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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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hello i am in need of some help. I bought with a friend a end

Customer Question

hello i am in need of some help. I bought with a friend a end terrace property with the potential to build in the grounds a almost mirrored property to the one we bought. I am a builder my friend is a electrician. The property we bought was stripped back to four walls and a roof. As a builder i did most of the work at week ends and evenings while my friend will say by him doing the electrics and a friend of his doing the plumbing the work was a 50/50 split it most certainly was not. We paid £53,000 each and then a further 7,000 each for materials to renovate the property. My friend mortgaged against the property for all his side of the funds, i was able to use my own capital for my half. my friend then moved in when the house was completed.
I then applied for planning permission. With permission granted and a argument with the council over a payment they wanted for a covenant sorted 2 years had passed. I had managed over this time with lots of hard work and many hours saved enough money to make a start on the new build. Now again it was meant to be on a 50/50 split of funds and work. From the first pick hitting the ground to start the foundation till the last lick of paint i worked on it everyday for 6 months and paid my two employees. My friend in told would not have done 3 weeks. The cost to me with materials and wages including what i did not earn during the time was £75,000 with a mortgage of £25,000 included in this against the new property. my friend paid for some of the materials at a cost to him of around £25,000, £20,000 was again mortgage against the bought property.He was only able to raise against the bought property as i had paid off half of this property. While i was putting the roof on the new build i also replaced the roof to the bought property at a cost of around £7,000.
Now as you can see i have not come out of this well on a 50/50 split as I've spent more money and done the mass of the work and had the stress and hassle of it all. I moved in to the new build as planned but said to my friend that this cant now be 50/50 as reasons above. He agrees to this and admits that he owes me some money.The problem is it has now been nearly two years and i am still waiting. I go round and talk about it and nothing really happens i just get fobbed off.I went through a long hard divorce and did not come out well at all so building was the best way for me to get back on the ladder also its put me off using solicitors (no offense meant) if i could stay friends and sort it between us. I have tried every thing he has asked of me to resolve it even had a meeting with his and his dads accountant as he and his dad asked, as he is now also involved his dad who he works for and who i have had a good friendship with for many years not so much now tho. so as i am getting no sense from my friend and his dad my other contact is now not speaking i am at a loss of where to go and what to do. I started off asking him for £25,000 to put it right but dropped to £16,000 after talking to his account about 5 weeks ago as they say i can not include my loss of earnings even tho my friend was earning his wages. It was all done with a hand shake so i need advice on the claim i should put in and how to go about it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.

Sorry to hear about the problems with your friend.

Unless you had specifically agreed with your friend that you would both put in equal effort in the building of the houses, I am afraid you would have a hard time getting any money out of him, especially seeing that he has had to take out loans against the property.

Although it would seem morally wrong that your friend is benefitting from all your hard work, I am afraid legally there isn't much of a case unless there was a specific agreement as advised above. In the absence of an agreement, I am afraid you would be relying on your friend's goodwill to pay you any money to balance out the inequality.

If you had agreed that you would both put in equal effort, then you may be able to make a good claim that he has not put in equal effort (as acknowledged by him) and that to even out the position, he should pay you an agreed sum of money, I note that you were initially asking for 25K and now 16K from him to put the balance right.

You should write a formal letter to your friend pointing out all the work you have done and money you have put in, perhaps show him what the market values of the 2 properties are and how much you would expect him to pay you for his 50% share in the equity. You may give him say 30 days to pay the money.

If he doesn't pay, you may file a court claim against him for breach of contract (again, only if there was an agreement between the two of you), the easiest way to file a legal action would be at

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hello again

I am sure what you have told me is right that not having it in writing will make it hard to claim anything back.The thing is he agrees he owes me some money but he does not agree with the amount that i think i am owed.My first letter to you explained how we set out to do these projects on a 50/50 but as i have also said this did not happen. As i can prove that i have given him a cheque for half the purchase price of the property we bought together this must mean i would have a case against him even if it is for the loaning him of money as the property was put in his name (the plot was placed in my name). What i am trying to say / ask is is there not another way of reclaiming some money from him rather than trying to make a claim against him over a broken word with no contract. There is also the work that i did to his property if he had paid a builder to do the work as a job it would have cost thousands could i claim for this? there must be something that i can do. I do not want it to end up going that far but i do need to know so that i can inform him that i could take it further if he does not sort it.I have seen my accountant over this matter and they have informed me that the monies i am asking from him is not the amount that is rightfully owed me. Again i am being right by him to get it settled sooner rather than later but he still fails to see my good will.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
The fact that there was nothing in writing with him does not mean that there was no contract with him, there was an oral contract which is equally enforceable as a written contract. It is just harder to prove what was agreed in an oral contract as opposed to a written one.

You have agreed to call the matter quits if he pays you 16K and you should send him a formal letter asking for this money in full and final settlement to be paid within say 14 days.
Or you may get a solicitor to write to him.

Hope this helps

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