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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49786
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My cleaner is claiming I owe her money and threatening to take

Customer Question

My cleaner is claiming I owe her money and threatening to take me to the small claims court for work undertaken by a painter she found on my behalf. Painter left job not finished I paid her 1000 part payment and agreed to pay another 2k leaving an outstanding amount of 1k which I believe was fair. She is now saying I haven't paid the part payment and sending me letters from the citizens advice bureau. I am completely shocked and not sure what to do. Do you have any advice?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you not pay the painter direct? Do you know if she had to pay the painter the remainder of the money?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No because she didn't bring the painter here I the day of payment he also doesn't speak English. I refused to pay her the final payment as I was concerned she would pay the painter and now she is raising a claim. I have no idea if she has paid the painter also I suspect she was charging me 4k but giving him less
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she is also claiming I did not pay the interim payment of 1k unfortunately I did not ask her to sign accepting payment
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Yes I am here, so what is the amount she is going to pursue you for - £1k or £2k?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As she is claiming I did not pay an interim payment of 1k
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Is there any evidence that you paid it to her - even if you can get a statement that the money was withdrawn?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes bank statements
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How difficult is the small claims court for me this is a question of principle and false accusations
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
First of all I am not sure she is the person to take action against you. The contract may not have been between you and her but between you and the painter as you are the one requesting the service and he is the one providing it. She may have acted as a go-between but that does not give her the right to sue for money she was just passing on to someone else. So the court may decide that she does not have the legal capacity to bring in a claim. If she does decide to sue, then the small claims court is not that difficult – it is aimed at unrepresented individuals or small businesses who want a simple and quick resolution to their disputes. It will basically just be you, her and a judge in a room discussing the issues and a decision will be made. Even if you lose you would not be required to pay her legal fees if she decides to use a lawyer and your liabilities will not stretch much further than what she is actually claiming for. Whilst there is no direct evidence that you paid her, you do have bank statements to suggest that you did and also she will have to swear that she will only tell the truth so once faced with that in court and being asked to give evidence under oath, she may decide that it is not worth blatantly lying to a judge’s face. The repercussions could be a lot more serious if she is found out. So don’t panic just yet, she may not even make the claim and is using it as a threat to try and make you pay. Even if she does, it is not that challenging to defend a claim there so you will have a reasonable opportunity to defend yourself as needed. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.