Laying Down The Law - Can I Sue Kitchen Firm For Unfinished Work?

We paid over £5,000 for a new kitchen supplied and fitted by a local firm. Six months later there is still substantial work incomplete. When I call I get fobbed off or made promises that are not kept. Can I sue the firm? I paid the full cost but I am not getting the service. Can the court make them complete the job?

Attention all readers: NEVER pay a tradesman in full before work is complete. What you need to do now is get a written report on the shortcomings of the job from a surveyor or reputable kitchen company and use this as evidence of breach of contract when you sue the firm. You can sue for specific implement, ie to get the job completed, but it would probably better to claim the cost of someone else competing the work, plus costs. Also report the company to the local trading standards office.

My husband of 22 years left me three years ago after an affair. I want to divorce him for adultery but my lawyer says there is no point. Why is this? Surely he should account for destroying our marriage and the hurt caused.

The law says not, or at least not necessarily. While you could certainly proceed on adultery, it would be simpler and cheaper to use separation as the ground of divorce. And it has been the law for many years in Scotland that it does not matter who caused a marriage breakdown, the finances are usually shared equally, and the arrangements for kids are based on their needs, not apportioning of blame. Your lawyer has given good advice no matter how unpalatable to you personally or emotionally.

I bought a second-hand car with a month's warranty. It has had an intermittent fault in the brakes but the dealer has done nothing to repair it and now says my month is up. A mechanic I spoke to says he must have known about the fault when he sold me the car.

The law gives any car purchase from a dealer a warranty that the vehicle is fit for driving, and is not limited to a month. If he knew about the defect, he has misrepresented the car's quality. You told of the defect before the end of the warranty period, so you are within the time limit. You are once, twice, three times entitled to your money back without question.

I want to leave my porcelain collection to a friend but am afraid my son will not tell her or sell the collection and keep the money. How can I make sure of the bequest?

Tell the friend you intend this, ensure it is stated clearly in your will (with a sufficient description of the collection , details of artists and subject matter - even add photos) and either have your solicitor store the will, or keep a copy, so your son is not left to act unchecked. Indeed, you can appoint your solicitor, or someone other than your son, as executor and this will reduce risk further.

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