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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17189
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I had a renovation at my house this year. The construction

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Good morning
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I had a renovation at my house this year. The construction company who did it went into liquidation (they have finished the work), owing a lot of money to the skip company, so the skip company refuses to pick up the skip from my driveway. Is there any way I can force them to do it? Thank you
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No I contacted the builders, but they are not available, contacted their liquidator, and they said it may take up to 2 years to sort everything, contacted the skip company, but they refused to pick up the skip until they are paid
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer: St Albans
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I don't think so

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

do you know what the skip cost for your house?

how many skips did you have?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I think about £350, I think during the course of the works there were 8 skips. The last time I spoke to the skip company I offered to pay them myself for this particular skip, but they said they want the full settlement of the account before they collect it, around 16k
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I have paid the builders all the money I owed them

There is actually no contract between you and the skip company as you are aware, because the skip company had a contract with the builder.

What you have been told about the affairs of the company in liquidation being resolved taking 2 years is probably not far off the mark and don’t expect any unsecured creditors to get any meaningful amount of money. You can put that on the backburner and assume that it’s never going to happen.

As you probably appreciate you cannot be the skip company with a stick until they remove the skip and if they steadfastly refuse, you have 3 options, pay them to remove it or pay another company to remove it (if you can find one because they don’t usually get involved in “skip war” or take the skip company to court for an injunction to compel them to remove it.

I can tell you now that the cheapest and the quickest is 1.

I cannot see why they would want for settlement of GBP16,000 before they remove your skip unless it’s not just your 8 skips which they want paying for all the skips that they ever supplied to this builder which is ludicrous. You need to remember that the people who run the skip companies (although with plenty of money I might add!) Are not usually the brightest button and they have no concept of what is legal and what is illegal.

So assuming they want GBP16,000, the total amount of the builders debt, then your only recourse (apart from paying up and then taking them to court to recover the money which is definitely on the cards) is an application to court for an injunction to compel them to remove the skip and as it appears there is some urgency here because it is presumably blocking your drive, you could apply on an emergency basis and potentially have an injunction compelling them to remove it within a week.

You may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually the need to get to court.

Check your house insurance to see if you have legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking this to court. Unlikely, but do check.

There is actually something else you could do.

You can say that this skip has been abandoned and that you are giving them notice (it has to be in writing) under the Torts Interference with Goods Act that they have 28 days to remove the skip failing which it will be disposed of and they will be charged the costs of disposal or if it turns out to be worth more than the cost of disposal you will return the costs to them.

It’s standard procedure with abandoned goods.

The problem you have with this course of action is that you probably wouldn’t be able to dispose of the skip because the only way you can get rid of the skip is through another skip company and they may not want to get involved in your argument because it isn’t their argument.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

You don’t need to do it on this thread, just a new thread. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 3 days ago.
This is an unbelievably concise answer, thank you very much! I will try to call them again and try to pay for this skip, maybe now 2 months down the line they can see there's no money coming from the builder any time soon they will be more cooperative and will want to at lease get their skip back. If that fails I will get back in touch with you to help me to write them a letter.
Thank you very much for your help!

Thank you for those kind comments. Really appreciated.

I am glad to help.

Come back to me when you have further information. The thread stays open indefinitely.

Kind regards

F E Smith and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you