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Thread: mechanic's lien - Legalese

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    mechanic's lien - Legalese

    With many of us in this position, in which we provide a product and service to a customer at their premises, and have problems in getting paid.

    I noted that in the USA they have a legal recourse called "mechanic's lien"
    From Wikipedea
    A mechanic's lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property.

    Do we have such a clause or something similar in South African law?
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I will mail my brother - he should know. - I will let you know what he says.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    He says that although there is such a thing in South African law it is extremely difficult to use in practice. The issue is that it isn't a blanket simple law such as in the US but rather that each case has to be specifically drawn up as a contract by an attorney that knows the specific laws and as such is expensive to implement and litigate if it comes to it.

    What is the opposite of "Buyer Beware" - "Supplier Beware".....I suppose - Our laws are not geared to protect employers or suppliers....
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    What is the opposite of "Buyer Beware" - "Supplier Beware".....I suppose - Our laws are not geared to protect employers or suppliers....
    Problem is clients do not pay full amount up front, and will always find some petty reason not to pay you.
    Once the item has been screwed onto a wall, there is a legal issue to remove it.

    Yes Yes Yes all manners to attempt to prevent the loss, but it always comes to a huge effort.

    I was hoping that this would be one way to prevent this.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    A company that I used to do work for had a similar problem. They would fit huge extraction fans and then of course the client would refuse to pay the balance. They ended up putting a "feature" into all the devices that would automatically disable the fan after 30 days. If they paid then the reset would be free of charge otherwise it would simply not work no matter what.

    Create an app with common NFC Rf-ID and tell the customer that it is a security device or some nonsense. They can then reset the device themselves if need be. You only need to apply this lot to part-pay customers, the rest can get the standard device. Alternatively send the an RFID key to unlock the device and forget about the phone and app and stuff.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    I have had this problem in the past...

    The first time with powerflow exhaust systems ...I arrived at the premises after completing the factory move... to collect payment was given some story... I went home collected a bolt cutter and returned to the new premises and as i walked through the offices to the workshop ...i advised the staff to switch off their PC's ...the police arrived and arrested me...I was told that even though i had not even paid the supplier yet ...I would have to sue the company... but could not remove anything we had installed.

    I then did a job for Granite and marble industries in Springfield park... i asked Thomas Keller if he required a quote... i was told there was no need to quote as i had already installed the power for the factory ...and this was just going to be a small office... a couple of plug sand lights... 20 offices ...kitchen showrooms ...3 phase power upgrade ...aircon units and whole lot more later ... the bill was just under R 80 000 ... suddenly the partner Rudi go involved and they couldnt understand why the bill was so high... i got the ECA involved ...what a waste of time and money ...spoke to a lawyer... i was told that unless i had R80 000 i shouldnt waste my time... this was my second hit ...took me about 5 years to recover.

    It wasnt the last.

    There is another form of screwing small business... watch out for companies which offer to buy the material... and expect you to keep your rate the same... then there are the ones who dont want to pay for call out fees or pay for travelling nor the time in which you sit in the vehicle to travel to site... when its 2 km down the road it is no big deal... but when you have to travel 100 km plus... at the end of the day they are taking the food out your kids mouths.

    This is why we need to start changing with the times.. this business of completing a project and sending the bill and waiting for payment needs to come to an end sooner than later... with all the tech out there ...i dont see why we still use a primitive payment scheme.

    Small business are their own worst enemy... in this day and age you should already have a tablet with a job card system loaded... which should even be able to record the travelling... you arrive on site the person you are dealing with can authourise the job ...acknowledge the job card is open... do the job ...the material should be loaded already when you processed the order to your local wholesaler ... just the materials from the van should be added... when the job is complete... the job card signed off ..and you should be ready for to invoice ...bythe time you leave site the POP should be in your mail box.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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