Tradesman sends invoice 6 months late – I have no recollection of job?

Tradesman sends invoice 6 months late – I have no recollection of job?

9:32 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago 12

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I have a few properties in London; I manage the properties myself mostly, and so I often engage the services of various handymen.

As you can imagine, most handymen are most insistent on being paid as soon as the job is completed. Naturally, I pay handymen immediately (or the next day at most), and since I use bank payments, I have a perfect audit trail as to whom I have paid, how much and when.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I got an email from one handyman I had used in the past, saying that his accountant had informed him that he did not bill me for a previous work – carried out six months ago!

He has now sent me an invoice for that date and a work schedule; I have no recollection (or indeed proof – other than his invoice) of this.

What (if any) are existing laws that cover contesting/refuting this bill?

Many thanks


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Neil Patterson

9:33 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Hi Oliver,

I would start by asking for a break down and itemised bill.

Robert Dean

10:17 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Do you trust the guy? If so, just pay the bill, its not his fault you can't remember. If you don't then ask for the fully itemised account, so you can check his work.

Dylan Morris

10:24 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

If you still have the same tenant ask them if they remember the work being carried out.


10:25 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Apart from the good advice above: in future, document your property repairs on a simple spreadsheet, it may seem like an unwanted extra burden but it will only take minutes to update. It is also a quick reference if you need to check back - maybe in the case of recurring problems.

Ian Cognito

10:35 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Whether or not you trust him, invoice should still be itemised. This might jog your memory.

If not: Is there any evidence of work having been done? Who would have instructed him? Would it have been by phone, text or email? How would he have gained access?

Are we talking £100 or £1,000?

Paul Kaye

10:36 AM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

keep a diary on each job for each property.
I always email jobs through,If you call them confirm by email.
As to your question,I would be wondering why you had not had reminders about the overdue account? perhaps the tradesman is confused ?it may not be your job?
However,once you have all the info about the job,date and breakdown,I am sure you will remember? as I say it may not be your job!
I have often had to chase tradesmen for their invoice! as some are very slow,being so busy.
I would never pay for a job unless it was detailed,date,address of job,detailed breakdown,cost of parts and labour.
If you rang through the job,check your phone records as this may well not be your problem. Good luck. Longtime landlord

Rosanne Turvey

13:36 PM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

mmm... I find this rather strange that he says his accountant has picked up that he didn't bill you for work carried out six months ago? Not only am I a landlord but in my family I have a builder, plumber and electrician and I keep all their books for them. Not only would their accountant not know whether somebody had been billed for work carried out, but he would not know what work had been carried out in the year to date either. After all, the only information an accountant is given is costs for the year i.e. materials used. I certainly don't specify which job the materials were used on because you don't have to provide that information. The only way he would know is if he was given a diary of work carried out each day along with a list of materials used for that job. He would then know that you hadn't been billed.

Richard Adams

23:26 PM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Like Arthur says how could this tradesman's accountant be remotely aware that his client had (a) undertaken a job of work or (b) even if he had that he had failed to invoice for the job? Sounds fishy at worst or at best he is now invoicing you for work performed for someone else maybe. Probably a totally disorganised tradesman.

Ian Cognito

23:40 PM, 14th November 2017, About 6 years ago

It's entirely possible that the accountant found a materials invoice that was associated with the job.


7:46 AM, 18th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Did you not get a quote for the job in question?
If only verbal then it sounds like a small job, as anything sizable would surely have been in writing to protect both parties.

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