Hello Anthony my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Was anything in writing or confirmed regarding your agreement please?
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
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
Ok good. That indicates there is a contract.
Therefore its valid and you can sue for breach of that contract
What is it you want to achieve as a result of this?
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
Ok. You need to write and set out your position and ask that she honours the agreement or you will go to Court.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
What happens if she disputes it? Do proceedings take place in a court near to us or her and how much would it cost?
You issue online and its transferred to her home Court if defended.
Court fees are listed here:
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?
It may if the Judge has questions. You can claim 45p a mile and £90 witness costs if you win
Can I clarify anything else for you?
No, that's very helpful thanks.
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.
'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.