Why is this important?
Introduction to letter to make 'time of the essence' - services
If you haven't already got a firm start or finish date for work being done, or due to be done, you will need to sort this out first before you can take any further action.
Write to the trader, giving them the dates that you want them to start and complete the work by, and say that you are 'making time of the essence'. The dates you give the trader must be reasonable. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances, but you should take into consideration the type of service being provided, the conditions of the trade, and whether the delay to the service is due to circumstances beyond the trader's control.
For full information about 'making time of the essence', see .
It is advisable to read the instructions below though you can go straight to the letter.
Letter generator instructions
There is a link to the letter generator at the bottom of these notes on using the appliction.
The letter generator is suitable for most situations but may not suit your specific circumstances. If you require more detailed advice and guidance, please call Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06.
If you are happy that the letter is suitable, use the link at the bottom of this page and select "Write letter" on the next page. This will take you to a form where you can fill in your own details.
Using the downloaded file
You can then preview the letter and make any further changes online and then proceed to download the file. Your computer will offer either to download the file directly or open it in a suitable programme.
Whether you save the file first or open it directly you should check the letter before printing it. The file type of the letter is an 'rtf' file (Rich Text Format), which will open in most word processors or text editors.
Examples of compatible word processors are: Microsoft Word (Microsoft Windows/Apple Mac), Wordpad (Microsoft Windows), TextEdit (Apple Mac), OpenOffice/LibreOffice (Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Gnu/Linux). This is not a comprehensive list, but one of these is likely to be available on the machine you are using.
Alternatively, if you have an online account with Google Docs, Zoho writer or another online word processor, you should be able to import the letter into that if you download the letter first.
Keeping your records
We recommend sending letters by recorded delivery so you have proof that you have sent the letter.
It is advisable that you keep a copy of the letter for your own records.
Writing the letter
Start writing the letter.