Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

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Jen66
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Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby Jen66 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:56 am

I feel this is the way we are heading with the contractors who did our side return kitchen extension. 

The project has been signed off by building control, although there have subsequently been huge issues with leaks in the new roof. 

The standard of work inside is appalling. The decorating is messy and unprofessional, I could honestly have done better myself. The plumbing has been a disaster - every appliance they fitted has leaked.  The supposedly 'bespoke' doors are a bodged mess. 

I have given them many opportunities to put things right and they generally make things worse. I am now at a stage where I don't want them back in my home and will have to pay other contractors to correct their work. 

The amount I'm looking at having to shell out is around £12k but I think I'll keep it to £10k just to keep the case at the small claims threshold 

 
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Burnbane
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Re: Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby Burnbane » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:03 am

Has the contractor got any money? No point in suing unless he will pay. May be a shell company? Get a surveyor to write a report first so you have an independent opinion. Then go to SCC.
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Jen66
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Re: Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby Jen66 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:35 am

The contractor appears to have several limited companies but my contract is with him as a sole trader which (I think) helps me as it means he can't shut the company down.  He definitely has money. He lives in a very nice house that he owns, drives a £40k car and one of his labourers told me he owns a property in Portugal. 

The majority of the issues are internal, which I don't think a surveyor will help with. They're more structural aren't they? 
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GillNic
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Re: Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby GillNic » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:16 pm

What’s the name of the company?

We have had some issues with a company that sound quite similar.
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the parsley song
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Re: Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby the parsley song » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi, yes we have. My advice is to gather all your documentation on what they agreed to do and what they have not done; a professional second opinion on what they've not done,and, if you don't feel you can argue your case well get someone else to do it for you.

We sued a builder in the SCC for not finishing cabinetry work and we lost. The SCC is more formal than we had expected. The builder had his barrister family friend to represent him and we felt like we were in the High Court! We were not at all prepared for that as had thought it would be informal and common sense would prevail. The Magistrate was like Judge Judy and really responded to the barrister while seemed to hate us - middle class lawyers, urghhh. It was extremely stressful, so factor that in also. Not trying to put you off but don't expect it to go your way even when you are in the right. Best of luck.
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Jen66
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Re: Has anyone ever sued a builder /taken them to the small claims court?

Postby Jen66 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:02 pm

GillNic - I've sent you a message. 

The Parsley Song - thanks for the info. It sounds like so much depends on the magistrate you get on the day. I have been documenting everything and have photographs of the bodged work. 

The builder is a FMB member but I can't really see the point in using their dispute resolution service. After speaking to them it's clear that all they do is order the contractor to redo the work if they deem it unfit. They can't instruct the contractor to issue a refund, which is what I want 
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