Owner Recovers Significant Damages from Tradesman who Failed to undertake Agreed Work

01/09/2015

We act for the Owner.  The Owner in undertaking some refurbishment of a bathroom engaged a tradesman at a fixed costs to undertake the supply and fix of marble flooring for the bathroom.  The supplier continued to promise to undertake the works but failed to attend and undertake the works within a reasonable time. 

The Owner had paid a deposit for the marble and the supplier refused to acknowledge the Owner.  The Owner was prepared to settle for the return of the deposit of less than $2,000.00 however the supplier would not respond to any calls. 

The Owner was delayed in the works and engaged another supplier at a higher cost to supply and fix the bathroom flooring.  There were also delay costs associated with being unable to complete the works and occupy the home. 

The Owner wished to recover money and we made enquiries as to whether the tradesman owned property.  Having made those enquiries, we discussed the matter with the Owner and we were instructed to proceed with the recovery.

The Owner thereafter took proceedings for the losses and obtained Judgment against the supplier. 

The supplier who owned his own home continued to ignore the Owner.  The Owner then made an application for the supplier to be declared bankrupt. 

Following the appointment of the Trustee in Bankruptcy the supplier became aware of his predicament and the possibility of losing his home.  The supplier thereafter agreed to repay the Owner all his losses and expenses and costs and also agreed to pay the costs of the Trustee in Bankruptcy. 

It is not always best to ignore a claim that is being made against you.  Each claim should be considered properly and a decision made based on the facts and likely outcome. 

Similarly, if you are affected by bad workmanship or other loss careful consideration needs to be had as to the cost both financial and otherwise of proceeding against the person who caused you harm.  Careful consideration of all relevant matters is needed so that the appropriate decision is made. 

As it happened in this case the Owner was successful in recovering most of his costs and outlays.  The decision was taken by the Owner particularly having regard to the fact that the supplier was the Owner of a property and eventually would lose the property if the supplier did not deal with the matter. 

It may have been that the supplier could not pay the required amount, however, in this particular case it appears that the supplier thought that the matter would just go away.  This was a risk the supplier took against his interest at a great cost to him.

Please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson should you have any queries or are faced with a similar scenario and not sure what legal recourse is available to you.

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