Rights over building work:
Rights over cost of building work:
Unless you agreed something different, the cost of the building works should “reasonable”.
The area of law is known as “breach of contract”. Customers are also given extra rights under Consumer Rights Act 2015.
What do you have to prove to bring a claim?
1: What was agreed.
Before a tradesperson started work, you will usually have reached an agreement as to what they were going to do and the cost. This agreement can be:
2: What you are unhappy about.
This will be what the builder or their customer has done that has not followed the agreement. Examples include:
What evidence should you collect together?
1: Proof of what had been agreed between you. Perhaps a formal contract or an email or text exchange or notes you made at the time of a verbal agreement.
2: Proof that the agreement has been broken – such as photos of poor quality building work or of using the wrong materials or design.
3: Proof of the financial loss caused to you – such as an estimate to put right the poor quality work or bank statements showing that the customer has not paid what was agreed.
What can you claim?
Financial compensation or repair work– to put you in the position you would be in if the agreement had been followed.
1: The work completed (if left unfinished)
2: The work re-done to a reasonable standard
3: The cost of any other losses and expenses caused by the broken agreement. They can include future losses. Examples include the cost of cleaning carpets damaged by water damage and the cost of taking time off work to clean up and minimise damage to other property.
But all must be reasonable and cannot be a loss you would have suffered anyway. A builder is entitled to receive money for the work done properly.
What is the deadline for starting a claim at court?
Usually 6 years from the date of the agreement was broken. 3 years if the poor workmanship caused you a physical injury.
But this can get very complicated if you did not realise there had been bad quality work at the time. You might be entitled to a 3 year extension but it is important to take advice as soon as possible.
Please note: To give you general information about your dispute, the information given here is a simplification of a complex area of law and cannot be relied upon. As part of our commitment to serving you better, we highly recommend utilising the resources available at the Money Advice Service website. Their comprehensive guides and information cover various aspects of financial and legal matters, including small claims court procedures and may be able to give you the support you need.