Association of Professional Landscapers - Borders/shrubs
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Your rights guide: borders/shrubs
If the issue is not addressed then you should dispute the cost of the specific item that you are disatisfied with. You can retain payment for this element but you should pay the rest of any invoices you receive. If the work has been delivered to the specification then you should pay the cost.
If the work has not been delivered as described then you have the right to expect the work to be delivered to the desired specification.
Has the delivered products/works been changed?
If the products used have been changed, were you informed of the change before it was undertaken and did you agree to the change. This can be simply you were told and did not object. If it was changed then it should have been changed with products of the same quality and same cost or higher cost. You should not have to pay any additional costs.
If you have not agreed a specification with the Tradesman, then it becomes tricker as you can expect the work to be of a reasonable quality and to be as described. How was the work described to you, were you given any examples to compare with as that effectively creates the definition of what is reasonable. If you were not given examples then it would be what you would expect in terms of quality based on what you have paid. For example if you shoes from a discount store the quality expectation will be less than if you had a pair made for you.
This is why it is important to have a specification to prevent debates over your expectations compared with what was delivered.
If the work has not been completed, then you have the right to withold payment to cover the completion of the works. Ensure you have a quote for any other works. Before you do this you should ask the existing Tradesman to complete the works, ensure you record your communications. In addition, set out clearly the timescales you expect the issue to be resolved in and explain what you will have to do.
If you do not pay then the Tradesman has the right to remove what they have done or they may take you to Court. You should therefore be fair and reasonable in your approach.
When the installation work is completed the Tradesman should under the standard agreement provide you with care notes on how to manage and maintain the plants. It is important that you follow these recommendations. Once the contract is complete the responsibility for the plants passes from the Tradesman to you.
Plants in poor condition at handover
If the plants are in poor condition at the time of handover then you should raise the issue immediately. We recommend that you take photos as a record of the issue. You should raise the issue immediately before the contract is finished and before you have made any final payments.
If you Tradesman is providing an on-going maintenance service for your plants and this is not be undertaken to your satisfaction, then make a record of when the Tradesman is attending and how this compares with the agreement. If you feel the plants are not being given sufficient attention then raise the issue. If they are dying is this becasue they are seasonal or is it from a lack of attention. Raise the issue with the Tradesman. If it is from a lack of care then it is reasonable to expect the damaged plants to be replaced.You should know
- Raise your issue with the company first and give them the chance to put the issue right.
- If you have started legal proceedings the Resolver, the Association of Professional Landscapers and TrustMark will not be able to assist in the resolution process.
- All companies in resolver are a member of the Association of Professional Landscapers and therefore abide by their code of conduct.
- If the issue cannot be resolved then it can be escalated to the Association of Professional Landscapers through Resolver and they will assess your case.
- If the issue cannot be resolved then the case will be escalated to TrustMark for final mediation.
- If the issue cannot be resolved, we recommend mediation of the issue as a quick and effective solution and at a fraction of the cost of legal proceedings.
Raising your concerns
Talk to the tradesman about the problem and give them a chance to put any problems right or to finish any work that is not finished.
If this has been a series of events that has leas you to complain what is the main cause and as important be clear and concise as to what you want done to resolve the issue.
Be fair and reasonable
Stay calm, even if you are angry, and give evidence and examples to support your claims. Be fair, ensure that you listen to the tradesman view and see if there is a reasonable compromise that can be reached.
Keep an accurate record
Through Resolver record your communications, phone calls and supporting documents such as photos in case the issue cannot be resolved. Remember the Resolver app allows you to record your phone calls and add photos to your take on your phone. The app is available on both Android & Apple.
If you cannot solve the problem
resolver will remind you what to do and when. The system will allow you to escalate your case if unresolved after the tradesman has been given a reasonable time to resolve the issue with you.
Independent assessment of the issue
If you are still not satisfied, your resolver case file will be sent to the Association of Professional Landscapers. They are there to independently assess your case once you have been through the trades persons complaints procedure.
It is important to note that most resolutions do not include a pay out for compensation but will require the company, if found to have failed to meet the contractual agreement or standards set by the Association to put right what is wrong.
Any assessment will be undertaken independently and will be based on the information provided by both parties.
There is no charge for the independent assessment of the case but be aware if you case is dismissed you will be made aware of why it was rejected.
Dissatisfied with the complaints procedure
If the issue is still not resolved to your satisfaction because the correct procedure was not followed or has not dealt with the issue as they said they would then you can escalate your case to TrustMark in resolver. TrustMark will look at how the case was assessed and not the original issue.
If your issues cannot be resolved by the Association of Professional Landscapers and the issue is about the complaint and not how it is handled then you should consider mediation or arbitration of the dispute. This is low cost and the focus is on providing a cost effective resolution.
Your complete case from resolver will allow the mediator/arbitrator to quickly assess your case. Resolver can put you in contact with the right parties to resolve your issue effectively.
Taking legal proceedings
The alternative is to take your issue to Court. The focus is only to take cases to Court as a last resort and you should have tried to mediate or arbitrate first. Simply going to your solicitor and sending costly letters will not help your case, the intent must be to resolve and how you have tried to have a reasoned argument rather than simply turning to your solicitor.
What if the firm is not in resolver?
resolver is adding all TrustMark members to its service as the Government endorsed standards for the construction industry. These are being rolled out across the different membership organisations.
For companies outside of TrustMark sadly resolver is not able to assist in resolving your case but we can help you find a mediator to help resolve your issues.
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