When you decide to get some building or house improvements work done, you put a lot of trust in the people you ask to do the work. Sometimes that trust is misplaced, and the contractor takes your money but leaves you with unfinished or unsatisfactory work.
We can help you if:
- Corrective work was required to remedy any problems after the work was carried out
- The work has not been completed to schedule
- You were overcharged
- You would like a refund
- Your property was damaged by builders
If you think your claim cannot be resolved amicably, there are several different claim types we can run. Some examples are explained below.
Breach of Contract
The act of engaging a builder and agreeing that they will be paid for the work is a contract. But, contracts can be very informal and mot not even be written down.
We can advise you on the contractual duties the builder owes you.
As well as any terms set out in the verbal or written contract you will have additional contractual rights which, for a consumer, are set out primarily in the Consumer Rights Act. These rights are available to you whether they are written down in the contract or not, although it is helpful if the contract or part of it has been written down or provided in a quote.
A Breach of contract might include things like:
- Not completing the work to the standards specified specifically in the contract
- Not carrying out the work with reasonable care and skill
- Not using correct materials which were agreed
- Taking too long to finish the job
- Not sticking to the agreed price
Also, you could claim for misrepresentation. Misrepresentation would be where the builder (or project manager) promises something which persuades you to hire them, which then turns out to be untrue or doesn’t deliver on their work as promised.
If a builder leaves you with work which is defective, dangerous, or leaves your home unfit to live in, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them. You may also be able to run a professional negligence claim if builders have damaged your property or left you with an unsightly mess.
Your rights may be set out in the contract setting out the services they agreed to provide, but you also have additional rights set out in consumer protection laws. That includes a right to expect that the work will be done with reasonable care and skill.
So How Do You Get Your Money Back?
There are three options for getting your money back, which determines who you will claim against.
Get it back from the builder or Project Manager
Firstly, we would look for a refund from the builder. They may have the funds to pay you back themselves, or they may have insurance to pay you. Or, if you used an architect or project manager who arranged for the work to be done you can get it back from them.
Get it back from your credit card provider
The Consumer Credit Act may give you the right to claim against your credit card provider if you used the credit card to pay for any part of the work. This is because they share liability with the builder for any breach of contract or misrepresentation.
Doing this is especially useful if you need to run a claim against a party you are unable to locate. However, be aware this protection only applies to credit card purchases, and not debit card purchases.
Get it back by suing the builder then claiming on your insurance
We may be able to claim your losses from your own insurer in certain circumstances. This may apply if you have unsatisfied judgment protection in your insurance policy. Call us on 01925 351 350 and we can advise you about this.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
If you have found yourself in this situation, Chris Rudd Solicitors can offer you a reduced price for assistance with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Through ADR, we can help you resolve a dispute through mediation and adjudication. And, we can help you find a suitable outcome before going to court and incurring costly legal fees.
Are you a Builder?
Building disputes can also be run on behalf of builders who have been underpaid or have not received payment for work they have completed. This would be classed as a commercial dispute, which we can also help with.
Contact Chris Rudd Solicitors about a Building Dispute
We offer 15 minutes free initial advice, which helps us determine if we can help you. And, if you wish to take a claim forward, we can discuss what exactly we can do to help. Plus, we can offer several simple payment options such as:
- No win no fee or no win low fee (may depend on the nature of your case)
- Monthly payments terms
- We may be able to persuade your insurer to pay for our involvement
We are based in the North, but we often work remotely so it isn’t a problem if you’re farther afield. What that does mean is that our rates are lower than other solicitors farther south.
For more details on payment options and easy ways to pay, please see our pricing page.