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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75115
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My landscaper has disappeared and not finished the work I

Customer Question

My landscaper has disappeared and not finished the work I have paid for, I have asked him to finish the work or pay me back some of the money, I have not had a reply, what are the next steps please?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: email and WhatsApp message and text
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have found him via online search and he has several CCJ's at an old address in Bournemouth, he says he is in Portsmouth now but I am unable to find him
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Can I pursue him via the court system to get back part of the money I have paid
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hello are you still there ?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Are you based in the UK ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Yes I am UK-based. How much have you paid him?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
163;15,000
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
This isn't working there is too much lag in between questions and answers
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. Please be reminded that this is not an instant service, as mentioned in my initial post.

Anyway, going back to your query, you can indeed pursue this person through the courts if needed, although that does not guarantee that you will get your money back.

If money is owed by one party to another, the debtor can potentially be taken to court to try and force them to pay up. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the money that is owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome.  There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The debtor will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the debtor that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial repayment.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Hope this clarifies