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Threat of court action

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  • Threat of court action

    The structual engineer produced a drawing that had an error the caused the material used for a steel structure to be wrong. The contractor whom chose the structual engineer for my project said he lost money on the delays to my project and swiped the funds that I already had paid for other parts of the project, he then said that he never lost money on the materials used for the project taken from the drawings.

    The structual engineers fee was 2500 and I had already paid 1700, when the main contractor took off with my funds the structual engineer came forward to claim his 700 remaining fee, however I refused to pay him because the main contractor said the delays caused by the error caused a financial loss to him.

    Now the structual engineer is threatening me with court action to recover the monies.

    What should I expect from a court?

    He is also threatening to get debt collectors on to me, but dont you first have to tak ethis matter to a court?

    The main contractor and the structual engineer are friends so the main contractor says he never lost money because of the erros on the drawings, they are looking after both there interests.

    your views appreciated.


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  • #2
    Presuming this was for building works overseen by Building control were the calculations submitted to BC


    • #3
      Originally posted by wales01man View Post
      Presuming this was for building works overseen by Building control were the calculations submitted to BC
      No, the error was discovered by the main contractor after the materials had been produces but before delivery, so apparently the steel that had been cut to size had to be rejected.


      • #4
        Unless you have an agreement with the structural engineer and are paying him direct, the engineer's contract is with the builder.
        The structural engineer should be chasing the builder for the money, not you
        Has the builder charged you for the delay he suffered so you have decided to deduct the money from the engineer's contract, assuming you have a separate contract for the engineer's design


        • #5
          Yes court action and a successful claim are required before bailiffs

          You should check your buildings insurance. A few companies include legal expenses cover automatically. Most require customers to pay for it as an add-on


          • #6
            The main contractor put him on the contract but made me administrator, so I was responsible for the structual engineer, however the main contractor put him on the signed contract which really means that it was the main contractors choice whom chose his own team.

            Looking back I realise that the main contractor had already planned to swindle me, collecting funds for future works and making the site look like it was a site in progress when in reality much of the work was not correct but made to look nearly finished, example the wireing was just left hanging in places but was incorrect some wires were plastered over to make look complete.
            I have been the victim of fraud, the main contractor used another company belonging to his partner to buy materials on account and not pay, other contractors were never always paid.

            It has been and still is a complete nightmare, I have lost a lot of money and their does not seem to be a way to get any back as it seems many builders hide behind a limited company that has no assets.

            I terminated his contract, yet he insists that I still owe him money for his final invoice.



            • #7
              Originally posted by Ted62 View Post
              He is also threatening to get debt collectors on to me, but dont you first have to tak ethis matter to a court?
              Debt collectors and baliffs are entirely different (baliffs now like to call themselves 'Enforcement Officers').

              Debt collectors are just companies that anyone can hire without any evidence that you actually owe the money. No court case is needed. Debt collectors have no legal status and zero legal powers. They have no rights to do anything, no right to enter your house or take your property. You can simply tell them to go away and refuse to open the door to them.

              Baliffs act on behalf of the court and have a range of powers so baliffs can only act if the case has been to court and judgement has been given against you and a CCJ has been issued.
              All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


              • #8
                You should contact your Local Authority and ask for building control surveyors, electrical engineers etc to inspect the builder's work and report on whether the work can be approved or has to be rectified/condemned
                My advice is not to pay the builder any more money. He could end up owing you a significant sum


                • #9
                  I have already terminated the builders contract, something he wanted because he got all the money, his claim that I still owe him money is a ploy to stop me chasing him I guess, as a limited company it seems pointless to chase this builder as he has no assets so what have i to gain.


                  • #10
                    If you have paid the builder for the structural engineer and the builder has not passed the money on, the engineer should chase the builder
                    If you agreed to pay the structural engineer separately and the contractor has tried to claim money from you for delays (and then left unfinished work), you may have a claim against the structural engineer as well as the builder.
                    You say the builder has no assets, have you checked this out on the Companies House register?
                    You should get a couple of builder's quotes to finish the work (you will need electrical certificates)
                    You could warn the structural engineer you are considering claiming or counterclaiming for the financial loss he caused when the project was delayed due to his design fault


                    • #11
                      duplicate post problem with server


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