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Extensions and loft conversions can add both value and extra space to your property, but what can you do when things don’t quite go to plan?
There are ways to mitigate the risk of hiring a cowboy builder, recommendations include the following:
Ask for several references
Look them up on Companies House
Check review sites such as Checkatrade
Ask to see previous examples of their work
Ask to see insurance coverage documentation
Check to see if they have any outstanding CCJs on Registry Trust
Getting a CCJ awarded
If you do experience trouble with your building project and have exhausted all other avenues of mediation then you can apply for a county court judgment online, this can be completed using money claim online. There is a fee for using money claim online and these fees are as follows:
|Claim amount||Paper form fee||Online claim fee|
|Up to £300||£35||£25|
|£300.01 to £500||£50||£35|
|£500.01 to £1,000||£70||£60|
|£1,000.01 to £1,500||£80||£70|
|£1,500.01 to £3,000||£115||£105|
|£3,000.01 to £5,000||£205||£185|
|£5,000.01 to £10,000||£455||£410|
|£10,000.01 to £100,000||5% of the claim||4.5% of the claim|
|£100,000.01 to £200,000||5% of the claim||You cannot make a claim online|
|More than £200,000||£10,000||You cannot make a claim online|
Once you have received a judgement in your favour this doesn’t always mean you will receive a payment from the debtor.
High Court enforcement
If you have a county court judgement and it is for over £600 then you can proceed to High Court enforcement. This will mean your CCJ will need to be transferred up to the High Court and the fee to obtain a writ is £66. You’ll need to complete the form here.
Once the writ has been issued, we can commence with enforcement, this means an enforcement agent will be instructed to send out a letter to the debtor, this details how much is owed and gives the debtor 7 days in which to pay the total amount owed. This is called the compliance stage. The fee for compliance stage is £75 + VAT and this is added to the total owed by the debtor.
Enforcement Stage 1
The next stage of enforcement will be when the enforcement agent visits the property of the debtor, this again gives the debtor another opportunity to make payment in full. The fee for Enforcement Stage 1 is £190 + VAT plus 7.5% of the recovered amount over £1,000.
If payment isn’t made in full then the enforcement agent will complete an itemised list, this is called a controlled goods agreement and lists items that can be removed and sold to settle the debt if an agreement to pay is broken.
There are some items that an enforcement agent cannot include, these are called exempt goods and they include any tools of the trade to the value of £1,350 which a builder is likely to have in their possession.
Enforcement Stage 2
If the debtor fails to adhere to the arrangement in place then the items listed in the controlled goods agreement can be removed, there is a fee of £495 + VAT for this stage and all fees are added to the total owed by the debtor.
Sale or disposal stage
The final stage of the enforcement process is the sale or disposal stage, this stage is where the items listed on the controlled goods agreement are sold, and the proceeds are used to cover the debt. The fee for sale stage is £525 + VAT plus 7.5% of any sum over £1,000.
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