If you’re a consumer and you purchase goods or services that aren’t up to scratch, then you are entitled to bring a claim against the supplier. As a litigation solicitor in Leicestershire, I am often instructed by consumers and homeowners, as well as Companies defending actions.
The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which has been refreshed and included in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically for consumers) requires goods and services to meet certain minimum standards. These are called the Statutory Rights, and they include:
- Goods to be of satisfactory quality
- Goods to be fit for particular purpose
- Goods to be as described
- Other pre-contract information included in contract
- Goods to match a sample
- Goods to match a model seen or examined
I am a specialist civil litigation and consumer rights solicitor and have vast experience in advising on disputes and claims in relation to the Sale of Goods Act, the Consumer Rights Act and in relation to other consumer protection laws.
Works Done At Home / Construction / Builders / Plumbers / Electricians etc
I often see Sale of Goods / Supply of Services claims when a homeowner has work done at their house. Although this would be a breach of contract dispute too, it is usual for there not to be any written contracts. As lawyers, we therefore need to look at the statutory rights, sometimes known as “implied terms” into what was agreed.
I see disputes with builders all the time, both defending and bringing claims. Acting for the householder, the arguement is usually that the cost is much higher than expected, or that the quality is not good enough – or even that the builder has caused more damage. All of these usually mean that the homeowner has “lost all faith” in the builder to carry on work, and therefore tells the builder not to come back. Another builder will be brought in to finish the job. I have dealt with claims for overruns in budget whether fixed priced contracts or estimated build costs. I have also been involved in claims for unpaid invoices and disputes over unpaid invoices.
In all the circumstances, we look at what was agreed by the parties, look at the Sales of Goods / Supply of Services Act (and more recently the Consumer Rights Act and consumer law, and decide what action to bring.
The first step will be to write a letter before action or letter of claim to the supplier or business, setting out the issues you have. If they are ignored or not dealt with satisfactorily, then we will need to consider issuing County Court proceedings. As a civil litigation solicitor in Leicester, I am frequently instructed by individuals or businesses in Leicester to deal with their case.
The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
We are seeing many businesses fall foul of this new legislation. It used to be known as the “door step” regulations, and involves contracts concluded at your home or elsewhere not at the businesses premises.
The law gives consumers 14 days cooling off period to cancel contracts made at your home. If no notice is given, the 14 days starts once a notice is given. This is a really strong consumer protection, as it allows homeowners to cancel a contract even if work has started and if no notice is given, they can potentially avoid payment! I act for lots of builders and professionals and I can help provide the correct forms and terms and conditions.