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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
For the avoidance of doubt please, the customer left you the car under a contract to carry out work on the car. Is this correct please?
If so how much is owed and roughly what would you estimate to be the worth of the car?
Hello, Thank you for coming back to me so quickly, The customer left his car with us to do alot of work to his car that would been taking afew months, when the work was complete we telephoned him and we had no answer from both telephone numbers, we wrote to him via email, letter and facebook and we had no answer that was in February 2013, in July 2013 we wrote to him to state if he did not contact us we would have to put the car in to storage which would be £50.00 a week, we had no contact so we put the car in to storage in January 2014 the customer called and said he was in jail and he would come to the work and set up a payment plan and than he would take the car he has not been in contact since.
The debt is around £3500.00 with the storage fee.
The car is worth £500 as whole, broken up maybe £3000
Thanks. From what you say the customer has made no proposals to pay to date?
Did he agree a storage fee with you? If so do you have this in writing?
Is there anything in your terms and conditions which were provided to the customer that provide that you may retain a car until payment is made and whether you can charge a storage fee?
Hello, No he has made no payment and since i spoke to him in January he has made no contact with us again. He did not agree storage fee but we did send him a letter record post. As far as i know he has not signed any terms and condition but we do state in the reception that we will not be able take the car without full payment, nothing about storage fees as we only have 1 or 2 cars that has been left for this amount of time, 99.9% of cars the work is done that day and the customer waits.
Thanks. For the avoidance of doubt your terms in reception state that the customer won't be able to take the car back without payment. Is that correct please?
Yes that's correct.
If you have carried out work on the car at the customers request you are entitled in law to exercise a lien (hold) over the car under the law of bailment. This is in addition to any terms in your terms and conditions.
If the customer does not pay what is owed you are under the law of bailment entitled to sell the car providing you first give notice (ideally 3 months) to the customer of your intention to do so if payment is not received in full by [date] and that any surplus will be returned to him and in deficit will be recovered from him by legal proceedings if necessary
Thank you very much, I will write to him once more and hold on for 3 months.
Thank you very much for your help.
Having given that notice you can contact the DVLA in order to apply to update the registered keeper details and arrange to sell the car for the best price you can and use the proceeds to settle the account. If there is a remaining balance, then you will be able to consider issuing legal proceedings using the small claims court.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
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