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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, We are despite over electric works carried out in

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We are despite over electric works carried out in a referb on a hair salon, there were many changes from the orginal quotation and everthing changed was on verbal instruction or hearsay. Basically the client is refusing to pay for additional works caused through changes to the job. They are trying to negotiate for a less amount which will mean the loss of around £4000, we have been threaten with the ombudsman and court, but feel is a scare tatic. Where do we stand legally, as we have a £11000 invoice + vat. Can we effectively remove materials and equipment off site as they have not paid for it??

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.



Alex Watts :

But you have a legal lien so yes you can go and remove parts and materials used

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please/

Customer: If we issue court proceeding then this will take time and money and at present we do not have the cash flow to hang about for 6 months.
Alex Watts :

Yes it will. But you could go and remove the equipment and materials yes.

Alex Watts :

Or you can issue a statutory demand and threaten to wind them up and make bankrupt.

Alex Watts :

This will force them into doing something.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything?

Customer: We we have been very upfront with this client stating our costs of labour, materials and profits, as the works evolved we could not completely put a fixed price. However we have carried the works on a day rate plus materials bases. As I see it we
Customer: Alex, what is the legal right to ownership of the materials on site that have not been paid for?
Customer: sorry have just scrolled down to your answer
Customer: so by legal right I can walk into the property and start to removal my materials from site with out any form of prosecution or respite? To the value of non payment?
Alex Watts :

It is called a legal lien

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer: So for example we rock up to site and remove unpaid equipment and items to the value in dispute and the police are called?? Would we be arrested and charged with say theft or something. Just want to make it clear. Can we be stopped from retaining our materials and how would we go about doing this. Would we have to give notification or do we just turn up?
Alex Watts :

The Police would say it is a civil dispute.

Alex Watts :

You can not be charged for taking what is yours

Alex Watts :

Unless the customer pays for it, it is your property

Alex Watts :

I assume the customer has also signed terms saying that they do not have title until paid for?

Customer: I guess we would have to prove it at the time
Alex Watts :


Customer: nothing signed as works were carried out under a day work bases
Alex Watts :

OK - ideally toy would want a signed contract

Alex Watts :

In that case County Court may be the best option

Customer: orginal quotation was accepted but was changed to the point where did not mean anything
Customer: is just that I need some sort of legal jargon to put the wind up em, so that they pay and we can carry on trading
Customer: as have not the time or money to play court games. As will get bogged down in the legal system and I will come out worse off
Alex Watts :

You can serve a statutory demand - they either have to set it aside or you can make them bankrupt. But they HAVE to do something within 18 days

Customer: Ok that's interesting, so we can issue them a statutory demand stating that we want payment for all outstanding and if they don't do it within 18days we can start removing our materials from site to the value of the amount in dispute. With no com back due to a LEGAL LIEN. The police can't do nothing as it is a civil dispute and we are within our rights to take action. Is that correct?
Customer: And if they don't comply we can file bankruptcy and send them to the wall
Alex Watts :

Yes you could.

Alex Watts :

To issue a statutory demand is free

Alex Watts :

You want to google search insolvency statutory demand form 4.1

Alex Watts :

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