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Taking action against cowboy landscaper - advice on options please

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  • Taking action against cowboy landscaper - advice on options please

    Hi all,

    Iím in need of some advice on what to do next with a potential small claims case against my landscape Gardner. (Based in England)

    To give brief background:

    We hired a landscaper to redo our back garden, quoted in feb 2021, timeline was May for starting, job didnít start until November, finished in December.

    By March (and with no one using it), noticed the paving was loose in areas, he eventually fixed in May and put it down to frost, applied some bonding substance to stick it back down (think no more nails type) and despite telling him in July 2022 it was still a problem and despite a pomise to fix it he hasnít been back since and downplayed the extent of the problems when I said I felt the whole patio needed re-doing

    Since last contact Iíve had an independent expert survey done which has basically pulled it apart for being a cowboy job and advising it all needs ripping up and re-laying.

    Iím just unsure of my next steps - Im aware will have to write to him with the findings of the report and request it being remedied in a letter before action, especially given his fondness for fobbing off and saying the right things ďoh weíll fix it, weíre coming to you next etcĒ but then from a legal perspective where do I stand if he offers to fix it? As I have lost faith in his ability to do it and donít want to be in same boat in another 6 months if he does ďfixĒ it again.

    Can state the lost confidence in his ability in the letter before action and ask for a full / partial refund instead? Or do I have to give him the right to remedy it on his terms first? When Iíve mentioned before I felt the whole thing needed relaying he was insistent he would tackle the problem ones but that the rest were ok and he wouldnít be relaying everything so think heís going to push back from that perspective despite the expert survey

    If he refuses to do anything then, is it a case of offering mediation and dispute resolution service before taking him to small claims?

    Also, in terms of the business, I believe itís an LLP based on his invoice, am I likely to be successful with any potential claim or is he likely to shut up shop and start a new business? He and his work van are still active around the area but on Google it says the business is ďtemporarily closedĒ and heís posting new pictures of his projects on his individual social media rather than the business one

    The total cost of the job was £11,500 and Iím not bothered about claiming for that amount (or even the limit allowed under small claims) I just want enough back to pay someone else to do it right!

    This has caused lots of friction at home as well as being unable to use the back garden due to concerns over safety of the patio area.

    Any help or advice greatly welcome!
    Tags: None

  • #2
    As a limited liability partnership has to be registered at Companies House you should carry out a search on C.H. website and see if the LLP is still trading.
    If you end up making a court claim you will need to put a monetary value to your claim so obtain a couple of quotations to make good the defective patio.
    If you haven't already taken photos of the defective patio, you should take some now.
    There is a small claims track mediation service so my advice is not to waste more time now with mediation.
    When you have received an acceptable quotation you should write to the landscape gardener, set him a time to respond to your letter and a time to complete the works by.
    You should also say if he fails to reply to your letter or his proposals are unacceptable you may commence a court claim based on the quotation you have received


    • #3
      Make sure the quotes you obtain follow the expert recommendations for the construction of the patio


      • #4
        Thank you - the independent expert witness report contains several photos taken so am hopeful that alongside the report itself that goes into the details of whatís wrong, it puts me in a strong position for either forcing their hand into action or taking next steps.

        so, if they offer to repair / relay the patio as per the specs of the guidance / report, am I obliged to allow them to? Or am I able to immediately ask for a refund / partial refund based on their poor quality workmanship and lack of care and attention when laying etc. and lost faith in their ability to complete the work to the correct spec.

        donít particularly want them near it given their previous shenanigans - the delays, poor communication, chasing them, poor work etc. but donít want to jeopardise anything that may need to go further by immediately going straight for the refund angle


        • #5
          Under CRA 2015 the consumer not only has a right to a repeat performance of the services but also to a price reduction.(one or the other)
          So obtain quotes as my previous threads and base your LBA on the amount of the acceptable quote, plus the cost of the inspection report.
          You can also add interest at 8% p.a. if you end up making a court claim.


          • #6
            When laying the paving the l.g. breached Section 49 of CRA 2015 when he failed to provide reasonable care and skill.

            Under Section 56(3) the consumer is only entitled to a price reduction if

            56(3)(b) the consumer has required repeat performance, but the trader is in breach of the requirement of Section 55(2)(a) to do it within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

            The l.g clearly breached Section 55(2)(a)


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