Donate SIGN UP

Accidental payment made to an individual - how do we get it back?

Avatar Image
philwoody | 17:38 Tue 29th Dec 2009 | Civil
4 Answers
We have accidentally paid a small sum of money (<£300) to an individual that rented our holiday home.
The details are that they gave us a deposit cheque that we were meant to cash, and then refund once they left. Unfortunately we refunded the money, but did not originally cash the cheque, so in effect paid them the money.
This happened just over 12 months ago, so banks will generally not honour the cheque (which we still have).
It was only picked up by an accountant looking through the balance of payments, the individual never informed us.
They appear to be refusing to pay, even though we have offered to split the payments over time to make it easier as it is Christmas.
They did originally sign a contract stating how all this worked, and we still have the original cheque as well.
What are our options?
Does this fall under "Unjustified Enrichment"?
What is the likelihood of reclaiming the money through the small claims court?

Thank you for any assistance you can give us.


1 to 4 of 4rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by philwoody. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
They owe you the money
They have to pay it
Small claims court - you are virtually certain to succeed in getting judgment
As I see it, you were paid the deposit. It is your fault for not presenting the cheque to your bank. Put it down to experience and forget about it.
Lodge the cheque into your bank account at the end of the month when they should have some money, I very much doubt if Banks go through every cheque to check the date, it is worth the chance and the worst thing that can happen is the cheque being returned unpaid and your Bank charging you a fee. I would chance it!! good luck
Most banks will refuse to honour a cheque over six months old but it isn't law as I understand it. Cheques are good for six years. As an accountant I've seen on many occasions cheques of over one year old clearing client bank accounts.

You may find of course that your own bank won't accept it if they notice it (pay it in automatically at an express pay in rather than via a teller).

The other problem is clearly you've already told the other party so they've probably physically cancelled the cheque if they've any sense since they don't want to pay it. There will be a fee for doing so though and they've probably presumed that as it's over six months old it can't be cashed and you won't try. They'd be wrong. I'd try it. They worst that happens is the cheque bounces and you get a small additional fee for it.

1 to 4 of 4rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Accidental payment made to an individual - how do we get it back?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.