Corgi registered or not..?

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Dear All
Many thanks for all your advice and to those who emailed me directly.
Update so far.....
The fitter has arranged a corgi registered guy (his mate!) to do the certificate in a few days. It is obvious that my original fitter is not corgi registered but will be using this job as part of his assessment, under the guise of being supervised the entire time (which is untrue as we saw him carry out the work on his own, and don't know his mate from Adam), and getting paid for the whole thing.
The fitter has even told me that his corgi mate has been on holiday abroad the entire time he was doing the job!!
We still owe this guy a lot of money for work he has still not completed and in the last few days various concerns have come to light over his competence in plumbing installations - we found out that he had not even installed the washing machine and dishwasher properly! The engineer for the appliance company said he should not really have put it right as it would have invalidated the guarantee, but he did it out of goodwill! We also have concerns over taps, pipes and lord knows what else is awaiting us after further use of the facilities. Even though we owe him 1000s he has still dragged the job out, which has caused us to lose a tenant on the property already and has caused us so much stress but he almost doesn't seem bothered. To find out he has been lying to us all along and breaking the law to boot is just getting too much....
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"Jinge" wrote [snip tales of woe] | Even though we owe him 1000s he has still dragged the job out, | which has caused us to lose a tenant on the property already
That's a quantifiable financial loss. I think you need to Call Your Solicitor.
Owain
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 15:26:08 +0100, "Owain"

I've had a similar situation, although with a different type of project, where the supplier took longer than stated, didn't complete certain aspects properly and did some property damage through incompetence and lack of supervision into the bargain.
I had withheld the remaining payment of just under 10k. The supplier had agreed to only a 1500 deduction to cover the property repair, so we were a long way apart.
I gave them several opportunities to fix the other outstanding issues and they failed miserably, still persisting in holding out for complete payment. After about a month, and several letters, they brought in their solicitor who began threatening legal action. They hadn't prepared their position at all well and I sent them photographs, copies of a diary that I had kept etc. The offer was upped to 2500 on their side and at that point I contacted my solicitor.
I bought an hour of his time to discuss how to handle this at a cost of just over 100, which in the context of what was at stake, was not a lot. Nevertheless, the costs can quickly mount if he were expected to do much.
I had included in my counter claim amounts for time lost supervising the supplier's subcontractors and other inconveniences. His advice was that unless I was self employed or in a profession that bills explicitly for time then a court would be unlikely to take that time and its cost into account.
His additional advice, if I was prepared to settle at the figure, was to offer to settle at a figure just under 5000 (e.g. 4995), and to pay the difference to reduce the outstanding balance to this figure. The strategy behind this is that this is the break point where a claim would be heard in the Small Claims Division rather than in full court. Any solicitor will know this and it's virtually a coded message that one understands the game.
I was advised that in general, the small claims court will err towards the customer in this type of case where a supplier has been incompetent, done poor work etc. Moreover, the case will be heard in the locality of the defendant, and in this case, the supplier was half way across the country. This would have the potential of incurring a lot of professional cost for them, as well as management time.
After three further exchanges of letter where I stood firm and called their bluff, the supplier's solicitor had clearly been told to settle. We did so, at 4000 plus 1500 worth of other goods from the supplier.
Throughout this exercise, I kept records of what was happening and every letter was sent by special delivery so make sure that there was a record of signature and receipt.
I also made sure that each letter repeated the points of the previous ones in full (word processors are great for this) and got up to seven pages at the end, with plenty of cross references. Of course, the supplier's solicitor would have to read all of this stuff to be able to follow the details. I estimate that that would have cost them quite a bit in legal fees.
A dispute with an individual would not need to have this amount of standoff, but nevertheless the principle of withholding payment and making the supplier take legal action is a sound one.
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

Hi Andy
Just to clarify the aim here...
They still want money. Are you saying that since its under 5000 it will only be heard in the SCD if they sue for it? I thought their solicitor could ask for it to be heard in the full court?
IanC
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On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 16:10:16 +0100, Ian Clowes

IANAL, but as it was explained to me by someone who is, this is a question of normal practice and costs.
Generally, small claims procedure is used for amounts under 5k, fast track for 5k to 15k and multi-track above that. Details are on the Court Service web site.
http://www.courtservice.gov.uk/forms_and_guidance/forms/n150.pdf
The point is, that going for the fast track could be done, but would have to be justified (not likely here) and would imply more costs.
Also, we should keep in mind the storyline from the OP. There seems to be fairly clear indication that the installer has broken the law, and remember that this is a criminal offence.
I had occasion to check an installer's registration with CORGI on Friday. This particular person is employed and there is a CORGI registration for his firm. He is registered under the firm's registration and certified to do specific work. You can ask CORGI whether an individual is certified to do X but they won't give a list of a person's qualifications. Moreover, in the case of this type of registration, the individual can only do work for the firm and invoiced by the firm. He is not allowed to do work on the side - that apparently requires an individual registration. Either way, they can check by firm or by individual, and it does sound as though the OP's installer falls outside of either category.
In the light of that, I wonder whether he would really want to involve himself in the court system, albeit a civil action? I suppose that the OP couldn't really hold that up as a reason not to pay since it is tantamount to blackmail.
It seems that the scenario could result in the installer trying to pursue "alternative means" of debt collection. If he did nothing, which is probably unlikely it leaves the matter rather open ended.
Faced with this situation I think that I would do the following:
- I wouldn't accept the offer of "a mate" doing an inspection and check.
- Get an independent and preferably expensive organisation like BG to come and do an inspection and issue a certificate.
- Get an Institute of Plumbing registered plumber to check the plumbing work and provide a report. Not that I set huge store by this organisation but it's as good as it gets.
- Have the two contractors above carry out any remedial work required.
- Send payment to the original fitter less any and all costs from above, with an accompanying letter saying that this is in full and final settlement.
- Report the guy to CORGI. Not only does he appear to have done a poor job, but he also appears to have committed a criminal offence and to have borne false witness to try and cover that up.
Faced with that, I don't think that the guy would be very likely to pursue a claim.
I suppose that one could go as far as to issue a claim for loss of rent for having lost a potential tenant - whether that would stand up, I don't know.
.andy
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wrote:

Blimey, they'll be doing "next day before 10:00 a.m." next! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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wrote:

Well.....
Look at the court service web site. There is now an on-line route to having your dispute.
Since so many cases are of a very similar structure, why not?
In case you were wondering, yes, the Americans have already called it E-justice.
.andy
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"Andy Hall" wrote | I suppose that one could go as far as to issue a claim for loss of | rent for having lost a potential tenant - whether that would stand up, | I don't know.
IANAL but I think it would have a good chance. It is an actual, quantifiable, loss of income suffered (rather than a salaried person's loss of time, which as you say the lower courts are reluctant to award). Moreover as the fitter was, presumably, explicitly asked for a Landlord's Safety Certificate, he would have been aware that the OP was intending to rent out the property, and this loss would therefore be Reasonably Foreseable.
Owain
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Jinge wrote:

See the FAQ. It could well be that he was registered as an 'operative' under the last firm he worked for. But now he is self-employed / in partnership he is operating under a different name. If the card he showed you was valid for this year till March 04 and had his photo and name on it I would leave the matter rest. He will register in his new business next year.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
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