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Restoration & Refurbishment

My builder will not provide an invoice for works done - what can i do?

I recently employed a builder to refurb my house - works involved changing layout of upstairs, so knocking down one wall and putting up a couple of stud walls, plastering, plumbing two bathrooms and knocking down a dividing wall between kitchen and dining area. I agreed a price and timescales with a local builder.

The work proved to be chaotic, generally I consider to be of a low standard and ran two months over agreed timescales, taking four months rather than the two I was told it would take. This cost me as I had to pay for alternative accommodation.

I paid the builder as the agreed - (initially cash, then by direct bank transfer) on a weekly basis. When I started to have concerns I did discuss this with the builder - I did seriously consider changing builders but it seemed too far down the line and I wanted to keep a grip on costs.

The final cost came in a double the original price, at £25,000. Now my builder is refusing to give me a detailed invoice - in fact he won't provide any invoice at all. He is claiming that he cannot as he didn't keep receipts or records of what he paid to other contractors.

I want an invoice as proof of the works his company did and as a security should there be any issues later on.

What should I do? What can I do? I am starting to feel slightly nervous of this builder.

9 Answers from MyBuilder Restoration & Refurb Specialists

Best Answer

sorry to hear of your problems, firstly you need to send him a letter by registered post asking clearly for a receipt of all the work and state a time scale for a reply(14 days is acceptable) keep a copy of your letter, if he fails to reply contact inland revenue as he is not paying tax, mention in your letter that you will do this. Also contact citizens advice as they are very good at this sort of thing good luck

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

Dont take this the wrong way, but your to blame just as much as him, dont you watch Cowboy builders, this is exactly what he is.
With the info you have posted, its highly unlikely you will get any official receipts/gaurantees for the work.
You wont get any money back, you should have got at least 3 prices, checked all their credentials, insurances, how long they have been trading and seen some of their works.
I would suggest you get a quantity surveyor in to assess the values of the works done, and if its to standard, has BCO been round to inspect and sign of the works.
If none of the works have been checked during progress you could be in for more problems ie, was electrician part P, heating engineer Gas Safe etc.
A good builder could assess the works, but its obvious you dont know one.
Only choice now is Trading Standards and the Courts.
Why feel nervous of him, he cant do anything.

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

If I was you I would report him to Trading Standards and it is good that you paid some by a recorded method (not all cash). You could also phine the Tax Office and explain that this company is probably not declaring income on earnings, especially has he will not provide invoices, records of payments, etc.

Other places you can report him too are Builders Federation, governing bodies, etc. Also, do a search on the web and see where they advertise, if any of these places you can leave reviews, then leave a poor review.

I would if you get another builder in to check the work and advise you if completed to a acceptable standard.

You will never get an invoice from him, but if work not completed correctly, then this can be advised to trading standards and you can ask him to rectify work if necessary.

Bill
Pipe Dreams Plumbing Services

2011-08-14T12:00:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

hi, if you havnt paid him in full then withold further monies until he produces an invoice. If paid in full then not a lot you can do but hope he finishes work.

PS Think 25k for what work you described is excessive - think you've been taken advantage of but partly your fault for for letting it go over budget by double and paying the extra

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

Thats terrible Sally and to say his price doubled and he run over by so many weeks,not good.
Do you know how long he has been trading?
Does he belong to any Trade bodies/consumer groups ie: Federation of master builders or Trust mark maybe?

If he is being of no help and wont give a detailed invoice for works"Which i cant understand why!"maybe talk to trading standards as i find it also strange how his price doubled!

In my line of work i set a price and thats it! If a job takes a day longer i might loose a bit but thats life..Only time i charge more is for plastering as sometimes its quoted for 25mm and any more than that will cost.
Job run over and its his fault! not yours. Unless you changed your mind on things.

Take care and good luck.

Scott.

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

Hi Sally,

Don't pay cash on anything over a couple of hundred pounds without a receipt, it's not traceable. Bank transfer is traceable so even if he didn't keep receipts, you've got receipts that you have paid him regularly.

He should be able to give you a receipt for the work carried out.

I would see a solicitor to be honest, legally there should be a contract, or a written/verbal agreement between you and the builder. If he has been paid (bank transfer), he'll have a job to prove he didn't agree to do any work for you.

Hope this helps

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

Did you get anything in writing in the beginning, as regards to stage payments? Also if you were given a price for doing the job, why has it come in double the original agreed price( were you paying him day money)? Sounds to me like he has done this as a cash job, if he hadn't he would have to keep records of what he had paid contractors. If he refuses to give you breakdown of costs or invoices then all I can suggest is to threaten to tell the tax man because you do have bank transfer records.

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

Hi
Send the company a recorded letter detailing all the issues and also tell them that you will call trading standards as well as the inland revenue to inform them of the job and how much the company recevied from you. This normally works as it sounds like the builder doesnt want to give you an invoice to avoid tax.
Regards
William

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

its the old saying pay cheap pay twice 12000 was not a realistic quote in the first place ,afraid you will need to put this down to experience ,beware of cheap imitations

2011-08-14T12:05:02+01:00

Answered 14th Aug 2011

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