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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there, I am being chased for money for work I had done

Customer Question

Hi there,

I am being chased for money for work I had done on my garden. It has gone on and on, passed to a debt collection agency and they are now threatening to come and lift the artificial grass that was laid to cover the payment. I dispute the amount. It is all very complicated and I do not know where to turn!

Can anyone help me with regard to fighting this?

Many thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Basically, I do not believe that I owe it. I had quotes to begin with and it took weeks and weeks to hear from the garden company. I asked that things were removed from it because my budget had reduced drastically as I was no longer due the inheritence I thought. Again, this took weeks to come back - the owner of the garden company said that they were having email trouble and I received an email 2 days before they were due to start work and the garden company came back with a slightly reduced cost of £4800 + VAT. I did not reply to this email as he was having email trouble and he was due at my house in a couple of days.

I was then that the gardener came to my house and I explained that my budget was now £4200 tops and he said ok and handed me with the invoice with where I had to pay the deposit. All fine and did that. I was having more trouble finding the money to pay when the work was done and was paying in monthly instalments of anything between £400 and £900 per month. I have now paid £5500 in total and believe this to be right with what we discussed in my garden before he started the work.

He says that as per his email (to which I never replied because I didn't agree and he was having email trouble) of £4800 is payable + charges and interest for late payments.

I can now barely afford to pay anything to anyone anymore and this just doesn't seem to be getting resolved. They now want to come and take the "astro turf" and then expect me to pay another £94.86 for the late payment charges.


To make things worse and possibly more complicated, the gardener is my husbands cousin.


So, in short, I just want to know where I stand legally on this. I believe I have the right to pay what is fair for the work that has been done.


I also asked for things to be taken off the quote to reduce the quote, for example to use a cheaper material than indian sandstone on the patio, but this was not done either and my email was ignored or caught up in the "email trouble".


Please help me!



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

The 1st point to make is that they are not going to be able to lift the artificial grass. If you have had this work done then it is affixed to the property and they cannot remove it.

What they can do is sue for the sum due under the contract. They won't use debt collectors for that as their ream it is just really to pester you for the money.

Whether or not you would have to pay if this went to court is another matter.

I'm not quite clear what your complaint is here? Certainly if you agreed £4200 then that is all that can be collected. He will not get debt collection costs or interest beyond 8% per annum under the County Court act. It will certainly not increase the price by this amount.

If you are saying that you varied the original quote the less you got a fresh quote from him, he is entitled to claim the value of the job comparably to other tradesmen. It might be worth getting the work priced up by other comparable tradesmen to see what can be claimed.

You could always make a lesser offer in full and final settlement.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need to know anything else.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Thanks for the speedy reply. He says that as the last contact regarding cost was his email of £4800 + VAT. I didn't reply to this because I was seeing him shortly and it was then that I said verbally what my budget was. He claims that never happened? How can this be proved?


Also, the artificial grass is part of the work they carried out. It is not my house. It is in my husbands name and surely they would be tresspassing on his property to obtain it?


My worry is, what if it gets passed back from the debt collection company and goes to court? I guess I'm looking for a worse case scenario. I feel so bullied by the whole thing... and he's had his money!


They say there is £596 outsanding and if they take the astro turf that will cover £500 and I will still have to pay £96 - which I no longer have. I am considering a debt relief order.


Many thanks again,



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Well, there are no magic wands that will prove that. You will just have to allege it and he can deny it. The Judge will have to decide which is more likely.

On the point of the grass, as I've said really, its affixed to a property so cannot be removed.

He may or may not sue. If he does you will be able to defend it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Jo,


Even if it states on his invoices " that all goods remain the property of Marsh Garden Care until full payment received" the artificial grass cannot be taken from the garden?



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, its a fixture to the property so they cannot remove it.

Apart from anything else its a trespass.