Hello everyone. My name is Samuel Leeds, your property. Today, I will tell you about the horrible situation that I have been through. My builder walked off the site and he closed the company. It happened in May and now I have recovered from this situation. The site was quickly finished and now everything is settled down. I have made a video on it where you can see my reaction as well and when I posted this video, many people asked me what actually happened and what lesson I have learnt from this and how can we deal with these kinds of people when you are a property investor? So, here I will share what had happened that day and what I have learnt. So, let’s begin.
The Worst Situation
So it was started with a property which is not mine but for an investor who was quite high profile and my good friend also. So, I wanted everything to go smoothly. Being part of the service, the investor took on board a project management fee from our company which is headed by Alistair.
The property needed around thirty thousand pound to spend on it because it is a small refurb. I usually never involve in these small types of refurb whether I own that property or it is a joint venture of investors.
The builder has experience as he already did 15 jobs. So, I thought everything would be smooth. However, a month into the job I have not been hearing good things like nothing has yet started, things are really slow and I was confused about what is going on. But then Max, who works best in a source, is connected to a person named Iran. I introduced Max to our company and told him about our sourcing company. Then I asked him what’s going on? To which he said that due to the pandemic the work is slow as the builders said this. I didn’t get this excuse, I mean why are people using this pandemic as an excuse? I said I want to talk to the builder directly. I called the builder whose name was Dave and he was like everything is under control nothing has happened.
We discussed the situation and he sounded very calm on the call. He was trying his best to fool me and I was listening to him and didn’t get what he was upto. But I kept getting complaints against this particular house and this builder. Then I asked him to tell me the schedule of work and when things are finally going to happen. He said to me we have ripped the house and everything in scape. First fixation of plumbing and electrics have been done also. We decided and put everything in a schedule to make things work properly but he kept on excusing the pandemic situation that not more than two people would be allowed in the house. Although, we decided when things were going to happen but there was continuous delay and issues in that. Dave, the builder, was making excuses that his wife is in hospital. Maybe he was telling the truth but it is not the professional way to handle this kind of situation.
We have paid for everything like ensuites for bedrooms, plasters and all but he was saying that we need more money for this and that which was not making sense of course.
After all Mr. Dave’s excuses, I thought to give a visit to property and guess what? There was no one present there. Dave walked off talking all my money that I have invested in the property for the ensuites, materials, bathrooms and what not? I received a message from Dave saying that I am winding up my company because things are not getting solved. I thought it was fine things happened, Dave is not a bad person but maybe the situation was not in his favour. But then I started getting messages from the plumber, electrician and other workers who were asking for money from me. They said that Dave told them I have not paid Dave money so that’s why he was unable to pay them. I was shocked, then I showed all the bank statements and invoices that I had paid him all the money and he deceived me.
Dave has done this to many people, taking money from them, making a fool and then closed the company. This is really bad.
Things To Prevent From Fraud Builders
Mostly people rely on recommended builders and they suggest everyone to go for recommended builders, they will be trustworthy. But no! You cannot easily put your trust on anyone because they sometimes act very honest but then work like Dave. You need to look for these things:
- Firstly, whoever builder you are connected to, visit the property. Because usually, these types of builders make you fool by saying there are some issues in the property which might not have. The same thing, Dave did. He showed unnecessary issues with the property which did not seem useful. So, they might trick you with things that you would not be able to identify like an electric issue and if you don’t know what’s wrong with it, you will be easily fooled then. They will create an issue and then ask for money to fix it.
- Second thing is to get different quotations. Don't rely on just one builder but talk to three or four and then decide. It will help you to identify the right or wrong as if two say that the quote will be around 20 to 22 grands for the house and electricity is fine but the third keeps trying to find out the issues then you know better whom to go with.
- Make things written and not verbal. Make a schedule of work and contract details so then in future if you face any hurdle at least you have proof to show. For example if a builder quotes your price and then he keeps on adding things for refurbishing then you will ask if is it included in the amount you have mentioned or not? Then he will clarify to you that no this will require an extra amount. So, that is why you need to write down each and every thing on the document for better work. Get itemized breakdown.
- Do schedule work like when things are going to be done. Mention the proper date and month to start work on time. Follow your schedule properly, things will get easy. Dave didn’t make a schedule of work and when I asked him to tell me when things would start, he started his excuses and kept delaying the work.
- Keep checking and visiting the site so you will not regret it in future. Asking builders for pictures on whatsapp and details to make yourself aware of what’s going on.
- Last but not least, do not pay a big amount to any builder. I lost about seven thousand grand but many people have lost around 20 thousand grand to this same builder. So, be careful when you are paying a large amount. Divide it when paying, like do not pay all the amount in one go. Pay time by time or when the work needs like plastering, plumbing or anything. And everytime when you make payment do survey the property and see how the work is going on.
So, this is my advice to you all as I have been trapped in this so I thought to make you all aware.. Never rely on the person who has only excuses for you because professionalism does not require excuses but efforts. Look for the signs in the builder that I have told you above.Make your communication strong with the builder and find out whether you both are on the same page or not? I hope you understand what I have advised you today. See you in the next video, give me a favour to hit the bell icon of my Youtube channel. Take care, bye!