A house owner has been awarded almost £380,000 in damages and interest against a partner in a building firm who fraudulently induced him into entering into a contract for the renovation and extension of his property. The builder had ‘participated in a charade’, posing as an independent third party who had no connection with the firm and failing to disclose that her business partner had a conviction for fraud and had been made bankrupt.
The builder had pretended to be a satisfied customer of the firm and had assured the owner of the house of her business partner’s good standing and abilities. As well as concealing her close association with the firm, she also failed to reveal that she and her business partner were living together. The house owner had entered into the contract in reliance on the defendant’s fraudulent misrepresentations and substantially overpaid for the work carried out prior to the firm withdrawing from the project, leaving it far from completion.
Mr Justice Ramsey found that the house owner had incurred very substantial losses that flowed directly from the defendant’s misconduct. These included a £170,000 reduction in the property’s sale price, finance costs, a mortgage redemption penalty and professional fees. The court awarded the owner of the house a total of £376,432.81 in damages and interest.
If you have been misled into overpaying for building work, or have had work done which is seriously substandard, contact us for advice on the steps you can take to obtain redress.