Step 2 - Acknowledgement/Response
Should you not receive either an Acknowledgement of the Letter of Claim within 14 days or a subsequent substantive Response within 28 days, then you are entitled to issue Court proceedings immediately.
Where an Acknowledgment is received, it should confirm receipt of the Letter of Claim and set out when a substantive Response will be provided. They may ask for more time than the standard 28 days and you should consider whether to agree to this.
The substantive Response should set out:
- Whether it is agreed that the works have been done as set out in the invoice and, in the event they are not agreed, stating the reason for any disagreement and putting their case forward in support of this; and
- If part of the claim is accepted, specifying which claim or part of the claim is accepted and whether or not they agree to the amounts being asked for. If they are not agreeing the amounts, then they should state why not and what, if anything, they are offering.
If they respond alleging the works were not done properly or to standard, then you will need to respond, stating whether you agree to being at fault and if not why not. You need to respond within a further 14 day (acknowledgement) and 28 day (substantive response) period. You should also consider having a site meeting within this period.
If there is substance in their response then you will have to deal with it and should proceed to " Experts/Pre-action Meetings". If it is false information with a view to avoiding paying, then it may be appropriate to issue Court proceedings, but if you do, you should write putting on record why you are doing this.