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Invoiced 13 Years Later

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  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 15,208 Forumite
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    Jenni_D said:
    The 6 years is from the last acknowledgment of there being a debt to pay. In your case that would have been either a) the date he walked off the job, or b) the date he submitted an invoice and you accepted it. As you haven't accepted his invoice (I assume), and you haven't acknowledged it with him (I assume, other than perhaps rejecting his debt demand) then the Limitations Act does apply - 6 years from him walking off the job.

    That's what I think @born_again was alluding to. :) 
    Spot on 👍

    If he is slagging you off in the pub & people are telling you that. Then make sure the people know what happened & after 13 years he is wasting his time. I'm sure these people will see that he is in the wrong.
    It depends what you mean by "in the wrong".

    As I mentioned in an earlier post he may well have been justified in charging for some or all of the work he had carried out prior to "walking out". Had he pursued that at the the proper time he would almost certainly have got something. 

    If so then legally that money is still owed, it is just that there is no lawful means of enforcing payment.
    Well given in the Op, that the builder walked off site. We have no idea if the OP was billed at that point. If they were not billed, then it's the builders fault.

    Builder is in the wrong for talking to others, as the fault is all theirs over something 13 years ago.

    Until the Op clears up if they were ever billed at the time & never paid then we are all in the dark. Even then the builder has to shoulder the blame for not chasing a debt before 13 years. Which is odd that they would remember this after 13 years, but not any sooner? 
    It's not like it's something that would be flagged up by tax/vat due or accountant after 13 years.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,893 Forumite
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    he sounds bitter and twisted and wants to blame you for all his troubles. ignore. 
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,775 Forumite
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    It is very odd for a tradesman to wait 13 years before sending an invoice. If he was moaning to other people about not being paid (and when was he doing this?) you would have thought he would have sent an invoice years ago. Although he is in business, it is probably not too surprising that he is unaware of the 6 year time limit  
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,416 Forumite
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    The https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/58/contents Limitation Act doesn't say anything about renewing the right to take action by nagging the person who you think owes you money from time to time.  The builder had 6 years to take action to recover the money.  They didn't.  The time is up.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • Nostrus
    Nostrus Posts: 31 Forumite
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    edited 24 June 2022 at 3:23PM
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    From having read this thread; yes, it would indeed appear that he is now beyond the limitation for claiming this money.
    If, however, for any reason the courts entertain his claim and register it and you receive official documentation (most likely in the form of a Form G1 - initial writ) from the local Sheriff Court, I cannot stress enough that you should engage the services of an independent solicitor.
    The limit for the Simple Procedure Rules are £5,000 and frankly, you can reasonably easily navigate those yourself. Ordinary Cause Rules, which this will be because it's over £5,000 are a whole different beast and you don't want to get lost in all the detritus that comes with it.
    For the record, I don't think that this will ever get to that stage but sometimes odd things happen in Scottish law and you might need to actually attend court to explain that the claim is nonsense and he is well past limitation, but that's best done with solicitor in tow who should get it sorted quickly.
  • DE_612183
    DE_612183 Posts: 2,045 Forumite
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    Did you have a quote when he was first engaged?
    Even if that is 13 years old - could he use that instead of an invoice - I presume he must have done some work to claim £8k.

    For example say he was building a conservatory, and the estimate has Foundations £8k, Structure £20, Glazing £5.

    If he gave you that, and the foundations work was complete could he use that?
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,835 Forumite
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    edited 24 June 2022 at 4:05PM
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    Assuming this is in England/Wales ( I see some people referencing Scottish law but can't see that the OP said that) then the builder could try to argue that the 'cause of action' starts with the issuing of an invoice

    There is case law to show this is incorrect. Swansea City Council v Glass
  • Jenni_D
    Jenni_D Posts: 5,128 Forumite
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    DE_612183 said:
    Did you have a quote when he was first engaged?
    Even if that is 13 years old - could he use that instead of an invoice - I presume he must have done some work to claim £8k.

    For example say he was building a conservatory, and the estimate has Foundations £8k, Structure £20, Glazing £5.

    If he gave you that, and the foundations work was complete could he use that?
    No, because he's timed out.

    Nostrus said:
    From having read this thread; yes, it would indeed appear that he is now beyond the limitation for claiming this money.
    If, however, for any reason the courts entertain his claim and register it and you receive official documentation (most likely in the form of a Form G1 - initial writ) from the local Sheriff Court, I cannot stress enough that you should engage the services of an independent solicitor.
    The limit for the Simple Procedure Rules are £5,000 and frankly, you can reasonably easily navigate those yourself. Ordinary Cause Rules, which this will be because it's over £5,000 are a whole different beast and you don't want to get lost in all the detritus that comes with it.
    For the record, I don't think that this will ever get to that stage but sometimes odd things happen in Scottish law and you might need to actually attend court to explain that the claim is nonsense and he is well past limitation, but that's best done with solicitor in tow who should get it sorted quickly.
    I'm not aware that the OP has even hinted at this having any relevance to Scotland.

    And the Limitations Act implementation in Scotland is 5 years from discovery ... I think he would struggle to claim that he's only just discovered this debt. Also in Scotland, once the limitations period has passed then the debt is considered extinct, so it can't even be chased - there is no debt.
    Jenni x
  • Nostrus
    Nostrus Posts: 31 Forumite
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    Ah yeah, this showed up in a search that I do periodically for anything relating to Scottish law stuff here. With it coming up in that search and the first couple of posts mentioning Scotland, I had figured it was. In that case, never mind :smile:
  • Jenni_D
    Jenni_D Posts: 5,128 Forumite
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    Nostrus said:
    Ah yeah, this showed up in a search that I do periodically for anything relating to Scottish law stuff here. With it coming up in that search and the first couple of posts mentioning Scotland, I had figured it was. In that case, never mind :smile:
    Post #3 (by me) mentioned Scotland obliquely, in that Scottish law is different to English law, but the OP made no reference whatsoever to Scotland. (In fact I'm not sure the OP has made any reference at all to the location). :) 
    Jenni x
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