Non payment for work carried out

Has anyone encountered a client that does not pay for work carried out. We have a problem with an American lady who has a house in Mur de Barrez 12600 and is refusing to pay for the work carried out. She quite happily put the men up in a gite and even stayed in it herself and did not say anything about not paying until the men had all gone home. We would like to pursue her for the payment along with costs and wonder if anyone has had experience with this.

Dear mandy

Well it looks like you just got a bad one, all you need is a some sort of paper that she signed saying that you are going to do the work for her and the bills you have sent her so far, pop to your nearest Huissier de justice and ask them to help you i hope your French is good.

They will send a letter to you bad payer asking for the money this will put the wind up her as if she does not pay up they can pop around to her house and take what they like. (if she has any thing to take) you may have a free to pay but the Huissier should get that back for you.

Hope this is of some help to you if you did not know this already but i would not sit around to long if she is trying to do a runner

all the best


Hi Diane, we could not give her an accurate quote beforehand, but we did give her a day rate for each of the men, a daily charge for the van and equipment, all of which was via email as she was in the USA at first and then could only send emails via her phone. I have copies of all the emails. It is in relation to an old building in the centre of an historic town which had a collapsing roof. The mairie was afraid as some items had started to fall onto the roads, and he wanted it done immediately. However we had to wait for the go ahead from the Architect de France, as to what we could and couldn't do, although even he agreed we would have to play it by ear, as the building was in such a state.

Our brief was to first of all get the lauze off the roof, make a chimney safe by taking it down until a secure level, and recovering the roof with a heavy duty plastic membrane until the building could dry out. It was the job from hell. The client and her father got on the roof and started ripping off lauze before we had even made the site and the roads safe, so while we spent 2 days erecting coverings etc to protect pedestrians, we had to contend with them ripping the place apart. To cut a long story short, we took the chimney down until it was secure (the building was 6 stories high), but the client wanted it all down. We explained that all of the roof joists and floor joists were built into the structure of the chimney, but this went in one ear and out the other.

Just to give you an idea what she is like, she is asking what happened to the screws that were put on her bill at Gedimat for 10 euros as she couldn't see them - They were on her roof!!!! She was also asking for screws that we had bought to replace our own supply used, be returned to her. Yet she hasn't even paid for them we did.

She is claiming that the tools that we took back at the end of the job were hers, but we know they are ours as we sorted out what we needed at the start of the job. We left a 3 grand hoist up there, why would we want to take a 15 euro crowbar, when we already have enough of our own. She now wants to know what the diesel for the van was for, and yet she was taken to the builders yard, dump etc god knows how many times.

So this only a few of the nightmare things and is why we did not finish the job, it seems like she is playing for time until she can get out of the country.

We are all registered and it was all above board, so are desperate to get our money.

For your info, her name is Elena Kaspers, so watch out if she trys to contact you.


The Co I used is Artezia ( They say they follow the procedure laid down by the law so it doesn't move quickly, ie after the first letter is sent to the non-payer, they have to wait 3 (?) weeks before starting to follow up by phone/visit.

Hi diane, why do u assume Mandy is working on the black? In an earlier comment she mentions she has all the paperwork?

I think we need some more info.

Did you give her a job estimate (she has pay 10% up front before you start work)(did She sign it)

Are you working on the black need i say more !!!

Please Steve, any help we can get would be great. I have addresses and email addresses in the States should she go back, but at the moment, she is still here trying to get some other mug to finish the work, and not pay them either. It seems that she has a habbit of doing things like this.

At present I am hanging onto all of her paperwork, and have told her she will not be able to get any of her plans etc back until she pays up, but she has totally lost the plot and will not have a conversation, and will only scream down the phone at me.

In 3 years I have had 3 bad debts, 1 I recovered via constant badgering, 1 finally paid when I put a recovery agent on their case (cost me 25% of the debt), 3rd I just taken to court via a 2nd recovery agent to whom I paid a 60€ flat fee. Waiting to see what happens.

Can send details of the 2nd company if you'd like, they operate a franchise system across France.

I've had a few cheques bounced on me, I've always gone round and hassled the people, currently have an unpaid cheque that I'm chassing along with half the département but that's another story. Just keep hassling! Au fait, why won't she pay?