Accused Company:File a Dispute against this company
Company number: gb-14836423
HEAME HOUSE 23 BILSTON STREET, SEDGLEY, DUDLEY, WEST MIDLANDS, ENGLAND, DY3 1JA
Allegation: Unfulfilled contract
Value: GBP 20,000.00
CONTRACT TERMINATED BY CLIENT DUE TO SIGNIFICANT BREACHES IN TRUST/CONFIDENCE, FAILURE TO DELIVER SCHEDULE OF WORK TO A SATISFACTORY STANDARD, REFUSAL TO RECTIFY DEFECTS, REFUSAL TO TAKE INSTRUCTIONS FROM CLIENT, AND TAKING MONEY FOR INCOMPLETE WORK
As a single woman, I was reluctant to take on any sort of construction project as the industry is not regulated and is notoriously filled with horror stories. I employed the Contractor in good faith to undertake a single storey extension and internal renovation, including the removal of load bearing walls, chimneys and a full rewire. The remaining work related a to a full internal renovation, including all fittings and fixtures.
Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to this Contractor who has subjected me to five months of stress, anxiety, intimidating behaviour and sub-standard work. Serious errors have been made (recorded by Building Control at the Local Authority) and the Contractor has demonstrated a lack of knowledge relating to the build and not completed work in a logical sequence.
The work commenced on 04/09/23 with an agreed completion date of 31/12/23. I should have been concerned when the contractor advised after 2 weeks that nobody would be on site for 10 days after receiving in excess of £20k. I was also instructed to make payments to multiple bank accounts during this payment cycle, and not a single payment was made to the Contractor’s business account. Sporadic work continued, but the main Contractor was never on site when I visited, and I saw little progress being made.
On 01/11/23, the Contractor met with me on site to advise he would no longer be continuing the work and would be passing the contract onto one of his associates. There appeared to be no justification for this and there was no clause in the original contract to allow this to happen. However, the Contractor was adamant the work was not his responsibility and the contract had been terminated. At the same time, I requested copies of my Building Inspection reports from the Local Authority and was shocked to discover the serious failures incurred by the Contractor as outlined:
• Foundations had not been dug to invert level (but had been concreted over by the Contractor to hide this)
• Drainage had not been laid outside of the footprint of the property (this had also been covered up)
• Structural Engineer calculations and drawings had been ignored and incorrect work was undertaken in the interior of the property
• An entire bedroom wall was removed without authorisation for no valid reason
• DPC was undertaken incorrectly and was damaged
The very foundations off my home were put at risk and the incompetent work was hidden by the Contractor. Rather than take ownership, the Contractor made a series of excuses and blamed others for the fault and left me numerous combative messages refusing to take ownership of the mistakes. It was at this point that I sought legal advice, and the Contractor was issued with a letter from my legal representative on 16/11/23 outlining the terms of the contract and querying the amount paid of £35,642.50 which did not equate to the amount of work having been done.
Subsequently, the contractor was issued with a Site notification letter by Building Control and advised to remedy the work with immediate effect. At this point, I had no choice but to let them continue as they had almost 50% of the overall balance, yet I had nothing to show for it as everything done so far was incorrect. I was consumed with worry and anxiety but understood how difficult it would be to recoup such a large sum of money from a construction firm through the courts. Whenever I visited site, I was undermined and made to feel unwelcome and intimidated in my own home, but persevered. In response to my legal representative’s letter, the Contractor agreed to rectify the work and continue the job.
However, the series of errors continued as he rushed through the schedule of works as was constantly chasing payments and refused to provide me with a planning schedule so that I could see how the project was progressing. There was a lack of communication and transparency resulting in further mistakes being made and multiple jobs being left incomplete. The. Contractor contacted me requesting an additional payment of £2900 for digging up the bathroom floor (which he had concreted despite being aware a flat floor shower was being installed) and retrospectively fitting 1st fix plumbing for concealed showers (which he failed to install and plastered over walls). All fittings and fixtures were included in the schedule of works in the contract, but he was not prepared to accept this. I refused in writing as at this point had already paid the Contractor £7,000 over the initial amount agreed. He advised nobody would be on site until I agreed to pay this and left. Coincidentally, this was 7 days after receiving £10,000 from me and the contractor having only worked for 1 day out of 10.
Having written to him explaining my intentions, I made it very clear in no uncertain terms that I would not be paying any additional money as he was attempting to recoup his earlier losses from the project. If he did not want to complete the work, I would instruct another firm to cost and complete the work and send him the outstanding amount to pay back to me. He then agreed in writing to return to the property and complete the work, but refused to take any instructions from me and decided he would do the work as he pleased rather than follow a logical order.
The Contractor returned for one day, and several defects were pointed out which he appeared indifferent to. He also objected to me having a visitor on site. I decided to terminate the contract with immediate effect as he would only seek to cause more challenges and errors.
Since the commencement of the project on 04/09/23, it has become clear that the project will not be completed by the Contractor in good faith and there has been a serious breakdown in trust and confidence (from the Client) due to a series of ongoing errors, attempts to extort additional funds and a failure to address defects despite multiple requests and adequate time being given. Work has also been paid for in advance and failed to be completed, and the target date for completion has not been met.
Reasonable attempts have been made to work professionally and amicably with the Contractor, but the Contractor has failed to take accountability, refused to cooperate with the Client, take instructions, adopt a consultative approach, or remedy defective work, resulting in the Client experiencing a significant toll on their emotional and psychological health. Several defects have been identified since December 2023 (outlined in writing) and the Contractor has demonstrated they do not intend to rectify these and take responsibility for sub-standard work. This has been evidenced in photographs, emails, letters, WhatsApp messages and voice notes.
I am logging a complaint as I believe some companies involved in the construction industry think they are untouchable and not bound by the rules, regulations and processes attached to a business. They demonstrate no integrity, principles and only seek to take advantage of customers and maximise their profit through unethical practices. They do not feel bound by the terms of their contracts and are convinced they can take people’s life savings, without providing a satisfactory service.
The contractor has breached their contract, undertaken unethical practices and taken money without completing work. Multiple jobs have been started and left incomplete, yet payment has been taken. They have failed to deliver the schedule of work attached to the contract. I am now left with an uninhabitable home and am at a considerable financial loss. I want the contractor to take liability and refund all monies owing to me for incomplete work that has already been paid for and amounts relating to remedying defects by another firm.
Attempts to resolve dispute:
Letter sent by legal representative
Response to accusation (by accused):
The client who has accused me of this is wrong and is a total dishonest and very spiteful person, From the beginning the client was really nice but it soon came to light when I found out that the client had exchanged details with my 2nd in command and was dealing with him direct and asking him for information which he did not have the answers for and then also introducing him to other friends to price up other jobs, in-between all of this I had a conversation with client and 2nd of command due to personal reasons I can't complete the job and was leaving it to my contractor to take over and deal with the client which they were both happy with as they had already been talking to each other behind my back, 2/3 weeks later once the building inspector report came back she had realised that he had made some errors installing pad stones for steels and when doing the drainage, the client was soon back on the phone to me asking me to come back and that how our contract was not terminated and denied all conversations of handing works over to another contract, as the person I am I thought I still had the duty to come back and help put things right, so in a matter of 3/4 weeks I put all errors correct got them all passed off by building regs, client was then happy and said she didn't want the other contractor on her job and wanted me to continue with works which we did, Client was then checking everything little thing we was doing which she had every right to have what had happened.. I didn't take a penny of her till I got all mistakes rectified and got her extension water tight, even after that she went to dubai for a week to 10 days and we ploughed through the works and everything ready and plastered by the time she was back, she was happy and even told me she wasn't stressed ant more. And made a further payment, once it came to fixtures and fitting she was supply and asking for things which were not agreed in our contract so it was only fair for me to ask for addional money which she didn't want to pay, and In certain conversations she even denied the fact that I told which works we were carrying out while she was away, which I have all evidence of, just so she didn't have to pay any additional moneys as now we had to do works twice which she wanted changing I.e plumbing for shower/bathrooms and digging up the floor om ground floor shower room so she could have a wet room shower which was never discussed. Everytime we was trying to complete a job she always thought she knew better than we did. And every time I was asking for a payment I had to literally justify every pound spent, she was telling me what I should be asking for and also sending me threating emails on many occasions which also have as evidence, I tried on manny occasions to be fair with her, even end up adjusting extra works for no cost as she was adiment not to pay, just so we could get the job completed and move on to other works, This job was the most stressful job I have done in the 15 years in my career and wish that no tradesmen ever gets a client like this, I'm not saying we was perfect but there is only so much a person could take but I had to try and see the job through no matter how difficult the client was making it, but in the end because I wasn't doing what the client wanted to in certain areas like change the boiler to a higher kilowatts she had terminated the contract and getting someone else to finish the outstanding works and also still has £16k plus left for works the works that need to be completed Thank you