Paying for Substandard Work
If you have been subjected to unsatisfactory works and require legal assistance, Aticus Law can help you in reaching a resolution.
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When entering into a contract for works, there are legal regulations safeguarding the quality of work undertaken. These ensure that the work completed is satisfactory and matches what was described when entering the contract. Where the works fall below this standard, there are legal safeguards protecting the customer.
What do the regulations say?
The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA) and Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) imply various terms into contracts between a customer and vendor. Amongst other things, the terms state that the work must be:
- Undertaken with reasonable care and skill; and
- Within a reasonable time period; and
- For a reasonable price.
The legislation also infers that information conveyed about the trader or service is to be binding, where the customer takes the information into account on entering the contract or when making a decision about the service after entering the contract.
Therefore, a vendor must always ensure that works are undertaken with reasonable care and skill. Unless the contract specifies otherwise, the works must also be completed within a reasonable time period and at a reasonable price. Furthermore, where the vendor says or writes anything about themselves or the service and this is taken into account by the customer, this too will constitute a term of the contract.
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Remedies and solutions
There are a range of legal remedies available if a customer is unhappy with the works undertaken. The best course of action depends on the circumstances.
Termination of the contract – A breach of contract may allow the aggrieved customer to choose to end the contract due to repudiatory breach. This relieves the customer of their duties under the contract.
Damages - An award of damages will aim to put the customer in the same position they would have been, had the contract been performed. The court will limit liability to what can be reasonably justified as a result of the substandard works. There is also a responsibility on the customer to mitigate any loss.
Specific performance - Where damages are insufficient, the court can make a specific performance order. The vendor is then required to positively remedy the substandard work.
There are also further statutory provisions contained in the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA). These provide protective cover such as:
- A right to repeat performance
- A right to bring the works up to a satisfactory standard
- A right to price reduction to an appropriate amount
If you have been subjected to unsatisfactory works and require legal assistance, Aticus Law can help you in reaching a resolution. We can liaise and communicate on your behalf with the alleged party, setting out your rights and requests. Where a solution is not found, we can look to bring a claim on your behalf.