Claimant awarded RM21,000 for unfinished renovation

Dhivagar hired a second contractor after his home renovation was left uncompleted.

A draughtsman had to fork out more money to renovate his house after a contractor failed to complete the project.

M. Dhivagar had engaged a contractor from Ladang Basir Ismail, Nam Heng, Kota Tinggi, to renovate his single-storey house in Taman Bukit Jaya, Ulu Tiram in Johor.

“The cost of the renovation was RM58,000 for the project that was supposed to start last May 24 and completed by Aug 5,” the claimant said outside the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal.

Dhivagar, 30, who works in Singapore, paid the contractor on May 24, June 6 and June 13 last year, a total of RM35,000.

He said the balance was supposed to be paid to the contractor upon the project’s completion.

Dhivagar said the renovation involved new concrete wall fencing, replacing the roof, building an extra bathroom, tearing down walls and tiling.

The claimant said he had planned to marry at the end of the year and wanted to start his marital life in a new house.

Dhivagar said the contractor and his four foreign workers began renovation works on May 24.

Subsequently, the contractor failed to show up, claiming he could not proceed with the job due to rain and that building materials had yet to arrive.

“I requested my friends, who live in the neighbourhood, to keep an eye on them. I even took leave to do a spot check,” said Dhivagar.

He said he found that workers did not turn up and when he called the contractor, he was told that they were at the site.

After the contractor learned Dhivagar was there, he suddenly said he had to attend to some urgent matters and was unable to go to the site, according to the claimant.

“A month before the completion of the project, I asked the contractor to show me receipts of the building materials used as the job progress was slow,” he said.

The claimant said the amount spent by the contractor did not tally with the money he had paid and the contractor had only managed to complete about 40% of the project.

Dhivagar said he had no choice but to terminate the contractor’s services and get someone else to complete the job.

“I hired a new contractor on Dec 31 and forked out another RM21,700 for the contractor to finish the job before Chinese New Year,” he said.

Dhivagar filed a claim for RM35,000 but Tribunal president Lee Chee Thim said since 40% of the project had been completed, he could only award him 60% of the sum paid.

Lee ordered the respondent, who did not attend the hearing, to pay RM21,000 to the claimant within two weeks.

Those who need to reach the tribunal, can call 07-2271755/ 1766.

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