wall (evidenced by photos and numerous correspondence).

The contract I had with my client became problematic, and I was informed on 2 separate occasions by the client that she would not be paying, and that I needed to sort out the party wall notice with the neighbour. I submitted an invoice which was not paid. I think it went for over a month where it was not fully paid. The contract was terminated soon after this by me, leaving the site.

There are also variations which where not submitted at the time, which I have subsequently applied to the client for payment, and given notice that I intend to take legal action.

Q. Am I still within the 6 year limitation period, to bring a legal claim in the small courts, has the client was sent notice in late 2012 and replied late 2012, early 2013., i.e. does the 6 years commence from the last act of the contract (me terminating it) or as attempts to resolve the matter where communicated by both parties around late 2012, does the limitation extended to 6 years from 2012?

Q. I feel I may need to have a review of the notice I submitted, to ensure that any an all Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR have been complied with, can you advise how best to do this.

Q. I need to have a clearer understanding of losses that can be claimed, as there were (a) numerous changes due to instructions by the client, building control, and compliance for our own party wall issues for the loft {these may have been captured on the notice of 2012, but not in its entirety} (b) due to the early termination, the remainder of the work in the region of £35, 000 was not carried out. (c) I am aware that I later lost another potential client which I had bid for work due to this matter.

Q. Should I not be able to negotiate or afford legal representation, I would like to pursue the matter as litigant in person, could you also advise the best coarse on this matter.

Replies

  • paddyrgpaddyrg Forumite
    13.5K Posts
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    Hiya, sounds like a mess!

    Firstly, you cannot (for several reasons) rely on internet strangers for legal advice. We can give our own ideas and speculation, but the information is just as good as 'some bloke down the pub told me...', and no better. If you need legal clarity, you must pay a lawyer.

    Get everything in order - get a file, draw a timeline, every payment, every receipt, every variation, every email, every letter, every text, call or comment, everything needs to be in order. Judges need this to decide who and what is where and when!

    To understand your losses you can claim for *direct losses* to restore you to the position you'd be in if you'd never started. You can't claim for the job that didn't happen, nor the rest of the contract you never got to finish. Keep the claim to where you're out of pocket and walk on. Small claims court has limitations on the claim amount, and if you try to get into £35k for this or that, you'll be way outside of that and end up in real, big money court.

    My 2p to get you started, anyway :)
  • caveworkcavework Forumite
    2K Posts
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    Do you have legal cover for contract disputes as part of your business insurance ?
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