Commercial Case Studies

Becky and Jon (names changed to protect confidentiality)

Becky runs an up market guest house with five guest rooms in the North of England. She employed Jon, an experienced painter and decorator, to redecorate the five guest rooms and other work in the family part of the building for £5,000. Becky was on holiday during most of the work but when she returned she had many complaints about the standard of work in all of the rooms, and Jon admitted the work had been completed in a hurry due to another job he had booked for the week after the job for Becky. Becky had paid £4,000 out of the £5,000 but would not pay the final £1,000 due to her complaints about the work done.

Becky called in another decorator who gave an estimate of another £3,000 to complete the work to the required standard, so Becky wanted back the £4,000 she had already paid to Jon as then she would ‘break even’ if she paid £3,000 for the work to be completed by someone else, and it would compensate her for lost income as the rooms could not be used until the second decoration had been completed. Jon had refused to refund the £4,000 as he thought the work in the family area had been completed to the required standard and the materials for all the work had cost £500, and also he did not have £4,000 in cash to make the refund all at once.

The mediator worked with Becky and Jon over several emails and phone calls over a three week period, which helped them to agree that Jon would repay £3,000 less the £500 paid for materials = £2,500, at £500 a month spread over five monthly instalments, and this was confirmed in a written agreement.