Home improvement - Refuse to pay

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If the Tradesman failed to deliver what you expected when undertaking work you need to ensure you raise the issue with them as you notice it. It is important not to let lots of little things add up and fester as then they became hard to resolve. First raise the immediately and if you can keep a record of issues that you have raised and what was agreed.

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.

Has it been delivered to the specification?

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.

No specification

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.

Not completed the work

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.

You should know

Faulty product supplied with service

You have a legal right that the goods supplied by any builder or home improvement trader must

  •        be of satisfactory quality
  •        be fit for purpose
  •        match the description you were given
  •        be fitted using reasonable care and skill

If the goods are faulty or are not fitted correctly, or are not what you ordered, it's up to the trader who is doing the work for you to put things right.

It doesn’t matter if the problem is with the goods or with how the goods were fitted – it’s still up to the trader to sort it out. You shouldn't be asked to sort the problem out yourself with the manufacturer or business which sold your trader the goods. If you are asked to do this, you should insist that the trader who fitted the goods, sorts out the problem.

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.

Dispute resolution

If your issues cannot be resolved by the trader 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.

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