I have had various people do work for me, architects, builders and the like. They do work, they send me invoice, I pay, all is good.

However, I have had two people who have done different jobs for me, neither of whom have sent me any invoice or similar bill. I have asked them both to send me the invoice so that I know how much to pay and how to do the transaction. Neither have supplied the invoice.

What are my options? Currently I owe them for the work, but I don't know the exact figure, or how they want to be paid. As I have asked for payment details, and they haven't provided them, I'm not sure what more I can do. Will this debt hang over me for life until they remember to send me the details, or does it get cancelled/written off after a period of time or anything like that?

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    How can you not have any idea how much you owe? To form the contract in the first place, you would have needed to discuss some aspects of the exchange, surely? May 29 '19 at 22:23
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    @Turkeyphant I know roughly how much it is. But is it £800 or is it £854.36 or maybe £799. Was there an extra or two I've forgotten about? How much was that extra, £10 or £50?
    – Puffafish
    May 30 '19 at 8:13


Can I Just Raise the Invoice Now?

Well in short the answer is yes, unless more than six years have passed. The only regulations placing a time limit on collecting a genuine debt is the Limitation Act 1980.

Although you have the right to invoice, where the invoice is over 6 months old we would recommend to include a covering letter apologising for the delay or simply calling your customer beforehand to discuss the matter. This is especially true if the invoice is for a large amount and could cause difficulties at their end when it finally appears!

If they have been prudent then they should have accrued for this bill in their accounts, especially if it is a large amount. However for many businesses a late invoice may come as a shock when they receive the invoice.

As for any invoice, you need to make sure you still have all the information on record required to get the invoice signed off - the clients purchase order, contracts, quotes and proof of delivery such as a signed delivery note or works sign off sheets. This way although they may question the lateness of the invoice they cannot dispute it.

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    So the bills will hang over me until 6 years have passed from completion of the work? The question then is, who defines the work as being completed?
    – Puffafish
    May 29 '19 at 15:24
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    @Puffafish who defines it?? Lawyers define it!! Seriously, though, take "If they have been prudent then they should have accrued for this bill in their accounts" to heart and stash away an estimated figure for the two invoices so you don't have (much) to worry about surprises.
    – RonJohn
    May 29 '19 at 15:42
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    If the work is not completed to your satisfaction, don't pay the involce until it -- oh, wait. May 29 '19 at 17:49

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