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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Burglary . Last night (6 Dec 2014), my wife and I stayed

Resolved Question:

Burglary .
Last night (6 Dec 2014), my wife and I stayed at The Portobello Hotel in London, England, and returned at 1:30am to find both of our Apple laptops and power supplies stolen from our room. We had other items in the room but they were untouched. Just the laptops were taken. The police were called and we have a crime reference number. The laptops combined are worth in the region of £7,000.
The police's attitude was that we would probably never see the laptops again and laptop crime was fairly common in the area.
It occurred to me it could have been an inside job. Hotel staff told me burglars must have come "up the back" (ie the fire escape) and police said they could have easily "credit carded" the hotel room door to the room as it was a not a double lock or mortice lock. The windows were all locked.
There were no obvious signs of a break in, and the receptionist said they saw no-one suspicious coming or going.
I notice on TripAdvisor website that a person has had his laptop stolen from inside a room at the same hotel in the past. Even after this previous incident, the hotel obviously still does not have effective door security. Unfortunately they also have no CCTV.
The hotel staff were very uncaring and gave me an email of a person to contact.
What are my rights, and what procedures should I now follow?
Many thanks in advance
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts : Hello Simon my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know if the laptops were insured?

I have home insurance with Direct Line.
My wife made the booking with one of my cards, which is a Nat West Black account, which also may have some insurance - I'll have to check that to be sure, though.


What is the hotel's liability?

Alex Watts : They usually exclude liabiloty as they will argue you could have used the room safe if there was one or hotel safe.

There was no room safe

Alex Watts : However if you can show negligence you may have a claim
Alex Watts : There is usually a hotel safe, you need to ask at reception
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

The rooms had standard door locks, not mortices. The police said they would be easy to 'credit card'. Alternately it could have been a member of staff with a key

Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

the claim would be for just under £7K

Alex Watts : indeed but they would argue you could use hotel safe or not leave valuables unattended in a room.
Alex Watts : I am just highlighting their potential argument

yes of course


should i wait to see what they offer before demanding a refund

Alex Watts : yes I would.

what would i be liable for if i take it to county court and lose

Alex Watts : Your court fees that's if.
Alex Watts : it

ok thankyou thats been very helpful. can i contact you again later in the week if needs be?

Alex Watts : of course. If you start any new queation for Alex w I can answer it for you
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you about this today?

one last thing - there is a report on trip of this happening to a guest before.

Alex Watts : ok

i told the staff this and the snooty response was 'that was a fraud'


the way i was treated by the hotel was very similar - that my wife and i were lying

Alex Watts : No, if it's true it's ok

we were very upset

Alex Watts : indeed

is it best to contact the owner of the hotel rather than staff - i have found out who he is.

Alex Watts : I would write to the owner

ok thats great


thankyou very much

Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else for you?

I'll rate excellent and pay now. thanks for your time :)

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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