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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I loaned my partner £2490 to finish off a house he was renovating

Resolved Question:

I loaned my partner £2490 to finish off a house he was renovating over 2 years ago. He has paid back £400. We have now split up and he refuses to pay back the rest of the money.
Can I do anything about this as I have little proof other than bank statements showing the dates and amounts that were withdrawn.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Jo C. :

Hi.

Jo C. :

On what basis does he refuse to pay this back?

Customer:

He bought me an expensive diamond ring as a Christmas gift and has told me to return it or sell it to get the money back.

Jo C. :

Is there any reason you don't want to return it?

Customer:

I understand that as it was a gift I shouldn't have to return it?

Jo C. :

Well, that is certainly right in law but the court is not going to like that action I'm afraid.

Jo C. :

Ultimately you can sue at the small claims court.

Jo C. :

Its cheap enough to sue for this sum.

Jo C. :

He may defend on the basis that this gift was conditional. People do that sometimes.

Jo C. :

That would get nowhere realistically unless it was actually an engagement ring.

Jo C. :

But the problem is that the court is not going to like a refusal to return something very expensive. Its not unlawful but it could well be considered unreasonable.

Customer:

I had thought of going to the small claims court but if they are not going to like the fact that I won't return a Christmas present would I not be wasting my time and money ?

Jo C. :

Not necessarily. Its just that you won't get the best judgment. If you refuse to return it then unless Judge is going to find that the gift was conditional he cannot make you. He might find that. Small claims court judges often go off on frolics of their own.

Jo C. :

If he doesn't make you do that though, and he finds that objectionable, then he will just use that as an excuse to find against you on any other contested point.

Jo C. :

However, if he isn't going to pay otherwise then that is your only chance. Its either that or write the money off as a bad debt.

Customer:

What about the limited proof I have. Would that prove to be a stumbling block in a small claims court ?

Jo C. :

Not normally. Courts do normally appreciate that partners don't have written contracts.

Jo C. :

The only problem here would be that if the Court decides you are being unreasonable over the ring but it can't do anything that is exactly the type of thing they would find against you upon.

Jo C. :

That said, the worst that will happen is that you will lose.

Jo C. :

If you don't use then you won't recover anything.

Customer:

Also do I need to employ a solicitor if going through the court process as I downloaded the forms today and it asks for my solicitors details ?

Jo C. :

No, you can self represent. Most people do.

Customer:

Thank you for your assistance.

Jo C. :


No problem and all the best.



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Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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