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Topic Title: taking back materials for unpaid works
Topic Summary: how do i stand
Created On: 05 February 2013 03:11 PM
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 05 February 2013 03:11 PM
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aligarjon

Posts: 2818
Joined: 09 September 2005

Does anyone know where i stand legally if i remove materials that have not been paid for whilst i am legally on site (on the pretence of doing other work).

Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 05 February 2013 03:17 PM
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Richard64

Posts: 231
Joined: 15 October 2009

My understanding is, that once the materials are fitted, they become the property of the client.
However , in the real world, I can't see someone pursuing this if they haven't paid for the stuff.
 05 February 2013 03:33 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 7418
Joined: 23 April 2005

Only if you have suitable terms written in to your contract with the client and then they need to be specific and then you cannot enter the site without consent.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 05 February 2013 03:45 PM
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BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

Usually by writing this into a contract, it gives a modicum of protection. Smile and a crowbar sometimes works too....
amazing how the money turns up once you have the cable shears and the wrecking bar out.
only slightly joking, but unless it is in your contract, you are stuffed.
 05 February 2013 03:50 PM
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Richard64

Posts: 231
Joined: 15 October 2009

The thing with contract clauses, is that they have to be legally watertight.
So even if you have a contract that says the items are still your's until paid for, that may not be valid.
 05 February 2013 03:52 PM
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BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

Well, yes there is the legal way......then there is....:-)
 05 February 2013 03:54 PM
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Richard64

Posts: 231
Joined: 15 October 2009

If they don't pay, take it away.
 05 February 2013 03:56 PM
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BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

Sometimes being a 6'2 bul necked brummie has its uses....
 05 February 2013 04:08 PM
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Dave69

Posts: 445
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been there. done that, only once though. Was asked to do some work for a family who lived about a mile away from me, but I was told he was bad at paying and the builders he used were still waiting for a stage payment.

I wrote him out a proper guestimate that he signed, saying he would pay me £250 towards my labour and materials the week after I started the work. First fix was completed in two days but 3 weeks later he still hadn't paid me a penny so I popped round to see him and he said he wouldn't pay me until the work was complete. okies I said, stuff your job, i'll have my cable back, he laughed and said the walls had all been plastered, mm lets have a look i asked and he let me in. They had done a nice job of the plaster but after I had got hold of the first 2 bits of 2.5 cable and ripped them up the wall taking the capping and lots of plaster with them he produced his wallet and out came some twenty pound notes. I took his money but never did return to second fix.

As far as I am concerned until the customer pays in full the materials belong to me or indeed the wholesaler if I haven't paid them
 05 February 2013 04:58 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19623
Joined: 23 March 2004

You have to be clear as to what is fixed, and what is simply materials delivered to site.

In the former, the law is crystal clear - the materials etc belong to the employer. That's enshrined in english law.

With regard to goods on site but unfixed, then it depends on the contract - which may not exist as a physical entity. In general terms they belong to you, unless expressly covered by a contract that makes the delivered goods the property of the employer upon delivery.

In some circumstances just taking what's yours is never really a problem - but the law isn't really on your side in all this, and I know of several contractors who've worked on the premise that it's all thiers until payment is made find out with a sudden and abrupt shock, it isn't, that they now owe the full value to the administrator, and are only likley to recive back about 0.01p in the pound for what they have now paid thousands for, twice - as often the goods have no real value second hand - how much would you guys pay for second hand sockets for example.

So be careful, invoice regularly, submit notice of delay if payment isn't forthcoming and be prepared to decant from site if you get ebven a hint of problems with the main contractor or employer.

I've had the misfortune to see contractors go through whilst on projects of mine, and been working for contractors when the employer goes through. It's a bloody horrible, brutal time dealing with the legal beagles, QS and the administrators - and no one gets anything out of it.

Trust me, it's not easy putting the boot into nice guys who've been doing a good job until a few weeks ago, you've shared a brew and fag with them - told a few war stories, caught up with a few old mates - and then you are working flat out to basically tuck them up as fast as you can roll over them. You turn a blind eye to a few vans leaving with a HSS hired tower on the roof, and a van with 3 guys up which is 2" deep in the mud when it shoul be empty - but it's only a fraction compared to the harm done.

Never forget:

as contractors you sit at the late night poker table and you never get the chance to cut ,shuffle or deal
If you win the job, you spend weeks wondering what the hell you forgot to price or left out of the quote
If it goes wrong, the QS will be along to bayonet the wounded once the dust settles
The lawyers will follow on to strip the bodies - well after the battle was already lost

Never a good place to be, but don't let your emotions driven by a sense of injustice just drive you deeper into the s**t

regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 05 February 2013 05:14 PM
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aligarjon

Posts: 2818
Joined: 09 September 2005

Cheers guys,
it would be a last resort obviously. my terms do say title to the above items and services shall not pass to the customer until all accounts are paid in full. for what that is worth. It is not a massive Bill, £1500, the problem is over extras agreed on site on a domestic job going on over 2 years. As OMS says, its hardly worth taking sockets off the wall although there are a few hundred quids worth of downlights. I'd have them out in a flash. obviously once thats done theres no going back and there is no chance of any payment. its the principle as much as anything and he would then have to pay someone else to come and do it again, which would be quite difficult with very short cables.

Gary

Court action is a waste of time, they are currently being sued by a well known high street bank for £500.000 in court costs following a failed legal battle.

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 05 February 2013 05:38 PM
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DOUGIE1000

Posts: 4164
Joined: 13 August 2005

Originally posted by: Richard64

My understanding is, that once the materials are fitted, they become the property of the client.

However , in the real world, I can't see someone pursuing this if they haven't paid for the stuff.



This statement is 100% correct regardless what you write in your terms and conditions.

My solicitor however said that they cannot be removed from the building however they CAN be disabled, ie smashed or wiring chopped up like spaghetti legally. In Scotland we don't have trespassing laws like England.

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 05 February 2013 07:18 PM
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Dave69

Posts: 445
Joined: 16 July 2011

I know in the past I have had several hundred metres of 240mm 4 core cable delivered to site and the client has made it very clear that they are not repsonsible for the cable until it is installed and commissioned, in other words hard luck if the pikies nik it, it aint ours till the job is finished
 05 February 2013 07:26 PM
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OldSparky

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Joined: 28 June 2011

my mate a problem with a customer refusing to pay so he went to the house, opened the meter box, pulled the fuse and cut the tails out, put fuse back and drove off..

later that day they rang him to say the electrics had gone off could he help,,

of course he said so long as i get my money on arrival..

he did, and replaced the tails..
 05 February 2013 07:30 PM
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prophet

Posts: 212
Joined: 09 October 2011

And theres the old trick of taking a bag of scrap cable into the loft, start ranting, then start throwing the cables out one by one. It has worked once or twice.
 05 February 2013 08:13 PM
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Zs

Posts: 2860
Joined: 20 July 2006

The moment you small a rat.

You need one of these
http://www.mr-resistor.co.uk/i...66&r=261&i=4280


and a key fob, link to follow,

http://www.mr-resistor.co.uk/i...?&t=466&r=1055&i=4285

What you do is hide the bug inside the job as a spur to a simple circuit like an extra light fitting would be wired, only without a switch (you'll never get it back so only if you smell a proper rat) and mis-wire. You'll work it out. Then you can drive past, press the button on the key fob and trip the RCD.

Copyright...Zs's shed.
 05 February 2013 10:05 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11379
Joined: 13 August 2003

Copyright...Zs's shed.

Didn't Aurther C Clarke have a similar idea ... to control HAL?
- Andy.
 06 February 2013 04:22 PM
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BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

Nah Zs, would you as the client argue with me with a pair of cable cutters and an electric screwdriver?:-) good job you know dfferent!
 06 February 2013 04:34 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19623
Joined: 23 March 2004

Originally posted by: BigRed

Nah Zs, would you as the client argue with me with a pair of cable cutters and an electric screwdriver?:-) good job you know dfferent!


Maybe not face to face - the real nasty b******s will do it from a distance, with the law behind them, and if neccessary, they'll have a guy as big as you with a lot less to lose to front it up - not domestic squabbles perhaps, but it happens on commercial contracts more often than we want to believe

Anyway, you're a Brummagem - with that accent, how scary can you be -

regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 06 February 2013 04:42 PM
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BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

only got stung badly once, left a good friend owing me £5K, i'm looking on it as a bit for a new car or holiday in the future as he's working his proverbial off to get the money together. Always try to get the materials paid for before starting the job.Helps knowing a few usefu lpeople when you can't be seen to be seen ;-)
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