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Cowboy builder

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  • Cowboy builder

    On 9 March 2022, my home builder agreed to do a loft conversion in my house at a cost of GBP40,000. He agreed to start the work on 12 March 2022 and finish it in 9 weeks in worst case scenario, i.e. 7 May 2022.

    He asked for advance payments for future work, which should have been paid later according to his payment schedule. However I did make the payments totalling GBP 33,750 in cash and via bank by 24 March 2022.

    After 24 March all the work stopped. He then came back only on two more days on 27 and 28 April. His excuses were that the materials were delivered late and his trailer was broken down and his uncle passed away and his wife was sick and his worker got Covid and his workers did not work for him. And then he has not been back since.

    The work had stopped and the loft was only 20-30% finished (2nd/3rd week out of 9 weeks) on the agreed date 7 May, 2022.

    To make the time of essence, a second agreement was made (letter of action I assume?) on 11 May 2022, that he would start the work on 17 May and would finish the outside works by 4 June 2022.

    But now no work has resumed and it is unlikely that the work could finish in a week.

    What should I do next? I donít have his address as it is a fake one. I only have his mobile number, bank details and car plate number.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Step 1: find him. Get name and address (real one, not fake).


    • #3
      Where can I find the address?


      • #4
        Can I report to police for help?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Clh View Post
          Where can I find the address?
          DVLA to check where the car is registered to. The point is you handed payment, If a builder cannot complete a job without an advance find one that can, a bit late in your case but that's the advice from a Bank.


          • #6
            engage an investigator?


            • #7
              try 192.com as a start,


              • #8
                Thank you all. I tried 192.com but it provides the same fake address.


                • #9
                  I have two questions now:
                  1. What if I canít find his real address?
                  2. what is the next step if I have the real address?


                  • #10
                    1. engage an investigator. You won't get a penny back from someone you cannot find!

                    2. County Court claim.

                    Do you have any documentation, whether on paper or digital form?


                    • #11
                      Thank you Atticus. Iíll try to use other investigators.

                      yes I have documentation for all cash receipts, bank payment records, agreements, letter of action and WhatsApp records, most in digital form.


                      • #12
                        What do the agreements say in terms of name, address, company/business number, VAT registration number, and anything else?


                        • #13
                          In the agreements there is only information of his name.
                          The cash receipts have his bank details, company name (but later I found it slightly different from the government company check), and copy of his driving license.
                          I was not aware of the need of the VAT registration number.


                          • #14
                            The agreements were sent on WhatsApp.


                            • #15
                              Atticus, I found many claim forms on the government website. My claim would be over £10000 but less than £100000, should I use Money Claim online?

                              summary of my previous replies:
                              In the agreements there is only information of his name.
                              The cash receipts have his bank details, company name (but later I found it slightly different from the government company check), and copy of his driving license.
                              I was not aware of the need of the VAT registration number.
                              The agreements were sent via whatsapp.


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