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NSW Expiration Date to Invoice for Services?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Stretchy77, 2 September 2014.

  1. Stretchy77

    Stretchy77 Member

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    Hi,
    We had a plumber provide services to us approximately 8 years ago as part of a bathroom renovation at the time. For whatever reason, he never invoiced for these services and has not chased for any payments since.

    Now he has been in contact to request payment. Where do we stand on this under Australian Consumer Law? Does the statute of limitations apply here given it's more than 6 years ago since he provided the services? Is the obligation on him to have invoiced at the time?

    Any advise would be great.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stretchy77,

    There is a limitation period on actions for debt recovery. This is 6 years from the date on which the monies became due: Limitation Act 1969 (NSW) s 14. Limitations bars are essentially a full defence, which means that the plumber, while having a real cause of action against you, cannot enforce this (claim it) through court.

    This limitation period may be extended or start afresh in some cases. For example, if you affirm a debt owned to the debtor by signing a contract to that effect later on.

    I would say that there is no obligation for him to invoice you, unless required under corporations law. However, there is an obligation to chase up the debt within 6 years.
     
  3. Stretchy77

    Stretchy77 Member

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    Thanks Sarah J.....much appreciated.

    So the date that the monies became due would've been on completion of the services? If he invoices me and dates it say for today, could that be considered 'starting afresh'..?

    Thanks again for the reply
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stretchy77,

    The debt would not start afresh unless you admit to the debt and agree that the amount is owing by you to the company. There are many definitions for "completion of services" (as with goods), it could be the date when services were rendered, 10 days after services rendered or invoice issued (as in the case with constructors and clients/developers) or at the end of the month. In any case, it would not be whenever the company decides to issue you an invoice.
     

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