Any Advice?

(9 Posts)
MaryGrace Fri 05-Feb-16 09:46:55

Hi, I'm new here. I have a problem I'd like to invite opinions on, please. Any advice is appreciated.

A woman I used to consider a 'friend' has a boyfriend who is a 'builder.' I needed a kitchen sink and tap installed and, on her recommendation, I hired her boyfriend. Our formally documented (in writing) pre-agreement was his estimate that the work would require 3.5 hours which would give him enough time to fit and go to the supply store to source the necessary materials. On the day the two of them came, however, my friend kept rushing him to complete and allowed him only an hour, and not any time to go to the store. The outcome of his work was a kitchen worktop ruined because he cut it wonky. He fitted the sink without any clips. The sink sat above the worktop. The piping underneath was leaking from every place imaginable. The leaks flooded my kitchen several times and ruined that kitchen cabinet.

As soon as they left, paid, I wrote umpteen times to inform them of the leaks and to request they return to fix it. Her boyfriend say he does not want to return and she took his side and kept writing as a 'we.' They let the leaking go on for five days before they agreed to come back if I source an array of plumbing that he requested from a specialist online store open Mon-Fri and which takes at least 24 hr. for delivery. This was just before the weekend. However, owing to the leaks I could not wait a further few days because my entire kitchen would be ruined. I had to call out a weekend plumber to stop the leak. When the plumber came he showed me that this idiot 'builder' had not connected any of the piping properly and bunch of other mess. The plumber also showed me that the extra plumbing they put as a condition of their return was not necessary to fix the leak or to complete the job.

In all, this builder caused me hundreds of pounds worth of damage to my property with his shoddy cutting of my kitchen worktop and the floods. I then incurred hundreds of pounds worth of expenses due to having to hire a weekend plumber because he refused to return within a necessary/reasonable time frame. My questions:

1. Is he liable to pay for the damage he has made?
2. Is he liable to pay for the plumber I had to call to fix his work?

I want to take them to a small claims court but I do not know if I am likely to win? Also, he does not have a penny to his name. All he owns is a car and some tools. My friend has all the money (she owns a number of properties) and she has been handling the situation as his manager. But they are not formal business partners neither are they married. She's just a wealthy, stupid old lady who he uses to live with.

Any advice as to whether I can get my money back or if it is a waste of time pursuing it? Thank you, in advance.

Bearbehind Fri 05-Feb-16 09:53:59

I know it doesn't help now but your time to deal with this was before you paid him. You could obviously see he only took an hour not the 3.5 agreed and didn't go to the shop to get parts.

Also, the wonky worktop must have been obvious even if the leaks weren't.

If you'd refused to pay until it was as agreed then you'd be in a much stronger position.

You might be able to persue a claim but if he has no assets then there's not much point other than the principle of it.

MaryGrace Fri 05-Feb-16 19:18:37

Thank you lots for your response. You are completely correct, of course, the wonky cutting of the worktop was apparent immediately. But he got paid in cake, as per his request. That payment is not what I am worried about, it is the hundreds of pounds of damage he did which even a refund of payment would not fix. So, if I understand you correctly, the small claims court cannot take money from him if he does not have; they can't direct debt his future earnings?

If that is the case, it's no wonder they've been silent; they are not scared since they know he has no assets. I'd love to get his car taken off him as he can't work without it. Does it sound like I have a clear cut case for compensation of the damages?

LittleBearPad Fri 05-Feb-16 19:28:03

I doubt a court will take his car off him if he needs it to make a living.

IShouldBeSoLurky Fri 05-Feb-16 19:50:18

Wait, so you didn't actually pay him, he did you a favour in return for some cake? Or was it like a wedding cake that would have cost £200?

Ragusa Fri 05-Feb-16 20:22:26

I think she probably means cash not cake.... you could take him to small claims court; google "small claim court judgement enforcement". Even if you don't get your money back you can cause them significant difficulties not righteous, but satisfying I'm sure

IShouldBeSoLurky Fri 05-Feb-16 20:27:33

Hahaha, yes cash would make much more sense than cake. As you were, OP.

Ragusa Fri 05-Feb-16 20:41:30

I may offer our builder a nice victoria sponge rather than the £40 grand we owe him ;)

IShouldBeSoLurky Fri 05-Feb-16 21:19:01

YY, me too, Ragusa grin. But it's not that hard to imagine him saying, "No, don't pay me, you're a mate, just give us some of your amazing brownies," or whatever, and then fucking up the job and regretting making the offer.

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