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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I live in Scotland and i run a plumbing business.In March I

Customer Question

I live in Scotland and i run a plumbing business.In March I fitted a boiler in a customers empty property I was there for 3 days so the client gave me a key for access purposes.We agreed the sum of £1800.i completed the work and only received £400 from him.I then used the key to access the property and removed the boiler.I left all the pipe and fittings hoping he would pay me and I,d put the boiler back.Unfortunately he contacted the police and now they want me to go to the station.Am I in trouble?
Where do I stand legally.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
In all likelihood the police will view this as a civil matter. This is simply because you have not stolen the boiler as you do intend to return it once you have been paid for it.
The issue you have is one of the following:
(i) Either you did not leave property in a safe state;
(ii) Damaged the property some how;
(iii) Trespassed by going onto the property with out permission.
You should go to police station and explain that you were not paid, you had keys to access the property and you were simply claiming your property back. As far as you are concerned you intention was only ever to return the boiler upon payment. As long as you are co operative the likelihood of the police having the time or resource to investigate this is minimal. Make sure you take all the applicable paperwork you have, including evidence to show you paid for the boiler, and if they formally proceed with interviewing you make sure you get a solicitor to support you.
What have you done was not technically the correct way to deal with this, you should have sued him, but unless you have damaged his property or some how made the property unsafe, because your intentions were not dishonest the police will likely view this as civil matter. Do you have terms and conditions that give you a lien over unpaid goods?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi AJ.The client is saying that I had no permission to enter the property.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
That may be the case, and as I explained one of the concerns is there may be an issue of trespass here. However you can explain to the police that you (a) had a set of keys (b) at no point believed your permission to enter the property was revoked (c) you believed you were exercising a right as an unpaid seller to claim property that belonged to you.
You have the right to incriminate so I would attend the police station with the all documents you have to prove your ownership of the boiler. Explain this is a civil matter. If they take this further then make sure you have a solicitor representing you.
Kind regards