Rogue Builders in Newham beware

Lee Kyson is currently preparing a defects report on works carried out by a 'building contractor' who told the homeowners they needed work doing which didn't require doing and to add insult to injury charged them over three times what he had verbally quoted them.

However, help was on hand in the form of Trading Standards from Newham Borough Council who saw to it that the contractor in question was arrested as he turned up for work today. The police had been informed and were prepared for his arrival.

Friday 13th was not a lucky day for this contractor. Lee was quite surprised as they confiscated his brand new '17 plate' van, tools, mobile phones and probably other items too. If the court find in favour of NBC then the items confiscated will be sold under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This is not the end of it as Lee believes previous customers that NBC are aware of are going to be contacted to find out if they have been scammed to.

The contractor had no affiliations we are aware of. There is less chance of something going wrong if you have a look through the members of organisations such as the Federation of Master Builders or the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited for a contractor. Remember contractors have to make an effort to join and pay a membership fee to be members of these organisations and are also vetted. They are also more likely to keep abreast of changes in legislative standards and keep update with training.  For example Lee just checked a roof in which not one tile was mechanically fixed, the latest British Standards require every tile to be fixed. The cheap contractor may not be so cheap after all and in the last few months I have been assisting homeowners who have been scammed from £15k to probably ~£50k or more. Ask them what they will do next time they require a contractor.

This item will be updated once the outcome is fully known and concluded. 


Defective Building Works in East Ham, Newham.

Lee Kyson is compiling a defects report on defective building works carried out to a domestic property in East Ham. The report has been commissioned by Trading Standards from Newham Borough Council in conjunction with Trading Standards in an effort to clamp down on rogue builders.

The property in question has been left in an uninhabitable state and much of the work carried out by the contractor will need to be redone. The builder, has drawn far in excess of the value of the work carried out - even had it been carried out properly.

Contractor has probably been overpaid ~£50k as apart from being overpaid, much of the work has to be redone.


Article published in FPWS newsletter

Lee recently had an article published in the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors quarterly magazine.

The article looked at whether there is a necessity to serve notice on all Adjoining Owners and / or Occupiers. The view taken by Lee looks at the requirements of serving notices from a different angle. This approach was recently adopted in regard to a property which was divided into flats. There were threats of an injunction but they never materialised as one of the Adjoining Owners realised they were on an uphill struggle.

Cowboy Builders in Gidea Park

Lee Kyson is currently assisting a homeowner who has had defective work carried out by a cowboy builder. The contractor had drawn far more money from the job than the value of the work done. Much of the work was defective and in several instances had just been covered up in the hope that the Building Inspector would not see it. 

Lee assisted in terminating the builders contract with a view to employing another contractor to complete the works.

The contractor has been overpaid in excess of £30k+ and another £13k+.

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do a job, wait until you hire an amateur - Red Adair

I was recently asked by the Building Owner  to assist in a matter where their surveyor had died. Apparently he was a really nice guy.

I requested all the current documents to be emailed to me and I duly received two awards.  I had been informed that the surveyor had been paid in excess of £2k.

The works consisted of a single storey rear extension and a loft conversion.

The 'Award' announced the surveyor as 'agreed surveyor' appointed to act on behalf of all parties. It then goes on '.... the surveyor so appointed has selected Mr ........ to act as an 'independent' surveyor in accordance with the Act..... and if the two surveyors are unable to agree; a 'Third Surveyor' will be selected in accordance with section 10(8) of the Act.'  This is totally wrong, he has tried to create an agreed surveyor award from a two surveyor award.

The 'Award' referred to Sections 1, 3 (2.2) & 6. It referred to the notices which had been verbally served by the Building Owner. No drawings were handed over.

The works referred to, only related to the rear extension, no mention of the loft conversion.

'In witness thereof having set their hands ............. day of ....... 

Surveyor to the Building Owners and Adjoining Owners'

This award could create more problems than it purports to solve and could cost the parties a lot more money in the event of a dispute arising. 

Contractual muddle

The problem concerned contract administration, liquidation, subcontractor, damaged works.

Lee Kyson was was asked to ascertain liability for work that had been damaged during the course of construction. The Employer (E) had carried out some work himself and the Contractor (C) maintained that the E was at fault for the £9k cost of repairs.

C had gone into liquidation, the work had been carried out by a subcontractor, the original partners of C carried on with project, E had carried out some associated works himself. 

After having looked through the documents, contract and correspondence a very time consuming task, Lee ascertained that the partners of C who completed the project were liable for the costs of the repair.

However as a goodwill gesture E voluntarily contributed towards the costs.

Adjudication win - Building project in Ilford

Lee Kyson represented a local builder, based in Barking, who had his employment, under a JCT MW2011 contract, terminated and was then given 14 days to pay a £65k claim.

Lee suggested adjudication to determine the validity of the termination as he believed it to be invalid.

Lee represented, presented and argued the case for the contractor and won.

The Adjudicator found that the contractor was justified in not returning to the site following an argument with the client's representative and the resulting termination by the Employer defective, therefore invalid.. 

Construction Dispute - quickly agreed settlement

Work had been suspended due to delays in implementing the final part of the Party Wall Award for the basement, this was enough to halt all the work. The Contractor put in a reasonable claim for compensation, to cover his losses. A meeting was arranged, however the Employer brought in a ‘Contract expert’ from Devon who informed the Contractor there was no provision in the contract for compensation.

The Contractor spoke to a surveyor who recommended Lee Kyson.

Lee discussed the situation, looked at the contract documents and suggested another meeting with the Employer. Based on Lee's advice, C attended a meeting with E and subsequently agreed a compensation figure of £12½k and received a 16 week extension of time.  

Building owner refuses to acknowledge Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Lee Kyson was contacted by the adjoining owner (AO), in February  2016, as while she was away the neighbouring building owner (BO) had carried out notifiable building works without serving notice and causing damage and trespass of foundations  inter alia to the AO's property.

Having been appointed to act on behalf of the AO, Lee contacted the BO requesting that they appoint a surveyor under section 10(4)b of the 'Act', also offering to act as agreed surveyor.

The BO promptly instructed a solicitor. On expiration of the 10 day notice period Lee sought to appoint a surveyor to act on behalf of the BO. Despite having spoken to several surveyors they did not wish to accept the appointment as it was the AO's surveyor making the appointment. Finally a surveyor accepted the appointment.

This led to a protracted bout of correspondence between the parties. An award was finally served in August 2016 dealing with the damage caused by the BO, compensation to the AO, surveyors fees, legal costs, Arboriculterist's fees....  total £17,000.

Despite continual threats the 'Award' never was appealed.