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Sniper 6:32 Thu Dec 22
Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
I posted some info on another thread but I won't bump that - wanted some more specific advise

We've had a kitchen fitted. Stupidly we didn't get the guy to list every specific detail on the initial quote - so, as an example, we told him we had worktops and upstands but he quoted for fitting worktops and has now added fitting upstands to the costs.

We've paid lots of additional costs as they are justified - he fitted some flooring and boxes in some pipes (again the Boxing in was discussed but not itemised on the initial quote). However, I don't think the finish in the upstands is suitable. They have mitred joints in the ends with gaps round them and are chipped. He claims this is a decorating job and there is no problem with them. I've shown them to different local supplies in howdens wicked etc and they all agree it's not good enough. He says we have 7 days to pay the remainder or he'll take us to small claims.

My understanding is that you have to pay the initial quote or you are in breach of contract and then you have to take action to reclaim some of the payment. We have more than covered the cost of the original quote but have not paid all the extras on top of this - can we withhold payment for those as they were not officially agreed prices at the start?

I tried discussing with him but he became angry and abusive and stormed out - which I recorded on my phone just in case.

Anyone have any experience of this either as tradesman or customer?

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Sniper 4:52 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Also russ, intrigued by your stealth campaign idea...

When we moved into the house the removals firm backed thenlorry into our gate post, knocking the top off and making the whole thing unstable. Stupidly I didn't take a picture of it as my son had my phone, and there was a 2 foot scratch and sent down the side of the lorry at the same height as the top of the post which would be difficult to hide.

When I called the firm to complain, they denied all knowledge and said they took the top off by hand as there wasn't enough room and it was already loose. All 4 removals chaps denied anything had happened and they refused to come out and even look at it

I'm still fuming about it now! So if you have any tips let me know!!!!

Sniper 4:47 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Thanks everyone

I have a recording of him admitting he fitted what he thought was broken flooring and bent work surfaces, of him refusing to admit the up stands are fitted badly and damaged and of me being polite whilst he yells abuse

I also have written explanations from an ex work colleague who manages a housing repairs section who is also an ex carpenter explaining what the issues are with the joints

I'm pretty confident he'll fall on his arse if he tries anything

Russ of the BML 4:35 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Westside 4:23 Fri Dec 23

Mate, we got turned over by a solicitor who did some conveyancing work for us. Or should I say didn't.

Basically took £350 off me and then did fuck all. Instead of directing a stealth campaign of anti-social attacks against him and his property (which I desperately wanted to do). We followed the rules and went within the law.

Got the decision and he basically ignored the order to pay me. Bailiff's went round and got fuck all and so the bailiff closed it. I was livid. I phoned the bailiff and he basically said "We can't force him to pay"

Me and my brother-in-law went to his house soon after and the place was empty and the cunt had moved oop North.

Westside 4:23 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Russ - "By the way, small claims court have fuck all power anyway. I found that out the hard way."

I found Money Claim On Line very useful and powerful. The twice I've used them I've obtained judgement. One was enforced by bailiffs via Money Claim on Line. The other I got a 3rd party debt order on somebody's bank account. Again all through Money Claim On Line, for small fees, which themselves were recovered.

Alfs 3:58 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
The workman sounds like a bully. Stand up to him and only pay for what you deem is fair and proper. You have proof that some of the charges are unreasonable and that the work is shoddy, so he'd lose if he took you to the small claims for the remainder.

Russ of the BML 2:57 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
By the way, small claims court have fuck all power anyway. I found that out the hard way. Just offer him a chance to do the work properly by letter / e-mail (so it's evidenced) and tell him he ain't getting any more till it's done.

If you can prove at a later date you were willing to allow him to amend it he will be told to fuck off by the court.

Russ of the BML 2:55 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
He insisted on driving and getting some items that you said you would have delivered and then charged you £30. He sounds like a right cunt.

VirginiaHam 2:27 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
This is probably one of the most helpful threads ever on WHO.

overbyyer 1:47 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Sniper

If he's gone behind on time then its likely that he didnt to wait for you to organise delivery of the unit legs as he'd been put further back again.

The plastering is a classic situation though, he gets someone in and they let him down, then tries to tuck you up by clawing the money back on extras.

If builders insist on juggling work they should at least learn to juggle first.

Sniper 1:24 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Spain

Yeah that could be it. His plasterers ballsed up at the start and don't skim enough of the wall so when he fitted units there were gaps around them. We told him the walls needed redoing, so that set him back by a week and I think that just fucked him
Off so much he's just been an arse about it all. But not having a kitchen for an extra 10 days with two small children was far more of a ball ache for us!

Westside 12:57 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
(and you may not unless fairly significant amount as it will cost a few hundred approx depending to amount to file his claim)

Just not true. You can use the Money Claim Online Service, which has minimal costs. £70 fee for up to £1,500 claim, for example.

I've used this a couple of times successfully. If you are successful, you get your fee back from the defendant.

hammerspain 12:10 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
I have been a self employed carpenter for too long to think about, & if i behaved like that would have no work. Really dont get how people can work like that, 30 to pick up some legs for units????
Only thing I can think, is that people give a cheap quote to get work, then cut corners/ add extras to get more out of punters, & punters pay up because they just want job finished & trades out of their house!

Sniper 11:52 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Thanks everyone

Other stuff he's added for includes things like charging £30 to drive to the kitchen suppliers (10 minutes away) as they forgot to supply legs for one of the units. Even though I said I'd call them to get them to deliver. And then said I'd go myself - but he insisted

We also paid for plumbing and electrical work - apparently the sink came with non standard pipe work so he's charged £60 extra for piping to connect to a washing machine waste - but told us nothing about it at the time.

He also fitted broken flooring which has a hole in it, which he says was broken in the packaging - it may we'll have been but knowingly fitting it (its quick step flooring) means our floor isn't water proof and charged for that fitting too

I actually think a lot of the issues are from work done by Joan apprentice - the kid was really nice but quite new and I know he cut the upstands as I saw him doing it. I wouldn't mind about any of the issues if he'd just said at the time so we could sort it but he didn't. We even have doors that don't line up and handles not fitted straight

Chigwell 6:22 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
So he fitted the upstands and boxed in the pipes without first telling you that his quote did not include these items? And before he produced that quote, you had told him you wanted these extras done?
Obviously you haven't shown us the quote, but a District Judge is likely to think that he accepted and quoted for the job including those extras, if he did not point out before fitting them that he would be charging more for them. With that and the substandard workmanship, I think that you have good reason not to pay in full.
As it sounds like you are going to need a professional to put things right, get a quote for the remedial work and tell the first guy that if he sues you for unpaid work, you will counterclaim for the amount of the second quote.
It's best to avoid court of course, and getting the second quote will give you an idea of how much you should pay the first bloke: don't hold out for every last penny if he is willing to compromise.

onlyoneclydebest 2:10 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Unfortunately we don't have his side of the story

Crassus 12:30 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Have the work assessed and as stated costed by an alternative professional. Then forward the additional quote telling him that you will with hold that from the final settlement. Give him a reasonable time frame to make good, say 14 days, after which you will engage the alternative chippy. Note that his failure to respond in writing will be taken as his acceptance.

Document it all, send it recorded delivery to his address upon the original quote and await a response.

clarky 12:06 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
I could be wrong here but don't you have to give the tradesman one chance to correct it before you can get someone else in and charge him for it?

J.Riddle 12:03 Fri Dec 23
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Whatever is in the written contract stands. A verbal contract also stands if agreed, but impossible to prove unless you have a witness(s) or filmed it say.

One way to help prove the shoddy work is to get/pay an expert to provide a report perhaps a chartered surveyor or an established experienced joiner/carpenter, one preferably who is a member of various industry associations to report/quote and put right the previous tradesman's work and have them note to such on the quote and invoice. Take photographic documentation of before and after as testament. Get the work corrected, which in in itself is testament to the fact that the work needed correcting.

If you receive his claim from the small claims court, (and you may not unless fairly significant amount as it will cost a few hundred approx depending to amount to file his claim), you will have the option to counterclaim for corrective works as invoice paid and or other expert report expenses as applicable.

clarky 11:58 Thu Dec 22
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
Sounds like you're holding back for small stuff that could be corrected easily.
Just pay the guy his money minus the upstands, I'm sure he'll accept that.
if he takes you to small claims and you lose (and it sounds like you probably will) you could end up paying his legal fee's as well

FrancoisVanDerElst 11:54 Thu Dec 22
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
I doubt very much you have anything other than an informal quote and bill which are not a contract so of course u can refuse to pay it if you are not happy

stepney hammer 11:41 Thu Dec 22
Re: Help regarding withholding payment from a tradesman
bruuuno 11:31 Thu Dec 22

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