This complaint is about a tenanted house that I am responsible for. I instructed a management company to fit a new cooker. When they failed to present a gas safe certificate or break down the invoice successfully, I ended my contract with them.
The now former management company used keys it retained after we ended our agreement to enter the property and take back a cooker where a part paid invoice was in dispute. The invoice is in dispute, but I have never stated I would not pay it. They were asked to show that it did not need a Gas Safe certificate and to break down the invoice further. £80 had already been paid and £160 returned in an administrative error. No warning or T&Cs indicated they would act in this way.
The property, in Manchester, was tenanted and they were given no notice of the impending visit. It is believed that they were not gas safe engineers. The police will not investigate and I have raised a complaint.
Are the police right? Because the invoice was not fully paid,did they have a right to reclaim the goods. It was never suggested that the invoice would not be paid, the company had agreed to break the invoice down and resubmit.
Can the Police refuse to investigate? If a criminal act has taken place, how can I compel them to act?
my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What does your contract say about termination please?
Alex, There was no formal contract with the management company. They were given access to the property to carry out maintenance on a job by job basis. They knew they must give tenants 24 hours notice in the Landlord and & tenant act. After they failed, in my view, to fit the cooker described in my question in accordance with current legal rules ( tenanted property), failed to provide a Gas Safe certificate; I made it clear that they would no longer be instructed to carry our work . We made an agreement, via an SMS service, maintenance company to post the keys through the letterbox (I live some distance away). Instead the kept a key and went and removed the cooker - possibly illegally (no gas safe engineer).
Thanks. What is it you want to achieve?
I want a police investigation into the crime (separate from any civil action that could also be warranted).
Are you really allowed to break in (okay they used a key - but they were not authorised to hold it), take the cooker (possibly endangering the tenants), remove it from the premises, without a license or a court order?
Can the Police refuse, yes. Sadly you can't make them, they are under no duty to do so.
The management company are not allowed to break in no
The Police can obviously but not the management company
Sadly based on what you have said, I think this is a civil matter.
You cant make the Police investigate or prosecute. Once you register a complaint that is all you can sadly do
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything about this today please?
Has a crime been committed in your view - if so what crime has been commisioned?
It may be criminal damage and/or theft.
But if the Police do not want to pursue it that means it is a civil matter
Sadly you can't force the Police to investigate or prosecute.
I am sorry, but I do have to be honest
I understand that you can't compel the Police to act, but if I am making a complaint, it will help my case to be able to say that a qualified legal professional believes that, on the face of it, a crime has been committed. Or to be told that that it is unlikely that a crime has been committed, only a tort.
Yes you can say that. You can ask that they review their decision, but there is no guarantee
Can I clarify anything else ?
Does the fact the invoice has not been fully paid a part of this answer?
Can some "steal" back from you something you have yet to fully pay for?
You may not have title until paid for, but they cant just take it back
Does that help?
Why can't they just take it back - this is what the police are saying - is there somehitng I can quote?
This is criminal damage and theft - they are assuming the rights of the owner which they are not.
Sorru - can I just clarify
Is the difference between title and ownership.
YOu say I don't have tittle - yet it would be criminal damage and theft to recover the cooker.
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They removed the cooker committing x offence and y offence in that they did z. That would help.
How what they did criminal damage - I don't understand the elements of this crime
The difference between ownership and title would clarify
If they removed it, didnt they damage the door? Didn't they damage anything removing it? If so that is criminal damage
Title is where you own and have paid item
You can't sell something without having title
You can own something or be the keeper, such as a car
"used keys it retained after we ended our agreement "
So if you have a car on finance, although you own it you dont have title
Therefore that is the difference, it still technically belongs to the finance company
Re keys -in that case it is just theft
YOu can have title without ownderhip
when something is held in trust
But I don't know how it apploes here
becasue the tenants had the enjoyoment
The title could argued to be sahred
Becasue I paid £80
They have taken something back.
They were not entitled to
And the owenership - was the tenants
They had assumed the rights of the owner - thereby it is theft
becasue it's on their inventory
In any event why dont you just take them to County Court?
So ownership is key here
Anything less than £10,000 is a small claim
don't they just have to have a resonable believ
that the cooker was theirs
However take them to Court, it would be a small claim
that's what the police told me
Something about intent
County Court is a civil matter.
The Police wont be interested price of a cooker.
Yes but you an sue of contract
It's not worth it
This question is purely about the crimnal elements
Becasue once you get into civil - the crimial gets lost
Its breach of contract because they failed to fit the cooker properly, failed to provide a gas safety certificate. The cooker wasnt fit in accordance with legislation. Therefore its breach of contract - civil
Yes I agreee
I kind of know all that
Appropriation of property belonging to another with permenant intention to deprive
Now that's of more interest
I don't think that they had the right - even with keys - to take the cooker
I have fitted a new one now
To enter the property with or without permission is civil
That's what the whold questionis about
Taking the cooker MAY be criminal
Depending on what view the Police take
But in short you cant make the Police investigate, they have no duty whatsoever to do so
The police don't decide what's a crime
they have an impled duty
You cant make them prosecute.
Its not a matter
They do not have an implied duty
They don't make that decision anyway
They have an impled duty to investigate crimes
You can NOT make the Police investigate and prosecute a matter
NO NO NO NO NO
They do NOT
Police don't prosectue anyone
the crown does
There is no duty whatsoever to you
The Police do on behalf of the Crown
Under common tort
Tort is CIVIL
But you said you dont want to know about civil as you know it 100%
I am not suggesting hte police are crimials by not investigating
Of curse it's civil
A cicil and moral duty to investigate crime
Moral duty maybe but no legal duty
All I want here is to establish whether a crime, on the face of it, has been commited
The debate over the police is one pub
Becasue even if I was right
I am not up judical review
Possibly yes. BUT you can't make the Police investigate that
Okay - but, in making my complaint
As you say its a debate.
You can make a complaint but the Police may decide its civil.
I can say I have legal opinion
In which case you have to go to the County Court.
Yes, but you are not a lawyer.
I undersaynd that CC is always an optoin
But I want to do all I can to hold the Police to account
So this question was aimed at giving me the best opssible chance
If I was simply wrong - I would have not submitted a complaint
But you said:
You give a statement, you say what you think and the Police decide whether or not to invesgitate
Its up to the Police then what, if any action they take
I understand that
But a complaint against the police
they have to investigate it
and the IPCC can get involed
It's still ablut the case I present
So what else would you like to know from me?
And this question was about the criminal act
and wheterh I can compel the police
the comel bit is satidied
but you can complain
and even take a civil case
Can you compel the Police - no
Can you complain about the Police - yes
Can you take a civil case - yes
But that wiould be streghtend by legal opinion that a crime had, on the cae of it, taken place
Becasue this is the acusation
I have given you the legal elements of theft.
You can apply that to your facts
that the Police have not investigated a crime
It wasn't clear
They have no duty as we have discussed at length to investigate, which is why you can make a complaint
becasue in a few lines after you mentioned civil again
If the Police wont investigate and any complaint is not upheld you can always take a civil claim
So you haven't lost any remedy
"Appropriation of property belonging to another with permenant intention to deprive"
And although CC had shared title - they were not the owners
The tenants were the owners as they had enjoyment
But the steps you take are:
1) Give the Police a statement
2) If they refuse to complain make a formal written complaint
Although we cannot comel them to take action
This is the case
3) If that is not upheld then go to County Court
Can you see 1-3 above?
I can tell you why the poilce don't want to investigate
It has happend before
they are all up
Until they find out I live in Gloucestershire
then it's all too much trouble
Can I clarify anything on the steps 1-3 above?
I undersand 1 - 3 before
It's the case
That I want to have sure
Look - in the army - they told me - we can't make you do anything - just make you wish you had
I want to hold the police to account
I can only do this if I have stong understanding of why I think they should have acted
Ok. Do you have any questions of me?
I understand what to do now if they still disagree
I think we got away from the part of this process I neede the most support with
The criminal element and deciding if it was reasonable police to refuse to investgaget
I have given you the criminal element, can you not see it?
We got onto to well they can do as they please
We got there in the end
Reasonableness does not come into their decision. There is no duty to investigate as we have discussed.
I think you're wrong. Having a duty and compelling to act are two different things and, like other things in this conversation, you are mixing them up.