How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10014
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I'm having problems with a decorator. The job is to paint

This answer was rated:

I'm having problems with a decorator. The job is to paint the exterior of the house and the windows. I paid him £200 - into his account - but since then I've heard very little and recently he hasn't replied to any messages. Next step? Thank you. Paul Greenwood
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Welford on Avon. Warks. Nr Stratford
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I sent an email to Cits Advice with all details but heard nothing so far.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Don't think so

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

Next steps would be to threaten court proceedings and a small claim (court fee of £25 to issue this to recover £200).

I will set out how and will upload a template letter for you.

I would recommend that you send the decorator a formal letter before action to demand payment within 30 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (who can be contacted on 03454 040506).

You will need to register at so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs for a small fee.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,


Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thanks Jim.I'll try asking politely for the money first and see how that goes. Then i'll follow your advice.

Yes, it's worrying how he has disappeared but you can ask them to reply to you and if you have to, send them the letter and take it further.

JimLawyer and 7 other Law Specialists are ready to help you