Poor workmanship by contractor - case for redress?

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    Poor workmanship by contractor - case for redress?

    I have got a bit of a problem with a tradesman and would be grateful for some views on the legal position.

    I am LL. Initial arrangements, and payment, were made by agent. Contractor was a regular used by the agent and is still in business (sole trader, I believe).

    BACKGROUND -

    In early 2019 my agent instructed tradesman (on my behalf of course) to replace a shed door + door furniture at my rented property. This was done approx end of January and invoice of around £220 was paid. Due to a change of agent, the trademan was instructed by outgoing agent and invoice was paid by new agent.

    In late October 2019 my new agent reported to me that tenant had reported to them that the door had never been painted, therefore it was not weatherproof and it had swelled and stuck in the frame. Tradesman's invoice explicitly itemised gloss paint, which was not applied.

    I contacted contractor, explained the problem, and we agreed that he would rectify. It seems that the failure to paint the door was probably a genuine oversight. He had intended to return another day to complete the job and forgot.

    He returned in early February 2020 and made an attempt to resolve the problem. This involved trimming the top of the door, painting it, and apparently doing something which affected the lock striker plate. On completion he advised that he had done the best he could but that the frame was rotten and therefore the door was likely to follow suit i.e. making the best of a bad job.

    I went to inspect, along with agent and tenant.

    After the second visit there are four problems:
    1. Newly-trimmed top of door is far from straight. Although door now opens and closes, there are gaps at the top corners.
    2. Top surface of the door has not been painted. It is bare wood and therefore is not weatherproof.
    3. Striker plate does not align with corresponding holes in frame, so the door can no longer be locked. I presume this was due to an adjustment made during the second visit in an effort to make it fit.
    4. Door does not look like an exterior door. Consensus view of me/agent/tenant is that it is an interior door. The invoice explicitly stated exterior door.

    The door frame is sound and square. It is not rotten as tradesman had reported.

    CURRENT SITUATION -

    I have described the above to tradesman in an email, including photos to illustrate, and requested a copy of the receipt for the door. No response. I am now inclined to request a refund, followed if necessary by LBC then MCOL claim. However, this does depend on the strength of my case.

    In my favour:
    a. Door is not fit for purpose and never has been.
    b. Service provided was not consistent with invoice on at least one point.
    c. There are witnesses in the form of agent and tenant. We all agree it was a bodge.

    Not in my favour:
    a. Invoice was paid.
    b. Approx nine months elapsed job first being done and the report that it was defective.
    c. Due to change of agent, work was instructed by one party and invoice was paid by another.

    I tend to think that I have a case as per Trade Descriptions Act etc. but am no great expert on this area of the law. I spoke to CAB. They advised that they do not give legal advice so this did not really help.

    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

    #2
    For £220, I'd forget it. Presumably new agent won't be instructing this joker, so there's no danger of him working on your property again.

    Comment


      #3
      It's the principle which concerns me here, not the money. (Cliché, but that's how it is.)
      There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

      Comment


        #4
        Am I right in thinking that private landlords are not protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015?

        The definition there of 'consumer' is:

        "an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual's trade, business, craft or profession."
        There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

        Comment


          #5
          why not sue the first agent. Was their a terms and conditions with them?

          Comment


            #6
            The agent isn't at fault here. It was unfortunate timing ; this job was instructed by one agent and paid by another. New agent is not responsible since the work was not done on their watch. They just inherited the invoice.
            There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

            Comment

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