Construction disputes

Lee Kyson was a guest on Fixradio

Lee was a guest on this afternoon's 'Toolbox Show' at the request of presenter Andy Stevens. There were some short discussions about recent events regarding rogue builders and party wall issues. 

Fixradio is specifically aimed at 'Tradespeople' and can be listened to on DAB in London and the Southeast or on 

Rogue Builders in Newham beware

Lee Kyson has just completed a report on defective works carried out on a property in Newham by a building contractor. The contractor had told the homeowners they needed additional work carried out on their property which didn't need doing. Adding insult to injury he commenced the work and tried to charge them over three times the amount he had quoted.

However, help was on hand in the form of Trading Standards from London Borough of Newham. Trading Standards 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 watched as the police confiscated the contractor's brand new van. They also confiscated tools, mobile phones and other items too. If the court find in favour of LBN then the items confiscated may will be sold under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This is not the end of the matter, previous customers, that LBN are aware of, are going to be contacted to find out if they have also been scammed.

The contractor had no affiliations with any trade organisations that we are aware of.

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

Defective Building Works in East Ham, Newham.

Lee Kyson is compiling a report on defective building works carried out to a domestic property in East Ham. The report has been commissioned by Trading Standards from London Borough of Newham 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.


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+.

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.  

Builder wins case brought against him by solicitor

This situation arose when a Building Contractor (BC) carried out external rendering to the existing house and two storey side and single storey rear extension. BC had virtually finished the works and had already received 50% (£3k) of the quoted price. The Client (C), a solicitor by profession, decided he was not happy with the work and demanded that the £3k be returned.

Lee Kyson was requested by BC to inspect the rendering. The rendering left a lot be desired, however having a background in plastering and rendering Lee was able to suggest remedial works which would have given C a higher quality of work than originally quoted for. However, C had employed the services of Chartered Surveyor (CS) who compiled a report, a couple of Site managers and two ‘expert’ renderers all of whom who suggested that the rendering be hacked off and redone.

C commenced litigation to reclaim the £3k. Lee prepared a defence for BC; partly based on the fact that the ‘expert renderers’ grounds for hacking off the render conflicted with each other and all conflicted with British Standards for Plastering and Rendering.  

When in court the Judge informed C that his prospects were not good and after a short hearing from both parties judged in favour of BC. C requested leave to appeal, which was promptly denied.

Although there were various arguments put forward the basic reasons why C’s claim and the arguments against defective work failed:

·         The CS report conflicted with BS for plastering and rendering.

·         One ‘expert renderer’ stated that both the base coat and top coat of render were of the same strength and that the top coat should be of a weaker mix.

·          The second stated that both coats should be the same thickness and that as the top coat was thinner than the base coat it should be hacked off.

 In actual fact both the views of the ‘expert renderers’ were wrong; if both the base and topcoat are of the same strength the topcoat should be thinner, if both coats are of the same thickness the topcoat should be weaker.

Construction Dispute- Client brings in own workforce to complete works - Refurbishment project in Hackney.

The project, in Victoria Park, Hackney, was nearing completion, Contractor arrived on site one Monday morning only to find a bunch of workers using his tools and materials. The Client tells him 'its OK we'll finish it now'.  Lee advises the Contractor to pursue the matter through Adjudication. Contractor wins and receives £4,000 for loss of profit.