Citizens Advice: Do you have problems with a tradesperson's work?
“They did eventually come back and finish the job, but the work was rough around the edges. They left all the old tiles and plaster for me to dispose of, which I wasn’t expecting. I’ve now got the invoice, but I don’t think the price reflects the work done or the service I got. Can I challenge this?”
It’s frustrating when you run into problems with home improvements.
You mention that the job looked “rough round the edges”, and if you consider the job unfinished or unsafe, you should be able to get the tiler to come back to fix it.
You could also suggest that removing the old tiles might be considered as part of finishing the job.
If the tiler considers the work complete, it’s worth knowing you’re protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which says the tiler should have completed the work with ‘reasonable care and skill’.
If they haven’t done this, they’ve broken the law.
The Act means you’re legally entitled to ask the tiler to fix the problem (if they provided the tiles as well as the service), or get money refunded (if they just provided the service and you bought the tiles).
They should fix the problem or refund you in a reasonable amount of time, without causing too much inconvenience.
As you’ve received the invoice for the work but not paid yet, now would be a good time to ask them to fix the issue or you can negotiate a lower price for the work.
Let the tiler know you understand what you’re entitled to. Speak to them in person or contact them in writing or over email.
There are template letters on the Citizens Advice website (www.citizensadvice.org.uk), and it’s good to make sure you have a written copy of anything agreed.
Before you contact them, take photographs to use as evidence of the problem.
Make notes about what happened, including dates and times.
You should also gather any paperwork and receipts – was there any prior written agreement about who would dispose of the old tiles?
Was the final cost in line with estimates given to you at the outset of the work?
If not, there is advice on the Citizens Advice website about steps you can take.
If you’re struggling to come to an agreement with the tiler, there are other steps you can take to solve your problem, including using ‘alternative dispute resolution’, which is a way of solving disagreements without going to court.
If you would like some support with this, you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service at 0800 233 1133.
If you would like to speak to Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre, you can call us on 0808 278 7896 (freephone) or visit one of our contact centres in Dewsbury or Huddersfield (www.kcalc.org.uk/contact-us).