Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Do you have a problem getting your Title Deeds?
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Beaulygirl
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Aug 2013 13:34

Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Beaulygirl » 08 Feb 2014 11:26

I wonder if you can help me with a huge problem we are having with our builder. We bought a property which had been built but not fully completed (previous owners ran out of money so had to sell) and as it was a private sale and not though a developer, we now also own the Title Deeds on our land. The house will be added on once it has been finished and we can move in. At the time of buying, we made no agreement on who we would use to finish the project and the builder who had originally built the property was never included on any part of our sale contract. We decided however to carry on using him as it simply made sense. The house was pretty much completed but just needed water, electricity, bathroom fitted and some tiling done, all the rest of the work was all external. But due to us being very unhappy with some of his workmen, we have decided to bring in our own electrician, tiler, swimming pool people etc. So apart from the important job of using our own qualified electrician, the rest is mostly cosmetic work, we are not trying to alter the building or change any part of the structure. The builder is now telling us that we can not use our own people and has even threatened to close off the whole area and not allow anyone on our land! He is telling us that we can not use our own people as his insurance does not cover them. But if we have no contract with him, the house was built when we purchased it, we own the land and property, and hold our own title deeds, what right does he have to threaten us with this? If it is our property, surely we have the right to choose our own professional people to finish off certain areas... Do you or anyone know if he has the right to threaten us with this?



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Nigel Howarth » 08 Feb 2014 19:26

Hi Beaulygirl

You say that you "decided however to carry on using him [the original builder] as it simply made sense". There must have been some agreement whether written or oral on the work he would do, payment, etc?

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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Beaulygirl
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Aug 2013 13:34

Re: Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Beaulygirl » 08 Feb 2014 20:39

Hi Nigel
As he was the original builder and is also our neighbour, we have been using him to price up and carry out various work loads. But the problem is, he only wants to do the work himself, or use his friends but we are not happy with the work and especially not the prices he quotes! He refuses to work with any people we have needed (electrician, metal worker for the railings, security firm etc) and keeps telling us that we can not use these people as it is his construction site, which he can close at any time to stop our guys! We never had any formal agreement that he would do all the work, he just quoted us for individual jobs which needed doing so we could either go ahead with him, or as we are doing now, finding a better/cheaper alternative. There was never any agreement that he would be the sole worker as he is a builder by trade and therefore obviously can't do all the work needed! But as we own the land and property (and have the Title Deeds to the land), how can he stop us from employing other professionals?! Surely it is our house and we can go ahead as we see fit? Do you know if he has any legal rights to stop us? He may well have had a contract with the original owners, but this was never carried over upon purchase.



Nigel Howarth
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus
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Re: Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Nigel Howarth » 09 Feb 2014 14:32

Hi Beaulygirl

It sounds as if communication has broken down somewhere along the line and your building contractor is assuming that he's just carrying on with the agreement he had with the previous owners.

Our house was built by a local contractor and he sub-contracted part of the works to other firms. But we appointed a specialist firm to carry out the electrical mechanical work and all the plumbing - he was happy with this (and we did have an architect looking after our interests). The only issue we had was with his carpenter who got a bit shirty when we sourced the kitchen and utility room cabinets, internal doors and wardrobes from specialist firms.

You need to come to an agreement with him about the work he should do (as your main contractor) and other people you will need to complete the work to your satisfaction.

If he keeps being unreasonable, get rid of him and find someone else.

There's an article by Antonis Loizou that you may find useful at Actions to be taken and points to bear in mind when buying your own plot to build your own house.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
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Pantheman
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008 14:44
Location: Famagusta District
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Re: Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Pantheman » 10 Feb 2014 11:17

Just tell him he is fired, you no longer need his services and he has no right whatsoever.

Tell him you will call the police and you can report him to the builders federation. He may not even have taken out the necessary licences to build the house. Does he have his sign up??

He cannot hold you to ransom. If necessary call the police and stand your ground. If you have nothing written and it is just word of mouth then there is nothing binding. Unless you agreed terms verbally and had a witness present to attest to this he has no say.

Good luck.

P.S. is he charging you vat? do you get receipts? ask him for his vat number and if he asks why tell you you will be claiming your vat back and need it. He will soon change his tune.


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Beaulygirl
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Joined: 27 Aug 2013 13:34

Re: Is my builder talking nonsense?!?!

Post by Beaulygirl » 10 Feb 2014 19:48

Thanks for your answer! Pantheman - Yes he does still have a construction sign up on a bit of fencing providing an office address (which is no longer there), and I do believe that he went through the correct channels with licensing etc. But he seems to think that, as he no doubt held a written contract with the previous owners, that this somehow means that it is his construction site and that he is still the Contractor! The only verbal agreement we had with him was that he seemed to be a good builder so we could use him to do certain jobs for us as and when needed/we could afford it. So why is he telling me that he is the 'boss' and we can not use any of our own workmen??

I will stand my ground however and take your advice. We do not have a contract so we may have to part ways.

Thanks so much!!!



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