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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44865
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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, we would like some advise on how to proceed with this

Customer Question

,
we would like some advise on how to proceed with this matter. Our company has carried out works customer and since chasing payment she has advised that the works were not completed and she had to get another company in to complete. I have requested she furnishes us with the list of works not complete, a copy of the invoice from the other company, in order that we can amicably resolve the issue. The customer has informed us that she has taken advise and that she is quite within her rights not to pay us. Can you confirm is this correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were you given the opportunity to correct any defects or incomplete works?

JACUSTOMER-2t8zrk2w- :

Ben,

JACUSTOMER-2t8zrk2w- :

The works were completed, invoiced 30/06/14 and statements issued. Payment has not been received and we rang her at which point she discussed the works that were incomplete and a revised invoice was done deducting £100 to compensate. She also stated that she did not have the funds to pay all at once and she would refer to her husband as to how they would settle the account . The invoice was re issued 15th January 2015 and a request made. Since then she has back tracked to works still outstanding and that she has been advised by a solicitor she is quite within her rights to with hold payment. No response has been received since our last email requesting proof of another contractor finishing off.

Ben Jones :

How much are you owed and she is refusing to pay?

JACUSTOMER-2t8zrk2w- :

We are owed £1831.49 and she has stated, As you know robbie the works were unfinished I have also contacted a solicitor and they have advised that because the work was not signed off and incomplete we are well within our rights to withhold the final payment.

JACUSTOMER-2t8zrk2w- :

Although we had a prior conversation regarding incomplete works and deducted £100 off her invoice based on the items she identified as incomplete.

Ben Jones :

If you genuinely did not complete the works which you had agreed to undertake at the outset, then you could be acting in breach of contract. However, before the customer goes ahead and gets someone else to finish the job, they should have advised you of the issues and given you the chance to rectify them. You could have finished the job without any further costs being incurred and if she has just gone ahead and spent more money to get this done when it could have been done much cheaper or additional cost then she could be liable or all of these additional costs. It would be important to consider why she did not contact you about this – if there were reasonable and valid reasons as to why you should not have been allowed to do this, such as prior negligent or dangerous work, then her actions could be acceptable. However, if there is nothing to suggest that, her actions could be considered unreasonable.

So whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:



  1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need action.

  3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.


Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

JACUSTOMER-2t8zrk2w- :

The incomplete work was only raised when we chased . It was at this point that she advised that someone else had completed the works and a gesture on our behalf based on the items she said were incomplete we re issued the invoice with £100 deduction. Since then she is refusing to pay due to incomplete works?

Ben Jones :

your rights will remain the same as detailed above - you should have been given the opportunity to resolve these issues first so you can still pursue the outstanding payments using the steps explained earlier

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? Thanks

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