Another option for recovering money owed in relation to work done to property is the process set out under the Workers Liens Act 1893 (SA). If the work is done to real property (that is land or buildings), a contractor or sub-contrator can put a charge over that property to secure payment of money owing. Because this process is complex and requires the commencement of legal proceedings to ensure that it is effective, advice should be sought from a private lawyer.
In relation to work done to personal property (anything tangible such as a car or jewellery), S41 of the the Worker's Liens Act 1893 (SA) sets out a process to enable the creditor to sell the item and recover his or her debt. If the amount owing for work done is unpaid after a period of a month, the creditor must give a further 14 days written notice to the debtor before any auction of the property. The notice must be sent to the debtor by registered post, and include the amount owing, details of the item, and information about the date time and place of sale.
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