If you find yourself facing a challenging situation with a builder dispute, then starting court action may be the only option. Your builder may have failed to fulfil their contractual obligations or just simply ‘down tooled’ and walked off the site/ property.
Understanding the necessary steps and considerations involved in suing your builder for breach of contract is paramount to protecting your home and seeking appropriate compensation.
1. What should you do if a builder does a bad job?
If your builder does a bad job on the agreed schedule of works, you should ask him to either rectify the problem by repeating the works. Or if you have lost complete faith in the ability of the builder, you should ask for a partial or full refund on the work carried out, depending on the nature of the builder dispute.
If the builder refuses to carry out the remedial works, you may be able to make a legal claim against the builder to recover your money. Whether you sue the builder in their personal name, or the limited company, depends on the terms of the contract and will be the prelimianry issue in the builder dispute.
2. What would be considered a breach of the contract in a Builder Dispute?
A claim against the builder for a breach of the written contract would depend on; (a) the schedule of works (b) architectural drawings agreed upon before the building works started and (c) any agreed alterations to the schedule of works. Some examples of breach of contact in a builder dispute may include the following:
- Negligently executed building work,
- Incompetent performance of building tasks,
- Deviation from the architectural drawings,
- Non-compliance with planning permission, structural engineer calculations of building regulations,
- Using the incorrect material in breach of the schedule of works,
- Failing to meet agreed deadlines,
- Failing to complete the ‘Snag List’,
- Disputes relating to payments.
3. What should you do if a builder breaches a contract?
Firstly, you should review the written contract to understand the terms and obligations of both parties. You should then document any breaches or failures by the builder in meeting their contractual obligations to support claim.
It would be better if you first spoke to the builder and outlined the breaches and request the builder carries out remedial works. You should keep a record of your communication i.e. email the builder then speak to him face to face. No one wants a half-built extension. So attempt to negotiate a resolution or settlement through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration.
4. Can I take a builder to Court without a written contract?
Yes, it is possible, but challenging, to take a builder to court even without a written contract for a builder dispute claim. Although a written contract provides a clear framework, the existence of a verbal contract can still be established. Also, implied terms exist between a consumer and a business under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
It would be ideal if you gather evidence that supports the agreement between you and the builder, such as emails, messages, invoices, or witnesses. Keep in mind that proving the terms of the agreement may be more challenging in court without a written contract. The builder may put forward a different version of events to support their defence.
For more information is available at our blog Verbal Agreement – Are They Valid?
5. What are the costs to start a Builder Dispute?
For consumers and businesses involved in a builder dispute, we offer a number of funding arrangements for builder disputes such as Fixed Legal Costs Litigation. During the Free Consultation Call, a fixed fee quote will be provided.
Parties involved in builder dispute should consider whether early mediation is a possibility to negotiate a settlement. Mediation can be highly successful. For more information, read our blog Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
If you are seeking a builder dispute lawyer, we can help your case. To book a Free Consultation Call, with Mr Usman Anwar Legal Director, you can complete the Contact Us Form or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Still not convinced? Read some of our business client’s success stories and testimonials on how they settled their business disputes using our legal service.