Of course, when you have arranged for a contractor to carry out some building work on your behalf, you would like to think that the whole process will run smoothly, with no hiccups in your relationship with the contractor and construction work of a high standard.
However, there are various reasons why you could become disgruntled with a building contractor. Perhaps they don’t complete the work for which you asked, or they let themselves slip past the deadline previously agreed between the two of you. These are just some examples…
Naturally, tension can easily flare up once you realise that something has gone wrong. However, you should be careful how you approach the situation if you want to achieve an amicable resolution.
Bring the issue to the contractor’s attention
Many of the rights to which you are entitled when dealing with a building contractor are enshrined in law. For example, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 insists that contractors must use reasonable care and skill when providing building work. The same legislation also clarifies that, if a contract asks a contractor to install goods, they must be installed correctly.
Therefore, you must not be afraid to act on your rights if a problem does arise. The Citizens Advice website includes templates for letters that can be sent to seek redress for various issues. There are, for example, separate templates for the concerns of the price, timeliness and installation of building work, as well as that work being delivered to an insufficient standard.
On the contractor’s website, you might easily be able to find contact details with which you can get in touch with the contractor. This website might even include a dedicated “Concerns” page allowing you to send complaints via an online form instead of a more standard medium of letter or email.
Ideally, the contractor should specify an aim of replying to a concern within two working days of receiving it – you might see this notice right beside the online form.
Through what other channels could you send your complaint?
As the Citizens Advice templates include legal terminology, they might portray the message to the contractor that you are aware of your legal rights. Nonetheless, if this ultimately fails to sway them into reaching a settlement with you, there are other means which you can use.
For example, you could explain the situation to the trade association of which the contractor is a member – if, indeed, they have membership of any trade association at all. The trader might be willing to use an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme and so let you potentially solve the disagreement without the possibly costly move of taking court action.
Nonetheless, taking the contractor to court remains possible as a last resort. You could also help yourself prevent disputes in future by choosing each material ahead of receiving a quote, as Homebuilding & Renovating advises, or aiming to source work from a more reputable provider of construction services including roof repairs in Leeds and other cities.