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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70105
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I am a sole trader with a car restoration business, I have

Customer Question

Hi, I am a sole trader with a car restoration business, I have a customer who is refusing to pay his bill, but has no solid grounds for this, the work has been done to a high standard and we have sent him photographic evidence as the work has been done, what rights do we have towards the car, can we break it and sell the parts to recoup losses, do we have to wait a certain amount of time.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

No its not a good idea to do that.

How much does he owe and whats the value of the car please?

I presume you still have the car?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he owes £7000, we could probably recoup about £3500, yes we still have the car, the restoration is not finished, we have stopped work due to non payment of bill

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Do you think he doesn't want the car?

If you held a lien over it would he just abandon it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He still wants the car, just doesnt want to pay the bill, sorry for my ignorance what is a lien

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

The car is still his property. You cannot dispose of it.

You have a variety of options. The first is to just tell him you will not release the car until he pays because you are holding a lien over it. That is all very well unless he is prepared to abandon the car. Its a double edged sword usually because mechanics want the car removed as much as the owner wants it back so that they can go about their business.

In this case, he might abandon it because the value of the car is less than the bill.

If he does then you would have to turn to the second option which is just to sue at the small claims court. You need to send him a letter before action warning him of your intention to sue if he does not pay within 28 days. If he does not then you can issue here

This is a small claims court sum so it will be cheap and quick to sue him and he will be liable for your costs anyway.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.


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