Issue with a tradesperson - advice needed please!

Hello,

I had a tradie come and quote on a job to be done on an IP I am preparing for sale.

He gave me a quote in writing. I accepted the quote via text - so my acceptance is also in writing.

We agreed on a start date, but as that loomed, I could not raise him by text or phone.

When I finally heard from him, he said he'd been sick (hence the lack of contact). He also asked for some cash up front for my job, as he had no money to buy the materials needed for it.

This sent some alarm bells ringing, so I made a few phone calls, and found out the guy is unreliable and shonky. (Yes, I perhaps should have made these calls beforehand, but he advertises every week in my local paper - so I mistakenly presumed he is upstanding. Lesson learned!)

Anyhow, my question is this: having agreed to his quote, am I legally obliged to follow through - ie allow him to do the work and pay him?

I've never been in this situation before.

Thoughts on the legalities?

Cheers,

H.
 
Tell him you got sick of waitingfor him to make contact and you got someone else.

If he doesnt have the money for materials he likely doesnt have the money to take legal action.
 
We have no contract. Just his written quote, outlining job and proposed cost. And my agreement to quote via text. It was only a $2000 job.

Look, I don't think the guy would take legal action. I just don't want any trouble, as he lives in my suburb.
 
Did the quote state that payment for materials had to be up front ?

If not then that seems to be an easy get out clause - just say you were not intending to pay until after the job was completed and a tax invoice provided.

Mention you want this for warranty and protection etc.

Then he would most likely pull out anyway.
 
We have no contract. Just his written quote, outlining job and proposed cost. And my agreement to quote via text. It was only a $2000 job.

Look, I don't think the guy would take legal action. I just don't want any trouble, as he lives in my suburb.

A contract can be oral. No contract = no agreement.
 
Nope, the quote didn't state materials were to be bought up front.

I don't know whether we had a 'contract'. He gave me a written quote, I accepted the quote, we agreed on a date to do the work. There were no finer details discussed beyond that.

Does that constitute a contract? I'm not sure.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.
 
In any case, it seems to me that he has broken the terms of our agreement. He said that if I couldn't pay some money up front, he couldn't do the job on the agreed date. So......impasse.
 
There may be a contract there may not be a contract. Depends on whether the quote is considered an offer or an invitation to deal. I imagine that it is an offer and that technically you may have a contract.

A contract does not have to be in writing, it doesn't even need to be verbalised and is made up of the following
1) An offer
2) consideration (this means something of value, what that is is very broad)
3) Acceptance of an offer

For example, entering into a parking lot is a contract, the offer is the sign saying park here for $x amount, the consideration is the money exchanged and the available parking lot, the acceptance of your offer is the driving in.

And then there are all the exceptions imposed by various types of legislation and common law that modify those basic elements

But for $2000 it's really irrelevant. What's he going to do? Take you to court and sue you?

It's all academic. In a practical sense, just tell him you're not happy and want to go with someone else. This happens to tradies often enough; he will probably feel like you screwed him around, he may not take your business in the future. That's your worst case scenario.
 
Thanks all. Very enlightening.

My research suggests you don't need a special licence for the work that was to be done in this case.

BUT, here's an interesting thing. The quote includes a GST component. However, an ABN look up shows he is not registered for GST. This, I believe, is highly illegal?
 
Thanks all. Very enlightening.

My research suggests you don't need a special licence for the work that was to be done in this case.

BUT, here's an interesting thing. The quote includes a GST component. However, an ABN look up shows he is not registered for GST. This, I believe, is highly illegal?

Just call him and tell him you dont need him anymore.

This will go no where and he will get over it.
 
Thanks all. Very enlightening.

My research suggests you don't need a special licence for the work that was to be done in this case.

BUT, here's an interesting thing. The quote includes a GST component. However, an ABN look up shows he is not registered for GST. This, I believe, is highly illegal?

Yes he wouldn't be allowed to charge GST then.
 
I'm not worried about it any more. But I'm a researcher by profession. I like to know stuff! All good, and even better, our agent says the work wouldn't have made a big difference to the sale price.
 
It is not uncommon for tradies to ask for deposit / money upfront. Some of them wont agree to do the work or even show up unless if you paid them a deposit.

However was it or was it not in your contract / agreement with him that you pay money upfront? if it was not and he is demanding it now then he is breaching his terms.

Also keep in mind, these things are unlikely to enforce. Dept of fair trading (in case if you were suing him) is an entity that is almost good for nothing so effectively things like that need to go to court. If he has money or the legal know how he could potentially sue in small division (for claims up to 10k).

Otherwise these things are not really cost effective for either party to take to court. He has to demonstrate what damages he has incurred as a result of you not going ahead on your promise.
 
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