If a repair shop let me “borrow” some equipment to make a repair, can they later charge me for the use of the equipment?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2011

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If a repair shop let me “borrow” some equipment to make a repair, can they later charge me for the use of the equipment?

A repair shop in the local area allowed me to use their equipment on their property site to repair my engine. Now, they are suing me for $982 in shop equipment costs. This was not stated in the initial agreement and I didn’t sign anything that would constitute this amount was due. Is this something he would win? Should I hire an attorney? Should I just pay it and move on?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) If there was no agreement beforehand to pay--and that includes no implied or implicit agreement--then you should probably not have to pay. For example, if there is a sign on the shop wall about the cost of renting equipment, or the proprietor mentioned that "you could use the equipment as long as you cover the cost," or something like that, that *may* be enough to find an agreement that you'd pay rental. But without either an explicit or implicit agreement, you would probably not be liable.

2) You may therefore have a good defense. Whether you should defend or else "pay it and move on" depends on how you value your time; whether you'd undertake the defense yourself or hire an attorney (if you hire a lawyer, you'd likely pas as much or more defending as paying); how much fighting will stress you; what your financial resources are. Another option is to try to settle for a lesser amount.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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