help needed regarding our rights

  jay.p 14:40 01 Nov 2008

i am having alot of work done on a property we are buying of a family member (damp rendering,plastering, ceilings etc) the workers estimated it will take 3 weeks to complete, a few unforeseen extras have come up which would take it to 4 weeks to complete.
it will be 6 weeks this wednesday coming, so far they have gutted the house back to brick, 1 new floor and finished 1 room and a few small jobs have been done. we have complained so many times they have left the house in such a state, there has been no skip this week so all rubble and rubbish is piled up in my front garden, cement stains on paths etc ruining the front garden. all they do is go off to work on there other jobs, we have paid 2 deposits to them, which is under half the amount of the costs. we are paying no more until some work is done. this week out of 6 days some one did abit of plastering on wednesday but were gone when i went round there at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, yesterday because my wife had a big moan they came, got a skip, cleared up quite abit, then went off to another job saying they would come today. they haven't come today because one of the sons has been up sick all night.
all we have had is excuse after excuse. i don't believe in 6 weeks we have had a full 5 days work from them. they are not part of any governing body (they are a local company)so i don't know who to complain to and what to do next, does anyone have any idea what to do, many thanks

  The Brigadier 14:43 01 Nov 2008

Complain to Trading Standards.

  Forum Editor 14:56 01 Nov 2008

is to sit down and work out how much work has been done in relation to the amount you've paid out. My guess is that you'll find there's no value left on your side of the fence - the work done will account for less than the amount you've paid. If that's the case, the builder has no financial incentive to come and finish the job; he's possibly off doing the same thing to other people.

Write to the builder and tell him that unless he resumes work within seven days, and progresses the contract to completion without further interruption you will take action against him for breach of the contract. Tell him that in that event you will also be seeking damages in respect of your loss of enjoyment of your property.

You did have a written quotation, didn't you?

That letter will almost certainly provoke a response, but it will also lead to a loss of whatever goodwill might still exist between you. Provided the financial balance isn't weighted too heavily in favour of the builder it will probably be best to suggest that unless there's an immediate presence that continues to completion you will get someone else to finish the job. Do not, under any circumstances part with any further funds unless there's a good deal more work done.

  NewestRoyWidd1 15:07 01 Nov 2008

The advice from both The Brigadier and Forum Editor is sound,you may also like to get legal advice from your local law centre if you have one?
Failing that,try Citizens Advice.Please keep us updated as to your progress.

  jay.p 15:08 01 Nov 2008

we have a written quote with the price we agreed, and we also have a list of all the jobs which are included in that price. i don't believe they have completed quite enough for the money we have paid so far. they say they will be working tomorrow, but i am at the stage where i just don't believe anything they say. we told them a couple of weeks ago that we would like to have there side of the work finished on 7th November, they said it will be done by then, as we have a plumber and electrician to go in, all this is holding them up as well, but we have had no commitment from them especially this week. its like a bomb site round there, i think we will be lucky to move in by christmas.

  jay.p 15:13 01 Nov 2008

The Brigadier, Forum Editor, NewestRoyWidd1

thank you for all your answers, i will keep you posted as to any progress with any work happening and taking it further legally.

  Forum Editor 15:41 01 Nov 2008

but with careful handling you can resolve it. The important thing is to remember that you must be proactive, rather than reactive - left to his own devices this builder will probably come and go to suit himself. He obviously has other work in progress, and he'll be getting grief from those customers when he's somewhere else.

Be firm, and if he doesn't commit, tell him you'll void his contract because of his inability to perform.

One final thing - if you put all this in writing (and you should), make sure that you type 'Without prejudice' at the top.

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