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Many thanks for your patience. in the circumstances you could argue that the other party has acted in breach of contract for not paying you what you are due and for keeping hold of your own property against any terms you had in place or against your consent. Whilst you could of course consider a claim for the money owed, it becomes a bit more complex when you consider the paintings and prints. That is because physically you cannot force him to return these to you – even if you get a court order requiring him to do so, he can still keep hold of them. So what you may have t do instead is seek compensation to the value of these items and then your whole claim would become one of financial compensation to cover all the items in his possession. This is something which you can pursue in the county court and follow a set procedure to issue him with sufficient warnings before you go as far as issuing a formal claim.
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Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal 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 other side 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.
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