How do I resolve a dispute with a tradesman?

How Do I Resolve A Dispute With A Tradesman? | Middletons Solicitors

Deciding to carry out some work on your property can be exciting. Whether you are planning a bathroom or kitchen refit or something bigger like an extension, it makes sense to get some comparable quotes and some references from your tradesman and where possible use tradesman recommended to you by friends or family.
This should go a long way to helping you avoid employing a poor workman, but you are still not protected unless you understand your rights and how to apply them.
First and foremost, get the agreement in writing. This should outline all the work to be carried out, the costs involved and the deadline for completion of the job. Where this is not clear, the standards of ‘reasonable’ will apply and what is reasonable to one person may not be to another.

You are entitled to three statutory rights when a job is completed using labour and skill as the main elements. It does not matter if these are not in the contract or in fact if there is a contract at all.
They are:
• Reasonable care and skill
• Reasonable time taken
• Reasonable cost

You can expect that your tradesman has the skill to complete the job you have contracted them to do for you and to complete it to a reasonable standard and that they will also use reasonable care when completing the job for you. If this does not happen, your statutory rights have been breached and you can cancel the contract and claim your money back. You may also need to get the poor work put right, so you should consider a claim against the tradesman for compensation.

If the time for the tradesman to complete your job is too long or indeed they have left the job unfinished, then this is a breach of your statutory rights. You should give the tradesman a deadline and where this is not met, they would be in breach of contract.

If you dispute the cost of the work completed, always say so at the time. If you don’t and you go on to dispute the cost, the tradesman could argue that he wasn’t aware and that you accept the price and the work because you paid.

The Doorstep Selling Regulations may apply if your tradesman visited you at home so you may have additional protection as a consumer under these regulations.
Get advice from a specialist solicitor who can help you to understand your legal position and decide how to proceed.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our disputes and litigation services, please call us in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or  email swhite@mulaw.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).