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Lanscaper Complaint

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dattani2002 | 14:31 Tue 22nd Feb 2005 | Home & Garden
9 Answers
I've had a landscaper to do my garden work, since august and he is pretty slow at what he does. The work I asked him to do was to trim back the trees, remove the ivy off the walls, remove a tree in the middle of the garden and returf the grass. Till now he has done 3 of the things listed and he is in the middle of returfing it. He's had a digger in to remove the layer of grass so he can put on the new turf, however he told me a skip would come so he can put all the excess mud in it. He hasnt been round in like 2 months and wont answer my calls or answer his door. He could be a cowboy, but what could I do now to sort this out? Any Ideas?

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Send him a letter - Recorded Delivery, so he can't deny receiving it - and advise him that he has three weeks from the date of the letter to come and finish the job comletely, and receive agreed payment. Say you've tried tol get in touch, no response, and failure to respond to the letter and finish the job will render your contract void, and you will not be liable for any payment for the work done thus far. That way, either he gets his act together and finishes your job, or you can wait the allotted time, and then get someone else in to finish it, and just pay them for what your original contractor failed to complete. If he tries to get stroppy - and he might - stay calm, and tell him that the deal is set out in the letter, finish and get paid, or leave, with no money - his choice. If he's still nasty, show the copy of the ltter which you sent him to your solicitor, who can fire off a warning letter of their own, which will shut him up.

Traders do this - they get several jobs on the go, and loose interest in finishing the original jobs in reasonable time, you just have to be firm, polite, but underneath, as big a [email protected]"* as they are!

This method works, I've used it. Good luck.

As a garden designer I hear of this complaint time and time again. I would personally tell the contractor that he is off the job and that you will pay him for what work he has completed to your satisfaction. Get a new contractor in. Ensure he is either BALI or APL registered. This will give you some protection. Ensure you draw up a contract between you and the contractor stating what work you want doing and to what standard by what time. State how and when he will be paid. Both sign the contract.  If you have any further problems then you have a legal contract between you and the contractor and this will be easy and fairly cheap to persue through the courts if need be.
Can i ask you an important question....
Have you already paid in advance?
Would rather change things...Good Luck!
Question Author
Yes i have paid him, however not the total amount. Ive paid him part of the money, about half of it, which is �300 and the total for the work is �700. He was recommended by a friend, even my neighbour told me that he does a good job, "when he gets round to doing it", but, pardon the expressions, it's taking the p!ss waiting for him. I could send a letter (recorded) and if he doesnt reply then get my solicitor to send him a letter. But the one problem is, he was recommended by a friend as a handyman who can do landscaping. So it was more of a, no contract job. Which I know, most of you must be thinking what an idiot, however he's done everything up to now without supervision. Now that im back, he's being really slow. He may have other jobs on the go but thats no reason to forget this one. Any Suggestions people? Thanks
I think you tell him that he is off the job. In my experience he will be glad. Forgot that he was recommended its your garden not your friends'. Tell him that he has one week to finish the job or you will find someone else. I personally wouldn't give him a week I would tell him straight. He has �300 of your money don't give these type of people anymore. You need to be brave but my word you will be glad that you did believe me.  
OK - based on the additional information - I would be inclined to go with the answers that followed mine - you should never pay for work before it is completed to your satisfaction - a reputable tradesman will not ask. Time to cut your losses and get rid.

Just go to a Solicitor and ask him to write the person a letter detailing the issue.

Works a treat and unlikey to cost very much.

Question Author
Thank you to everyone for your ideas, i've written to the council who will be helping me with this and also gettin my solicitor to write a recorded letter to him. Thanks again people
check if he is a member of a trade body like b.a.l.i. british association of landscape industries if so they have a bond scheme where you may be able to seek recompense as for a jcb on your lawn no good landscaper would do this on a domestic job as it will compact your ground with its weight causing water retention when your lawn is turfed

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