We have to go off from time to time because we have clients and travelling and therefore there is an inevitable delay sometimes. I apologise for that delay.
There are obviously issues here with regard to the allegations of substandard work and whether their claim succeeds will come down to their evidence. I can say that this is not an uncommon tactic that people use to try to get out of paying part of the bill.
If the work has been passed by the building inspector, I cannot see how they can claim the proof that the work is substandard.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, if no timescale is specified for completing the work then that timescale must be reasonable. Hence, it depends on what the delay was. Less time is said to be the essence of the contract, even if you gave a projected completion time date they would have to allow you a reasonable period after that for matters beyond your control.
I agree with you I’m glad to say that they should have given you a reasonable amount of time to finish flue and not only that, considering you had only allowed £700 within your pricing, and who could presumably do it for that, then £2300 is obviously reasonable. Presumably they thought they were going to simply recover it from you and decided to pay whatever was asked for.
If they are issuing legal proceedings against you are going to need to acknowledge them within 14 days and then file a defence within the 14 days and if you believe that you are more money than you currently hold, counterclaim for the extra.
If they are claiming more than £10,000 from you, this will not be Small Claims Court and the loser will generally pay the witness costs. I’m not very accurate estimate of those costs would normally be the amount of the claim on top if solicitors are used but only a tiny amount if solicitors are not used. A litigant in person can claim costs at the court rate of £18 per hour but solicitors will be charging about £200 per hour.
The best thing you can do is to continue to offer to mediate because then, if this gets to court, you have shown the court that you have acted more than reasonably.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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