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.
I see the previous expert hasopted out. I can confirm that she did her bar exams over five years ago. She isnow a fully qualified practising barrister.
Unfortunately, your piece ofrubbish is the only one that can be identified because of the letter. Thecouncil I am sure are anxious to stop the nuisance and therefore you got theletter. The matter would be decided on the balance of probabilities (if it gotto court) as to whether you had placed that rubbish in the bin or in a bagaround the bin. Many authorities refused to remove rubbish which is notactually in the bin and indeed have levied penalties for anyone who over fillsthe bin.
There should be the samenumber of bins as properties. It really is a case of identifying who is leavingrubbish lying around.
I can make the comment that ifyour rubbish had properly been put in the bin, then a fox or a dog could nothave dragged the envelope out.
I can understand yourannoyance that everyone is leaving the place looking a mess, but you are theonly one who (on the balance of probabilities). They can currently point afinger at.
I also appreciate that this isnot the answer you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you.
I would simply make sure thatthe local authority provide one bin per property
Can I help further?
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Thank you. I do try.
It might make a difference dependingon who supplies the refuse containers as to who is responsible for the numberof bins. Usually, wheelie bins are provided by the council. I know that mineis.
With regard to the paperfragment being found on the floor, once again, it does come down to the balanceof probabilities. Even if it was just dropped on the floor in error from apocket. The same applies.
They cannot blame you foreverything that ever goes wrong, simply because you may have made a mistake (Iknow that is in issue) in the past.
If you committed a burglary andwere found guilty, you are not responsible for every burglary that ever happensin the area. The managers are being ridiculous idiots. They cannot do what theysay and if they try to levy it onto the service charge, simply pay it. (Youhave to pay what is demanded) and then sue them in the Small Claims Court toget it back on the basis that the levy was unfair. I would tell them that ifthey do what they propose, that is exactly what your solicitor has advised youto do.
You might not want to tellthem that he also said that whoever is told you they will hold you responsiblefor everything in the future is an idiot!
That is sorted. Thank you. Therating is sorted.
For some reason, it is simplycome up with, accept rather than 1-5 rating.
Don't worry. The threadremains open in any event, in case anything else crops up