Works Not Complete

Works Not CompleteDeciding to embark on a home improvement project is a big decision and can be expensive. For most homeowners, though, the short-term stress of having tradespeople take over your home is often a small price to pay for the improved living conditions you subsequently enjoy. However, sometimes, things don’t go to plan. Unfortunately, a common issue our clients request our building dispute solicitors’ advice on is where they stand when the works are not complete.

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What Should You Do If The Works Are Not Complete?

What you should do when your building works are not complete depends on the circumstances surrounding the builder’s failure to complete the job. However, as a general rule, it is usually a good idea to take the following steps:

• Talk To Your Builder.

Before spending time and money taking legal advice on your rights if the works are not complete, it’s a good idea to speak to your builder. They may have a valid reason for being unable to complete the job immediately, such as being unwell or unable to source the materials they require. They may have every intention of completing the work, and their apparent refusals may be due to a breakdown in communication.

All communication you have with your builder should be in writing wherever possible. If your discussions with the builder are in person, it’s a good idea to follow up with an email or make a note of what was said to refer to should you need to.

• Get The Builder’s Point Of View.

It’s crucial to establish the builder’s position on the situation. Do they accept that the works are not complete, or is their belief that the job is finished? Your solicitor will be in a better position to advise you on the best way forward if they understand the builder’s take on the matter.

• Collect Evidence.

The more evidence you have in support of your position, the better. Therefore, it’s important to collect and retain anything relevant to the issue. Examples of the types of correspondence and documentation that might assist include the following:

  • Your contract with the builder if you have one.
  • Correspondence between you and the builder, including letters, emails, and text messages.
  • Dated notes of conversations between you and the builder.
  • Invoices.
  • Details of the payments you have made to the builder.
  • Photographs of the works not complete.

• Review Your Agreement With The Builder.

If you entered into a written contract with your builder relating to the project, it may contain terms relating to pertinent issues, such as the timeframe for completion of the works and how any disputes should be addressed. If you don’t have a written agreement with your builder, you will nevertheless have entered into an oral one with them when they agreed to do the work.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies to contracts between tradespeople and homeowners and implies terms relating to various matters. For example, the tradesperson must supply their services with ‘reasonable care and skill’ and within a ‘reasonable time frame’. Accordingly, if your builder is taking too long to complete the job or has left the works not complete, you may be entitled to various remedies, including a price reduction or even a full refund.

• Seek Legal Advice.

The best way to deal with a builder whose works are not complete depends on the facts. If you have made no payments to the builder, you may be best off cutting your losses and finding a different tradesperson to undertake the work. However, the issue can be significantly problematic if you paid the builder upfront. The best course of action in those cases depends on your ultimate goals, and whether you wish to force the builder to honour your original agreement or get your money back and simply go elsewhere.

Whatever your objectives, if speaking with the builder gets you nowhere, or if they have gone AWOL and are refusing to engage with you about the issue, swift, decisive action is vital in securing a favourable outcome. Our building dispute solicitors are ideally placed to assist homeowners whose building works are not complete. Our advice is pragmatic, solutions-focused, and we deliver it in plain English with no legal jargon. We strive to settle disputes without recourse to litigation wherever possible, favouring instead negotiations with the other party and alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. These methods are quicker, cheaper and less stressful than court proceedings, and can produce excellent results in cases involving works that are not complete.

Please call us now on 01603 672222 for a no-obligation conversation today or Click Here To Make An Online Enquiry.

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