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Urgent. when does a quote become legally binding

(68 Posts)
ForTheLoveOfDoughnuts Fri 18-Jan-19 11:16:20

Really need some advice.

When does a quote become legally binding? I've had a few quotes from builders for work that I need doing on my house.

When I've gone back to one of them to say I'm going with someone else he's lost his shit with me and is threatening legal action. This obviously means I don't want him to do the work even more but I'm also concerned as to whether I've done something wrong.

Works needed doing and rough idea of when but I didn't confirm I was going ahead. I don't feel I confirmed going ahead. Haven't signed anything or paid a deposit.
Where do I stand?

ChrisjenAvasarala Fri 18-Jan-19 11:19:28

A quote is just a quote, you don’t need to go ahead with them. Especially if you havn’t signed anything. He can shout all he wants. Just cut contact.

Celebelly Fri 18-Jan-19 11:25:33

Well sounds like you made the right decision in not choosing him!

BruceAndNosh Fri 18-Jan-19 11:25:46

It can take quite a time to prepare a quote which the builder would offset against the payment for the full job if you went ahead.
Most suck it up.
If he expected to be paid for preparing the quote, he should have made that clear up front.

We are about to get some quotes for major building work, and depending on the detail, may offer to pay for thr quote so that we can use the info in it regardless of who does the final job.

I used to spend hours preparing quotes and yes, it's annoying when you get nothing out of it, but I've never thought of sueing someone for my lost time.

RB68 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:26:54

Quotes are never legally binding - contracts are

Itwasbestoftimesworstoftimes Fri 18-Jan-19 11:27:13

Tell him to fuck off.

The whole point of a quote is that once you have it YOU get to DECIDE whether or not you want to proceed.

I could understand if he’d bought materials but he’s only given you a price confused

BrightStarrySky Fri 18-Jan-19 11:27:32

A quote is not legally binding. That builder sounds horrible and it sounds like you made the right choice not to choose him. He’s now trying to bully you into paying him. Ignore him. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

thedancingbear Fri 18-Jan-19 11:28:22

If you've accepted the quote and agreed that he will do the work, then that would be a legally binding contract, even if nothing in writing. Bear in mind he may have turned away other work, purchased materials etc. based on your conversation.

However prior to that point, it's just a quote. In the technical lingo, there is offer but not acceptance, and you need both for a binding agreement.

BeanTownNancy Fri 18-Jan-19 11:29:34

Only if a contract has been signed or works carried out is a quote a relevant document.

TheDHand Fri 18-Jan-19 11:30:21

You only have a contract when there has been offer and acceptance. When you asked him to quote you did what is known as “an invitation to treat” (as the name suggests, an invitation to him to make you an offer). He made an offer by putting in a quote. You didn’t accept it (as far as I can seee from what you have said). So no contract.

And all that a quote means is “not an estimate” - ie if you agree to go ahead that is what he will charge you for that work. An estimate is roughly what the work is likely to cost, but the contractor is not precluded from charging more.

pollypockett Fri 18-Jan-19 11:31:59

My god what a twat. A quote isn’t legallly binding at all. Block his number and tell him you’ll be passing on his details to the police should he harass you again

veggiepigsinpastryblankets Fri 18-Jan-19 11:32:04

My job includes doing quotes, albeit usually for businesses not individuals. Sometimes rude people just disappear off the face of the earth and won't even let you know they're not going ahead so if someone calls to let me know they're going with someone else I'm always grateful they bothered to say.

A quote is an offer: here is what we would charge you to do this work. You are free to accept or not, obviously, otherwise we could quote £1 billion for everything and would all now be living on tropical islands. This man is unhinged - but at least you've found out now before letting him loose on your house!

Racecardriver Fri 18-Jan-19 11:32:16

Only when it is accepted. A quote is an offer in legal terms. There is no contract and therefore no legal rights or obligations unless and until it is accepted. Just read my back ‘lol’.

Cheerbear23 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:32:27

Did you accept his quote?

Celebelly Fri 18-Jan-19 11:33:05

Time spent doing quotes is really just a cost of doing business and an investment. If he expected to be paid for his time, then he should have made that clear. Otherwise, I think most tradespeople would expect people will get multiple quotes, particularly for large pieces of work.

At most, he is out of pocket for the time he spent doing a quote. I'm not sure he'll get much out of 'legal action' when it will cost him umpteen times that to pursue.

AnnaBegins Fri 18-Jan-19 11:34:17

Ooh I'm about to do an exam on this! For a legally binding contract, you would have had to accept his offer in full (not just started negotiating), had the intention to create legal relations, and had the capacity to do so. Sounds like he has just made an offer and even if he misinterpreted a conversation, you had no intention to create legal relations so you have not created a contract. He's just trying it on.

icannotremember Fri 18-Jan-19 11:34:57

When you accept it and agree the work will be carried out.

"I don't feel I confirmed going ahead"- do you think you said something which indicated to him that you would go ahead?

3tubsofsignificance Fri 18-Jan-19 11:37:15

If you've accepted the quote and agreed that he will do the work, then that would be a legally binding contract

No its isn't - consideration needs to have passed between the two parties for a contract to have been formed.

Why do people with no legal knowledge post on threads like this?

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 18-Jan-19 11:38:40

A quote is just that... a suggestion of how much it will cost to undertake the work requested.

Unless you verbally agreed with him that he would be doing the word, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Tell him to sod off.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 18-Jan-19 11:38:54

*work not word!

E20mom Fri 18-Jan-19 11:39:07

He's trying it on. Ignore him.

3tubsofsignificance Fri 18-Jan-19 11:40:08

Unless you verbally agreed with him that he would be doing the word, he doesn't have a leg to stand on

No - this isn't the case! Unless consideration (i.e. something of value) has passed, there is no contract.

Mumofaprinny Fri 18-Jan-19 11:42:03

You text him and say you are not going with this quote. You have got a better quote with another company, and if he contacts you in such an intimidating manner again, you will ring the police. Do not have any contact with him after this.

Tyke2 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:45:02

I think you should count the quoting process as your contractor pre qualification interviews. The builder in question has failed to qualify due to being a complete @rse. You have been lucky in my opinion. But make sure who you have selected comes with good references.
Cheap prices are cheap for a reason most often than not.

Lankyloo Fri 18-Jan-19 11:46:42

Personally I wouldn't of gone back to him and said you don't want him to do the work, unless he contacted you and asked, but as others have said theres nothing he can do. Its just a quote for work. He'll just be peed off and taking it out on you which isn't right at all.

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