Contra charges imposed by customer

Hi everyone,

Anyone on here have much experience with commercial / contract law issues?

The long-and-the-short of it is that I have a client who fits commercial window blinds. They have been chasing a customer (a contractor) for money for some while, and that contractor has now replied by listing out all sorts of counter-charges, which exceed the value of the invoices that my client was chasing.

Some of the charges are valid. However some are unreasonable. e.g. where my client was asked (at the last minute) to fit more blinds than had been agreed in a day, resulting in not having enough time to do a site clean-up, and the contractor is retrospectively charging them for clean-up costs. Also the contractor had mis-ordered some blinds and therefore had to re-order (my client did not supply any blinds), but they are now charging for delivery of the replacement blinds, and penalties where jobs overran because of delays caused by awaiting replacement blinds.

Additionally, I'm not aware that there were any contracts in place (and therefore no formal agreement as regards penalties... etc).

How enforceable are such fees?

Cheers all,



  • K H
    K H Registered Posts: 81 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    It is a general principle in building contract law that you must first give the supplier the opportunity to correct his work before engaging others to do it, therefore in my opinion these contra charges would not be valid.

    These tactics are commonplace in construction, whereby the contractor and main client would have a contract which outlined penalties if the job was late and if they suffer then they look to the subbies to get their money back.

    With regard to the contract issue surely he had an order or how else did he get the job?

    I would issue proceedings through the small claims procedure.(and don't ever work for main contractors again!)
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