Client not paying - can I stop the contract and withold the work?
I am a freelance graphic designer who has been contracting on site with a client for over 6 months.
Despite invoicing weekly, the client has been late (an average of about 40 days late) paying every invoice. To date, they owe me over £7,000 which is only increasing with each week I work for them.
I have chased them but the excuse is always they are also waiting on late payments from clients.
I have not enforced any late fee so as not to dirty the waters but now the situation is now becoming untenable for me and I need to work out the best course of action to take with minimal financial or legal impact.
I'm considering informing the the client this week that I will cease working until all outstanding invoices are settled, which I believe I'm within my right to do.
But, I think that they might ask me to hand over the work I've done to date, which I'm reluctant to do as this is work they've essentially still not paid me for.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Are there any legal implications of stopping the contract and withholding the work I've done so far?
I have no written contract with this company. I was brought on by a former colleague and we only have email correspondence which states when I started working (and I do have time sheets I've submitted throught the course of the contract for the work).
Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
- I think if he giving you excuses for a long time you should stop working on the project and take this bad experience as a lesson of your life. So when you start working on new project make sure sign contract with him/her with digital signature. This is the simple and secure way. There are so many online sites to sign documents online. I suggest you Approveme.me to stay secure. No matter where your client is you just have to upload document on Approveme and they give you back with signature of the client.
- Creativek, Your question has been answered on the FreelanceUK front-page by a payment specialist!
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- "I have chased them but the excuse is always they are also waiting on late payments from clients."
This is absolutely no excuse. Any business worth their salt will have a bit of a pool of money that can give them the room to pay their staff even if they haven't received payment from their clients yet. That's business 101.
I had a family member in the same situation, and because he was the "little guy" he ended up getting stiffed. They think that if you don't have the money to take legal action, then you won't - especially if you are self employed.
I would 100% withhold work and stipulate that you don't work for free and you can find other clients that will pay you for your work.