Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Please can you tell me what your friends' position has been on this so far so that I can advise? Thank you
OK, thank you for your response. As we are practising lawyers and do this in our spare time there may be a slight delay in getting back to you as I am in the final day of a complex trial today so may not be out until late. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will respond as soon as I can, no later than tomorrow at the latest. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you for your understanding
Many thanks for your patience. It would be unlikely that you can deduct the money from a completely unrelated matter from the money paid for the property in question. Whilst the other party in both matters is the same, that does not mean that all debts and liabilities you may have against each other can be pooled together and offset against whatever other rights you have between each other. If the debt was related to the arrangement in question (e.g. they owed you money for repairs of the property, then you could potentially consider deducting that from the contribution they had made towards it). However, the issues with the trailer are completely unrelated to the property so you cannot just add these and offset them against that money. You would therefore have to consider pursuing them separately for any compensation for the issues with the trailer. This would be done by making a negligence claim against them if needed.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to make a claim against them, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery 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 for its 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 for legal action.
3. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand
4. If you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, 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.