If a time frame is specified (advertised as “within 24 hours”, for example) and it is not fulfilled, the tradesman is breaching the Trade Descriptions Act 1972. You, as a client, have the right to ask for a refund.
If the standard of work is not up to a reasonable level, you can claim all or part of your money back. That was what Ramlan Badawi of Sandakan, Sabah did.
Buyers are the worst affected when a housing project is abandoned. They have to start payment for their housing loans although they have yet to stay in their new house. Even if the housing project is long abandoned, the monthly payments have to be honoured. If they default on payment, the unfortunate house-buyers would be fined or sued. Browsing the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s records since 1990 till 2005, we find that the problem of abandoned housing project is indeed serious. Whatever the root cause — whether on the house-buyers’, Ministry’s or developer’s part — it has to be resolved.