I need an answer before 10am GMT Monday.
For the past 17 years I lived in a flat. The block has a communal rubbish bin shed with wheelie bins. Rubbish is collected every Wednesday. There were complains (from me too) that the shed was filthy due to bags falling on the floor and local cats and rodents opening them. My opinion was that there are not enough bins; others complained that people were throwing their bags on the shed floor. Fact is, most people piled their bags on the bins and some fell. I also witnessed people throwing their bags on top of the pile and thus knocking off other bags. It’s a mess.
In all this I tried to at least be within the rules myself. I produce one or two bags per week, mostly paper and packaging as I have a disposal unit, and my cleaner disposes them on Thursdays when the bins are not full and ensure they are INSIDE the bin.
The only exception was when a friend, who is often on the road, asked me if I could receive a package for him containing a laptop. I did and he opened the package at my place and we put the packaging in a black bad and he offered to throw it away. That was late on Friday 1 February.
On Saturday 23 February I received a letter from the block managers with two photos – one with rubbish on the floor (definitely not mine) – and one of a payment notice addressed to “Chris” (that my friend, my name is George) from the aforementioned package which I could identify exactly. I consequently contacted him and asked him how he disposed the bag and he told me that he put it on top of the pile. Now the photographic “evidence” in the letter was a close-up, completely out of context with no reference of location, time taken or any other rubbish around it. It could have fallen while the rubbish was collected or torn by rodents. In any case, the letter mentions:
“Refuse from your flat has been sited as an issue for Leighton Court and as such any further costs to the communal funds due to misuse of the bins will be recharged to your service fees.”
As I understand it, they accuse me for the whole darn mess and tell me that if it happens again in the future I will be charged for it. As you can understand I was very upset, mainly for the unfair accusation.
- Can they accuse me like that on circumstantial evidence?
- Can they charge me for future problems?
- What is my case for a defamation action against a) the block managers, b) whoever took the picture.