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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47373
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have a client who we have done building work is

Resolved Question:

We have a client who we have done building work for and is refusing to pay the last amount that is owed, our original invoice to the client was in July 2014, we are at the stage that we are going to go to the small claims court but before we go can we give our client a last chance to pay by advising that we will be charging them 10% in late payment charges of the total bill owed unless we receive full payment in 14 days?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are they a business client?

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

We are a building company and they are people who hired our company to build an extension for them

Ben Jones :

so are they private clients?

Ben Jones :

as in they are not a business?

Customer:

No it was a private house extension

Ben Jones :

ok let me check a couple of things please

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

The legislation allowing for the claims of interest on late payments only applies if a business is pursuing another business for late payment. As you are pursuing a consumer, not a business, then you cannot rely on this. You may have had a clause in your contract which deals with late payments and the penalties of doing so but if you do not then the law does not allow you to charge that as you are dealing with a private customer, rather than a business. Also the rate the law allows you to claim at is fixed at 8% plus the Bank of England's current rate so it would be at 8.5% at present - you cannot just select to charge 10%. So in summary you must have a specific contractual clause allowing you to charge for late payments and if you do not, then you cannot use the legislation as it only applies between business to business debts

Customer:

Thanks Ben, I thought that might be the case but my M.D. wanted me to check it out anyway.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, hope it clarifies things for you

Customer:

Unfortunately it does, it means we are going to court, our client is a solicitor who deals with company disputes

Ben Jones :

Sometimes you may find that once a claim is issued the other party reconsiders their position, if not then you may have to go through the claims process I'm afraid

Customer:

He has already advised us he is going to counter sue us but hopefully he is not going to want to have to go to court in the first place. Again thanks for your help. Sandra

Ben Jones :

No problem, best of luck

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