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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I rented garden furniture for an event from a London company

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I rented garden furniture for an event from a London company found on google. I subsequently found out the company is a sole trader.
Payment of £900 by transfer made two weeks before the event. Goods due to arrive on 19 Aug arrived 24 hours later than delivery date on 20 Aug, effectively during the event itself. Nearly Half of the items were not supplied. Some items were replaced with cheaper options. Some items required 4 hour charging and the delay in delivery rendered them useless for the event.
Further research after the event showed the sole trader I used was investigated by the BBC watchdog and various other websites as a rogue trader with a track record of unpaid CCJs, company liquidations and a large number of customers who were fleeced of goods and return of their money. I regard this as a significant difference from the usual google bad reviews one reads upon.
The company emailed after 2 weeks asking for return of goods and mentioned they attempted collection the day after the event, but no such evidence to support by way of emails, calls to me or anyone in person to collect on the day. I'm certain there was no attempt made.
I raised the concern that due to previous bbc investigations and ccjs etc, I have more that reasonable doubt my credit note of Approx £400.00 would not be refunded as was the case in many previous customers. I did not want to be in a position of chasing the sole trader for my money when there is evidence of this sole trader changing addresses and running from a virtual office with a mobile number.
I kindly mentioned that the goods not supplied should be credited. Due to the sole traders background I mentioned there was to be no return of goods until my credit note is paid first.
Sole trader mentioned that all credits are made after collection of goods after 21-28 days, but I mentioned the money relates to goods not supplied. Payment for the other goods that were supplied were paid 2 weeks before the event.
Sole trader mentions i signed T&C's agreeing to this term of credit notes, but i have no record of signing any TC. Furthermore, no T&C's are included in any invoice, confirmation of hire agreements etc. I asked the sole trader for the signed evidence or email or documents sent outlining the T&C and this has been ignored.
I've asked for evidence that they tried to collect the day after the event. Again no evidence.
I understand through a subsequent conversation on the phone with the sole trader, that she will simply send an invoice every week with weekly charges on the hired goods being retained. Whether this is just paper or an intent to inflate the price, I'm not sure.
My question is, am I in breach for holding her goods in return for my credit note paid first and then she collects her goods?
Should I be returning her goods and then taking the sole trader to a claims court?
I just have too much regrettable evidence on this sole trader that I simply won't be paid regardless of written promises. It seems once the goods are returned it adios to my money.
Kind regards
Sanjay Rai

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Have you attempted to report her in any way regarding this matter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not to report her, should that be my next step?

Leave it with me for now. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. To be honest I am not sure that reporting her would do any good in the circumstances as it appears she has plenty of reports against her name already so that is unlikely to change anything.

What you have done here is tried to apply a lien over the goods. A lien is a right to retain another person’s property until the payment of a debt. In general terms, a lien simply gives a creditor (you) a right not to return goods that are already in its possession to the owner of the goods, until the debt owed by the owner to the creditor has been paid.

This is a rather complicated area of la so instead of getting bogged down with technicalities, which will take quite a bit of time to research, you can use the general argument that you are exercising a lien over her property because you are owed money by her and as you never agreed to any of the terms she is claiming to apply in terms of a refund, the money is due immediately and until she pays you will retain the goods as security.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) 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

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for your reply, its informative and clear and I shall certainly leave a 5* service shortly. May I ask that without a copy of terms and conditions signed or supplied at any point, does holding a lien over hire equipment leave me liable to incurred weekly rental costs over the goods until the debt is cleared by the debtor. Surely then the defendant will consider letting the rental of goods accrue weekly and take a larger invoice payable to a county court. This is my only concern to all of this.

There is a thing called an equitable lien that could apply instead of a contractual lien but in any event the lack of contract does not mean a lien cannot be placed as a contract would exist in any event, it would be implied. So you will have to consider that there always may be a risk that some charges may be applied but considering their history and the reasons for exercising the lien, it should be a lesser risk

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