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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 32926
Experience:  Award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
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I'm a mechanic that has carried out work to a customers car

Customer Question

Hello
JA: Hello. What seems to be the problem?
Customer: I'm a mechanic that has carried out work to a customers car 4 months ago, the customer has not paid for the work that I have done as of yet, so what I am doing is with holding the key and the car until the customer pays for the work that I have done. Am I allowed to withhold the keys and the car until the customer pays?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: This is in Essex UK
JA: What action has been taken so far? What's your ideal outcome?
Customer: I have tried to communicate with the customer to explain the situation that payment for the repairs are due and that if he does not pay then I will withhold the vehicle and keys until payment has been made. He then became agressive and used threatening behaviour in which I reported to the police
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: At the moment the customer has now reported to the police that I have stolen the vehicle as I have taken it without his consent, in which he did 5 days after I reported him to the police for his threatening behaviour
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 months ago.

Let me see if I can help and please rate positive.

Ideally you would have got the customer to sign terms and conditions confirming that you can retain the car subject to him paying any outstanding bill. If there are no terms and conditions (or they were not otherwise agreed), then you cannot rely on those terms. However, you can still rely on the law of “bailment”. A bailment comes about when the garage voluntarily accepts possession of a customer’s car such as when a customer brings his car in for repair. English law does not require a contract between the garage and its customer for a bailment to arise. If you carry out repairs and this results in an improvement to the car (as opposed to its current condition merely being maintained), you are entitled to retain possession of the car until the customer has paid for the repairs (this entitlement being known as a “lien”). Once the customer has paid, the lien is lost and the garage must return the car.

I hope this helps and please rate POSITIVE

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 months ago.

I see you have not rated yet. Is there any other questions that I can help you with?

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 months ago.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 months ago.

Do you have any further questions?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 months ago.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you.