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I bought a house in 2013 in Ireland, all well and good.

Before everything went ahead, I got a structural survey (recommended, not mandatory).

Conversation with the surveyor went as follows:

Me: I want a survey on my house please

Him: No problem, it costs x. I will do it, then send you the invoice, and release results once payment received

So it was delayed by 2 weeks or so before he actually got back to me and said he was doing it in the next few days. So I thought grand. Another week elapsed and I followed up and he said sorry there was a delay, I will send over the survey asap. Another week followed, and I eventually got the survey.

Even though he didn't mention any payment, he sent me the survey. So I emailed him and said can I have your bank details please and I will transfer the money for the work done. I never heard back.

5 years later, he has now emailed me and said he was going through his accounts and noticed I never paid him for it (which is true). So he resent me the invoice, and his bank details.

To be honest, at this stage I had forgotten all about it, and I know it's not a huge amount of money, but I'm not currently in a position to pay it.

Is it still legal to send invoices this long from the past?

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I know it's not a huge amount of money, but I'm not currently in a position to pay it.

Is it still legal to send invoices this long from the past?

Yes, it is legal. And the surveyor is still within the statute of limitations to sue you for breach of contract.

Beyond the purely legislative aspect, personally I would encourage you to pay the surveyor once you are in a position to do so, even if the statute of limitations had expired. From your description, it seems that the surveyor acted with nobility in that

Even though he didn't mention any payment, he sent me the survey.

and there is no indication that the survey was faulty. Thus, it would be opportunistic not to honor your part in the contract under pretext of the statute of limitations.

Consider this: You would not wish to be deprived of compensation today (or once the debtor becomes able to pay you) simply because years earlier you were too overwhelmed to send an invoice for work you actually performed.

  • To clarify - I will pay him once it's possible for me. Judging by your link, the surveyor only had/has 6 years to send me the invoice, otherwise it's not legally binding anymore? I do agree with your last paragraph - however, IMO it's a sign of bad management to only be sending out invoices 5 years later. – rememberthetitans Dec 3 '18 at 11:48
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    More precisely, he has six years to file a lawsuit (that is, in court) toward recovery of the payment. Whether it is a sign of poor management rather than a consequence of some personal hardship which only he knows, that did not stop him from serving you back then. Either way, a customer ought not punish that sole aspect of poor management when the actual work was performed with a harmless, much shorter delay. Therefore, it is commendable that you are determined to pay him sooner or later. Kudos to you. – Iñaki Viggers Dec 3 '18 at 12:21
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    @IñakiViggers - psst, just wanted to say thanks for your effort on your other answer (to my since-closed question) -- that's exactly what I needed to get started. cheers! – ashleedawg Dec 5 '18 at 13:03
  • @ashleedawg Thank you for the nice feedback. I couldn't identify the closed question you mention, but I am glad it was useful to you. – Iñaki Viggers Dec 5 '18 at 14:23

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