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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am currently owed roughly £1600 done on a clients

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I am currently owed roughly £1600 for work done on a clients land building stables and tack room. We currently have been storing some treadmills for the person not for any financial gain just to help this person out. Can we keep the treadmills as a negotiating tool for the outstanding invoice?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I suppose you didn't agree to anything like that if the sums weren't paid originally?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, there have been no contracts no agreements and no verbal agreements. We agreed to store the treadmills for her to help her out. We have been doing work at her property which has come to an unstisfactory end and she previously agreed to pay the outstanding sum by cheque and collect the treadmills. We told her via email that she could collect the treadmills if she paid the agreed amount directly into our bank account. We had no response to the email no one turned up at the arranged time to collect the treadmills. She has now had a member of her security turn up with a letter threatening police and other actions and says we cannot use the treadmills for negotiation.

I wouldn't worry about her.
The short answer is that you shouldn't do this. I know the reality of commercial negotiations but ultimately these treadmills were not taken as collateral or security for the sums in question and you have no agreement allowing you to withhold them.
The only way that you could argue this is to say that you are holding a lein over the treadmills until she pays. If you went to court you would have to return them but then you could counter claim against her for the amounts owned and in the meantime she cannot use them.
What may happen though is that she may complain to the police. If you make clear to her in written form that you are not withholding the treadmills permanently then there is no case against you incest because you are not seeking to permanently deprive her of them. However, I know that the police are quite often turning up and telling people to return property and generally speaking these are people who are not prepared to risk a dispute with the police.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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