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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3556
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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we are a fitted kitchen supplier.we supplied a kitchen to a

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we are a fitted kitchen supplier.we supplied a kitchen to a customer where the kitchen itself was being paid for by an insurance company. the loss adjuster and surveyor signed off on a practical completion certificate and the customer agreed that all the works had been done to his satisfaction. we have established that the customer has not paid us all the funds that he received from the loss adjuster and therefore we wish to lodge a claim in the small claims court.
additionally we carried out other works for the customer not covered by the claim which are also unpaid.
the customer has told us that he does not intend to settle his account. the total outstanding is £10847 of which £7832 relates to the insured element.
To complicate matters the customer informed us that he was moving to Australia...we do not know if this is permanent or temporary.
we believe that he has no right to withhold the insured funds plus we have been reasonable in negotiating via email a reduction in the amount due under the uninsured works.
the property where the kitchen was installed is owned by the customer and is now being rented out.
can we launch a claim in a court in the UK? and if successful is there any way that this result can be lodged against the customer in Australia.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

Who is your invoice addressed to? Is it the customer and does it use their UK address? Why are they denying payment?

You wont have to take proceedings in Australia if you are successful in the county court. You know they have a property in the UK so can take enforcement proceedings against that property.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the invoices are addressed to the customer at his uk address.


 


he has said that due to delays (nothing to do with us...his flat was water damaged and it was discovered that further damage necessitated extra structural work) he also said that he thought we had been paid enough and made enough profit on the job...(almost his exact words in an email)


note: the insured element was signed off....the other additional works were not part of the practical completion certificate. he has retained funds paid by the insurers due to us.


 


if we are to enforce against the uk property what does that mean...how do we get the funds...selling his flat? that is complicated as he has rented it out.


 


lastly as we are in contact with him can I tell him that this is what we will seek to do as a means of making him make the payment?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your response.

It is irrelevant what the customer thinks about the profit. You agreed a price on the kitchen his insurance company agreed it, presumably he approved it, the kitchen has been delivered and fitted and there is an invoice due and owing.

Assuming he is outside your terms of payment I would write to him as follows:
1. Demand payment in full in 7 days;
2. If they do not pay in 7 days say you will commence county court actionto recover the money and reserve the right to recvoer the costs of doing so plus interest.

If the client still does not pay I would suggest the following:
(i) Notify the insurers;
(ii) Start a money claim online here - https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome‎

If you obtain a judgment and he still does not pay you can seek a charging order against the property he owns.

Do you have evidence he approved it?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3556
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Alex J. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for the response.


we have proof of acceptance of completion based on a copy of the practical completion certificate that is signed off by the surveyor. on it it clearly states that the client is satisfied with the work. this document was then passed to the loss adjuster so that the final payment could be made.


 


our final question is simply that given that the client is currently in Australia. I am concerned that the court would say that the 14 day response period was insufficient.


 


nothwithstanding all that we will proceed anyway.


 


many thanks


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

This is not so much of an issue there are two schools of thought:
1. You serve them at the address that is in on the invoice which you are entitled to do as this is their given address;

2. You obtain special permission of the court under Civil Procedure Rule 6 to serve them in Australia.

They could have an argument they should be served in Australia but if you serve them in the UK they may insist in more time to respond or it may end up delaying the process. I would probably use option 2 to be safe. If you are going to use a local solicitor to do this they will have to make a final decision.

Kind regards

AJ

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