A self-employed gas safety engineer is tied up in a legal wrangle with a property mogul thought to be worth millions of pounds.
Paul Masterson, from Ashford, was sued unsuccessfully by Judith Wilson after he undertook safety checks on a boiler at one of her properties.
The 43-year-old, who runs his business from an apartment near Eastwell Manor, issued a safety warning following the visit to a home owned by Judith and Fergus Wilson.
The couple, from Boughton Monchelsea, were once mentioned in the Sunday Times Rich List and have a property portfolio of 700 homes worth in excess of £100m.
Mr Masterson visited one of their properties in Chaffinch Drive, Park Farm, in June 2012.
He was awarded costs of £3,000 after a case heard in May, but says Mrs Wilson has yet to pay up.
Mr Masterson said: "It's been going on so long that you've just got to laugh, but it's not really funny.
"It's caused a lot of stress and financial burden and it's been a daily slog answering emails and solicitors' letters.
"I thought that was all over with the court case, but I'm facing it again. More worrying for me, though, is that there may still be someone living in the property with a boiler which could become unsafe."
Plumber Paul Masterson was awarded costs of £3,000 following a legal case against the Wilsons
The county court case, held in Maidstone, arose after Mrs Wilson decided that a safety warning Mr Masterson issued meant she could not rent the property.
Mr Masterson issued an at-risk notice, because he felt a suspect flue had the potential to become dangerous.
Mrs Wilson took him to court for loss of earnings, but district judge Edwina Millward threw the case out.
Speaking at the time, Judge Millward said: "In my view, there is no claim to be answered in this case.
"Mr Masterson did his best. He certainly was not going to profit from not passing the boiler.
"He was not contracted to do repairs. He was simply contracted to carry out the safety check. I therefore dismiss the claim."
Fergus and Judith Wilson have a property portfolio of 700 homes worth in excess of £100m
But the Wilsons said they are under no legal obligation to pay the costs until an appeal has been heard.
Mr Wilson said: "If you're going to execute somebody, you have to hear the appeal first. Mr Masterson wants to execute the decision before the appeal has been heard.
"After Mr Masterson had refused a [safety] certificate, we had it retested and it was approved by another gas-safety engineer and currently has a pass certificate.
"In other words, it is safe. Mrs Wilson has availed herself of the opportunity to appeal and has done so. Therefore, the costs order of £3,000 stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal."
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