Residential Construction Disputes


If you find yourself involved in a residential construction dispute, the initial course of action should involve a conscientious endeavour to amicably address the disagreement by engaging in a constructive dialogue with the individual or entity involved. Frequently, this can lead to a mutually acceptable resolution. Nevertheless, in the event that you encounter difficulties in attaining a mutually agreeable resolution, our legal department is available to assist you in achieving the desired outcome. Potential avenues for resolving conflicts may include the utilisation of dispute resolution methods such as negotiation or mediation, as well as pursuing legal action based on a claim of contractual breach. In this article, Residential Construction Disputes, we take a look at the process involved.

Please click here to find out more about our Property Litigation services.

Free initial telephone discussion

For a free initial discussion on how we can help you if you are involved in a residential construction dispute, get in touch with us today. We are experienced in dealing with all forms of property litigation. We will review your situation and discuss the options open to you in a clear and approachable manner. Early expert legal assistance can help ensure you avoid the stress of dealing with these issues on your own. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or click here to make a free enquiry and a member of the team will get back to you.

What are the common types of residential construction disputes?

There are a number of potential disputes that can occur in residential property, which can relate to:

  • The level of workmanship
  • The duration of time allocated to a project
  • The costs associated
  • Payment and debt recovery
  • Professional negligence, often known as professional malpractice, refers to the failure of a professional to perform their duties with the level of skill

Regardless of one’s stance in the dispute, a construction dispute is an unpleasant experience. The aforementioned factors can result in the occurrence of delays, financial setbacks, and a substantial degree of psychological distress. To expedite the resolution of the issue in a timely and efficient manner, it is imperative to prioritise the swift and effective resolution.

How can a dispute be resolved?

There are multiple methods and processes that can be employed in the event of a dispute between a party and a contractor. The following methods are commonly employed for dispute resolution: mediation, adjudication, arbitration, expert determination, and court processes. It is advisable to seek professional legal counsel if attempts to resolve the dispute through direct communication with the opposing party prove unsuccessful.

While acknowledging the significance of maintaining cordial relationships between construction service providers and their clients, we are also prepared to adopt a firm position when necessary.

How long should I give a builder to fix defects?

In the event of encountering substandard building work, it is expected that the responsible builder will undertake the necessary repairs within a reasonable timeframe, typically spanning a few days to several weeks. In the event of their failure to fulfil this obligation, one may pursue alternative contractors for cost estimates, which can afterwards be utilised to assert reimbursement from the initial contractor.

In the event of a disagreement with a contractor that remains unresolved through direct communication, it may be prudent to seek professional legal counsel to ascertain the appropriate course of action for dispute settlement or pursuing a claim against the contractor for substandard workmanship.

Can I sue my builder?

If a contractor fails to fulfil their contractual obligations to a satisfactory level, resulting in a tangible detriment such as a decrease in property value, it may be possible to pursue legal action against them. This legal recourse would not only seek the reimbursement of funds paid to the contractor, but also aim to secure compensation for the damages incurred as a direct consequence of their negligent actions. Consult with your solicitor regarding the procedural aspects, which may vary based on the monetary amounts at stake.

The jurisdiction of the small claims court includes claims of a monetary value below £10,000 that are brought against builders. If your claim possesses a superior value, it is advisable to consult with your solicitor who can provide guidance on the appropriate course of action, with the purpose of expeditiously resolving the matter.

What happens if the builder doesn’t return to site?

Where a contractual agreement for the execution of certain tasks exists, it is incumbent upon the builder to fulfil those tasks in line with the terms stipulated in the agreement. However, it is possible that there may be several challenges that arise throughout the construction process, potentially leading to a situation where the builder does not return to the site.

Try to comprehend the rationale behind the builder’s decision to decline returning to the construction site. This scenario frequently occurs when the builder perceives a lack of payment, hence it is imperative to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the underlying problem.

How should you prepare for potential litigation?

In a situation of a disagreement with a contractor, it is crucial to compile all pertinent documentation pertaining to the contractual arrangement, encompassing electronic correspondences such as emails, text messages, and WhatsApp messages that outline the terms of agreement, delineate the issues encountered, and explain the present state of affairs. The process of gathering such information can be time consuming, particularly in cases where the dispute or construction project is protracted or intricate. However, it is imperative to compile this documentation as it will be essential for any subsequent dialogue with a solicitor specialising in building disputes. In the context of a dispute arising from a residential house construction project, there are certain papers and information that are frequently requested or inquired about. These include:

  • Does a written contract exist?
  • The identification of the entities involved in the transactions, specifically whether they are sole traders or limited businesses
  • Did any quotes or specifications of works exist?
  • What is the overall expenditure associated with the project? What amounts have been disbursed thus far and what amounts remain unpaid or are subject to disagreement?
  • Do you possess invoices that serve as documentation for this matter, or any form of evidence indicating payments made from bank accounts?
  • Did any building control letters or official communication exist?

Engaging in the task of developing a comprehensive description of the issues at hand, accompanied by a chronological framework, will serve to clarify the existing conflict between yourself and the other party.

If the resolution of the residential building dispute has not been achieved and the pursuit of legal action is being considered, it is imperative to possess a comprehensive understanding of the agreed terms, the progress made thus far, any modifications made during the process, and the current issues at hand.

How we can help

We have a proven track record of helping clients involved in residential construction disputes. There can be an array of issues to take into consideration. We will guide you through all the necessary legal due diligence in a comprehensive and timely manner and support and advise you with all the negotiations. We firmly believe that with the right solicitors by your side, the entire process will seem more manageable and far less daunting.

Please click here to find out more about our Property Litigation services.

How to contact our Commercial Litigation solicitors

It is important for you to be well informed about the issues and possible implications of a residential construction dispute. Expert legal support is crucial in terms of ensuring a positive outcome to your case.

To speak to our Property Litigation solicitors today, simply call us on 0345 901 0445, or click here to make a free enquiry. We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.

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