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Small Claims Court questions(5 Posts)
We are considering taking a contractor to the small claims court but have never done anything like this and would be very grateful for any advice, what the process is like etc
My questions are:
If you win does the other person have a time limit in which to make payment? If they don't pay up is it a difficult process to get the money? We would be aiming for around £9.5k, so obviously quite a lot for someone to pay out in one go, would they be allowed to pay in instalments?
The work in question was done 3.5 years ago. Would that affect our ability to claim? It's been wrong since almost day 1, we have years of emails, texts etc chasing him up to put it right, do repairs and so on but are just sick of it now and now and want to get the work re-done properly once and for all.
Original cost was £12k, we have been quoted £9.5k to put right.
But as we have had 3.5 years of use would that affect things?
We used contractor A, had the quote from him, instructed him to do work. On day 1 of the job he turned up with Contractor B who did the job with him 50:50. So when paying them I paid them half each directly. Is my contract still just with contractor A or by paying contractor B would I now have to pursue each of them for half of the full claim amount?
On other threads I've seen it mentioned that claim amounts are capped depending on various things - anyone know anything about that?
Any advice would be brilliant, thank you.
Why did you pay contractor B? Your contract was originally with contractor A. Contractor B was a subcontractor. You have no idea how much contractor A agreed to pay contractor B. It may have been substantially less than you paid him. And it could have muddied the waters as to the contractual position and who is responsible for any issues.
In this situation I would suggest that you name them both as joint defendants and let the courts sort it out.
There is no time limit for paying but the CCJ won't appear on their credit record if they pay within a month. If they don't pay you will have to go to court again to ask for enforcement action. There are a range of options for enforcing the judgement. If they offer to pay in instalments you can decide whether or not to accept. If you reject their offer they can ask the courts. The court may then decide to allow them to pay in instalments and will determine the details.
You are still in time to make your claim. Whether the amount awarded will be reduced depends on the facts, although it seems relatively unlikely in a case involving building work.
Claim amounts are not capped. You are entitled to recover whatever is necessary to put you in the position you would have been in if the work had been carried out properly. However, if your claim (including interest and court fees) exceeds £10,000 it will not be a small claim.
Have you checked to see if the contractor is a member of a dispute resolution scheme? That might be a better option than going to court.
Thanks very much prh47. All useful info.
The two contractors are in the same line of work, used to work together unbeknownst to me but went their separate ways to each set up their own companies. But apparently they work together again for bigger jobs or where they want to do it more quickly etc.
So when it came to paying contractor A he said as they were splitting the job (agreed between themselves) could I just pay them in equal installments rather than all to A and him having to then transfer half to B.
How do you know if they are a member of a dispute resolution service? Would I have to ask him?!
Given that contractor A asked you to split payments I would say that your contract is still with him. However, just in case he tries to argue otherwise, I would name both as defendants.
If contractor A has a website or runs adverts in the press you may be able to find out that way. If not I'm afraid you will have to ask him.
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