How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

, past 3 years, we have rented the same cottage

Resolved Question:

Hi,
For the past 3 years, we have rented the same cottage for two weeks in August. Last summer our stay was disrupted by roofing work on the garage the owner was building. Before we arrived, we were told the work would stop but due to high winds... she decided to continue.
Throughout our stay she kept promising that the work would finish but it didn't until 2 days before our departure and we had a couple of rude early morning wake-ups. Despite that, we love the cottage and didn't make a fuss but I did ask her to stop sending regular updates about something I had no control over (and she did!) We still felt we had a good relationship with the owner and had every intention of returning in the future.
She texted me that she was mortified and surprised us by offering by text 2 free weeks for next year- 2 weeks of our choice. We felt that was over-generous and immediately offered to go halves but she wouldn't hear of it. This was all via email and text. On that basis, we have budgeted for 2015 accordingly, I have booked my holiday from work and we have paid for another holiday with the money 'saved'.
Today I received an email from the owner saying that she is rescinding the offer and the price for 2015 is £2450. FWIW she suggests that this is because we still wanted to come this year even though her new neighbours have put in for planning permission and we might be disturbed again. As I say we never asked for a refund let alone a free holiday.
What are our rights?
Needless to say we're prepared to walk away as she has misled us repeatedly but before replying and possibly offering a contribution of say £750 in good faith, we would like to know our legal rights in terms of the verbal contract we entered into in good faith.
Thanks,
Antony
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello Anthony my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Was anything in writing or confirmed regarding your agreement please?

Customer:

Yes, it was in texts. 12 Aug: 'Hi Antony. I am here. Please accept 2 weeks free holiday whenever you would like as an apology for this mess. Sue

Customer:

We replied 'Sue, that's really generous and much appreciated. We'll meet you half way, though and pay half next sumer if that's OK? Antony She replied on 13 August: 'Antony- I couldn't accept any payment. Please. Any 2 weeks, let me know in due course and those 2 wks are yours. I can't impress how bad i feel about the situation. Despite the agreement of one week start to finish, the roofers don't see to care and have let me down badly. Sue

Alex Watts :

Ok good. That indicates there is a contract.

Alex Watts :

Therefore its valid and you can sue for breach of that contract

Alex Watts :

What is it you want to achieve as a result of this?

Customer:

Hi Alex, Thanks. We either want the 2 weeks free holiday we agreed or we want a significant contribution to offset the payment for the holiday we're now going to have to book to replace this. A holiday in this area of Cornwall will likely cost about £2k for 2 weeks. Antony

Alex Watts :

Ok. You need to write and set out your position and ask that she honours the agreement or you will go to Court.

Alex Watts :

If she refuses then you will need to issue proceedings. You can either do that for an injunction to make them carry out the work or for the £2000

Customer:

Hi Alex, that's really helpful. I since texted her in October and she had agreed to the first 2 weeks in August. Are there any specific words I need to use or not to use? Antony

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: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf 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 :

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 :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

What happens if she disputes it? Do proceedings take place in a court near to us or her and how much would it cost?

Alex Watts :

You issue online and its transferred to her home Court if defended.

Alex Watts :

Court fees are listed here:

Alex Watts :

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees

Customer:

Her home court is about 8 hours away from us- hence the holiday. Will it massively prejudice our case if we choose to send email/text evidence rather than attend in person?

Alex Watts :

It may if the Judge has questions. You can claim 45p a mile and £90 witness costs if you win

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

No, that's very helpful thanks.

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,


 


I have some further questions for you.


We wrote to her as per your advice setting out what we wanted.


 


After one bizarre exchange of emails in which she expressed shock that we would upset her in this way, we reiterated our simple request for her to honour her agreement and asked that she send us no more emails or texts, we have received today a 'without prejudice' reply agreeing to our 2 week free holiday in her house.


 


However she places a couple of conditions, neither of which are intrinsically unreasonable but I would like to make sure that we don't open ourselves up to further unreasonable behaviour from her.


 


She writes:


'I am prepared to let you have those two weeks free of charge as we have previously agreed but stipulate that I will require a security deposit cheque from you for £100 (as you have paid in previous years as per the terms of the agency you booked with, namely English Country Cottages). As in previous years this will be refunded to you by second class post after inspection that there is no damage of any kind to my cottage or its contents. A full inventory will be made and left for you.


 


The offer of 2 (two) free weeks is made on the basis that you are fully aware that there could be serious noise levels directly affecting you and your family during your stay and that you are also fully aware that I will have no control whatsoever on timings of building noise or who makes it, and that you understand therefore that I will not accept any complaint from you during the two weeks...


 


Based on your signed acceptance of the above stipulations, terms and conditions, I can let you have those two weeks as previously agreed at no charge. I look forward to receiving your security deposit cheque within the next 14 ays (as of today's date) along with your signed and dated copy of this letter attached. If not received within this time scale, then my offer made herein will be rescinded and you may take matters further if you so wish.'


 


My questions to you are:


 


1) How reasonable is it for her to demand our deposit cheque over 6 months before we arrive? Previous conditions were a security deposit cheque 6 weeks prior to arrival. The first two years it was returned uncashed and last year when we booked privately with her, she didn't ask us for a security cheque.


 


2) Is it reasonable for me to state that she can have our cheque now on the strict condition that it is held in abeyance until we leave the property. Should it be cashed in advance we will regard that as theft. What are our rights in this regard?


 


3) Previously the security deposit was £50 and not the £100 though inflation and all that. Here's what she wrote 3 years ago


> Could you also send me a £50 security deposit cheque
>(mentioned in my email
> dated 31st Januatry). I don't cash this but hold it
>against damages or
> towels missing, etc etc - hopefully there won't be any -
>and it is returned
> to you in the post on the Monday after your leave.
>Guests have always left
> the cottage in a really good condition thankfully. I
>will leave a spare set
> of bed linen and towels for you in case you want to
>change mid holiday.


 


4) Her suggestion that we can't complain to her about the neighbour's noise is of course reasonable under the circumstances but her suggestion that we sign a piece of paper that says that she will not accept any complaint to her is wholly unreasonable. How do we address all this within the 2 week window she has now stipulated?


 


Be grateful for your further advice.


 


BTW rated you as good service (rather than excellent) as was asked to rate before I had a chance to see the effects of your advice which have been very positive.


Best regards,


Antony

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice