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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I engaged someone to restore my vintage tractor he has had

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I engaged someone to restore my vintage tractor he has had it in his workshop for over three month and I have paid under some pressure six thousand pounds in two amounts to him .When I visited his workshop two days ago it was clear no work had taken place in spite of him telling and e mailing me to the contrary.Can i force him to return tractor and money?
very worried
B Beckett
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you agree a specific time period?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes a month

Were the words used 'time is of the essence'?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


He is in breach of contract if you agreed a turn around of one month but not of such a fundamental term that it allows you to cancel immedaiately because the words 'time is of the essence' were not used.
However, you can still drop down upon the normal supply of goods and services principles which only require you to wait a reasonable time. Three months is more than a reasonable time. You could demand it and the money back on that basis but he will obviously refuse as he will not be happy to part with that amount of money.
You could sue him to recover the money and seek an injunction for return of the tractor or sue for its value. If you have to do that though then you are potentially going to be out of the small claims court arena so costs would be an issue.
I would suggest getting a solicitor to write to him first giving him 7 days to complete or return the tractor and the money and making clear that in default you will sue. Then you have been reasonable and you are protecting yourself from costs.
If that still fails then just issue against him here
You do have a claim for recovery of your costs.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can i write to him giving him a deadlline date or does it have to be a solicitor with the phrase time is of the essence .one week is not enough time to complete the work in my view

You can write to him yourself but he is more likely to take a solicitor's letter seriously.
A week probably isn't long enough but since he has had it three months there isn't really an excuse.
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