• Very small project, mostly adding content to a CMS site.
  • Client happy with work, but now can't pay due to lack of funds.
  • After several months I informed the client that I would take the work down (leaving the site in the same state as prior to the work being commenced) until such time that I have been paid.
  • Client now believes that since I've 'taken the work back' that I shouldn't require payment and that the matter is closed.
  • The site is hosted in the UK, but not by me; I believe they are registered to a third-party.

Specifically, can anyone point to any UK legislation regarding payments that might cover this scenario? Much of what I've found covers the right for a company to reclaim products/items, and I'm not having much luck finding out my rights with regards to claiming payment for a service. I know I can point to the contract etc; what I'm looking for is a 'such and such act of 1988' that says I can still expect to be paid even if website is taken down/changed. Nothing like pointing at an objective specific law to shut down a line of argument!

  • Where is the site being hosted? On servers you control/registered in your name? Or servers they own/have control over?
    – Canadian Luke
    Sep 24, 2015 at 19:24
  • @CanadianLuke Site is hosted by a third-party.
    – Dre
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:01
  • Did you have a contract in place?
    – Canadian Luke
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:04
  • Unfortunately, no. I'm normally very good with contracts, but in this instance it was a very small, rushed project, and the client was a referral from another one of our regular clients. In any instance there is sufficient correspondence to imply contractual terms. The tricky part is if there is any specific legislation that covers payments for non-physical goods that have been taken removed (such as cancelling a service etc.) I'm sure there must be one, I'm just struggling to find it.
    – Dre
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:11
  • I think there was another question, very similar, and the conclusion drawn was to not take it down without a contract, and especially if it's on their server. I'll look when I her to my computer
    – Canadian Luke
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


You may be able to deduct this loss from your gross income on your taxes, but since you don't have a contract you can enforce, this may unfortunately be your only remedy.


I would leave this matter behind, and never deal with this client again. Make sure you've got the contract straight with the next client, and omit this client from your life :-)

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