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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A company I used on our rental property, entered

Customer Question

A company I used on our rental property, entered the property, without authority, using retained keys. They removed the cooker due to a late payment (part paid invoice £80). They gave no notice or indication they would do this.
The invoice was never expected to be unpaid, but the company had agreed to do two things. 1. Show the fitted within current regulations. 2. Show parts and labour on the invoice as agreed.
It is our belief that they had not fitted the cooker using a Gas Safe engineer required by law in a rental property. We also believe they had over charged on the invoice. (Cooker cost £199, Labour costs £50 - £100. Actual invoice £465. We believe the tenants were endangered by their decision mot to employ a Gas Safe Fitter.
We have subsequently found damage to pipework around the Gas Meter that was not there at the last Gas Safety inspection. We believe this was criminal damage.
We Don't believe the company has any cash on it's books. But this job, the owner says she bought the cooker and asked funds to be paid into her account.
We would like to bring a civil case against this company or the individual.
Please can you tell us what we would be entitled to claim for, and what we wouldn't. Because the claim is under £10,000, does this mean we can't claim fees?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : What losses did you suffer?
JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

We suffered a huge negative feeling from the tenants. One hasn't paid her rent. One has handed his notice in, and the 4th room has not been let.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I commercial terms it would be hard to put a figure on it.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Part of the tenant lack of goodwill was the companies failure to fit a new cooker, in a reasonable time frame, before this dispute.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

We are now having to take legal action against the non-paying tenant.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

The impact on our business is devestating

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation 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 compensate 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.



If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation .



Can I clarify anything about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I was not looking small claims procedure

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I know it well

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Please read the question properly before answering.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

the issue is, that it is difficult to define the losses.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

How do you put a figure on the lack of goodwill

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

or that a tenant has withheld rent (as she is not entitled to do so) is it something that can be claimed for.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Can you clarify how we can assess the losses as some of them are difficult to judge

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Surely there is a mountain of cases to draw upon

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

this is what I need to calrify

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Not the small claims procedure.

Alex Watts :

You can't claim fees under £10,000 as it is a small claim

Alex Watts :

You believe it was criminal damage, so you need to set out as I indicated above your losses. This includes putting it right etc

Alex Watts :

You can claim the cost of doing this and a nominal sum invonvenience

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

How can you estimate repairing tenant relatioships?

Alex Watts :

But you can only claim actual losses plus a nominal sum

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Is there case law on the nominal sum

Alex Watts :

If tenants were endangered but nothing happened, sadly you can't claim theroetical loss. So if there had been an explosion your loss would have been quantified.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

it's is more likely that in is not, that the small room was not let out

Alex Watts :

But because nothing happened you can't claim fact in theory someone could have been hurt

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

becasue of the lack of a cooker

Alex Watts :

No case law but it wouldn't be more than £250.

Alex Watts :

This is because 3 month actual injury a Court would only award £1500

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Can I calim of rent on the small room?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Should I estimate costs not yet known?

Alex Watts :

You can only claim loss of rent IF you have lost rent

Alex Watts :

No, you have 6 years to bring a claim, so plenty of time

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I have lost the rent - becasue I could not find a suitable tenant

Alex Watts :

Ok -

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Is that a suitable case?

Alex Watts :

Suitable case , I am sorry>?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

If a tenant has given notice because of the cooker, is this a loss I can attribute to their lack of duty of care

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :


JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- says:

9:56 AM



I have lost the rent - becasue I could not find a suitable tenant



JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :


e





9:56 AM



Ok -



Alex Watts :

Yes that would be suitable. But you need to disclose the actual reason and letter to the other side showing this

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Is not being able to find a suitable tenant - can I argue this is a loss

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Should I use the Tort of negligence

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Should I use this in the court papers

Alex Watts :

yes and/or breach of contract as an alternative

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Can you bring both?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Or is that ill advised

Alex Watts :

Yes you can bring 2 heads of claim

Alex Watts :

Most lawyers do more than one if they can

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

There is a complication

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

They are crooks

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

so they will ensure there is no money in the company

Alex Watts :

Sadly you can't do anything about that

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I was considiering two things

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

1. If the director has done this deliberately

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

This should be a crime

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Or a breach of cilvil law sorry

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

but this is quite interesting.

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

In the case of the cooker

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

The boss

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Michelle

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

ASked money to be paid into her bank account

Alex Watts :

But then if you are going to argue that, it becomes complicated and no longer a small claim

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

And told me she paid cooker

Alex Watts :

If it was paid into her account personally, then potentially you may have a claim

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

This is what I am thinking

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

That I could show that this job was accpeted by her

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

and not the company

Alex Watts :

Ok

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

What is the consideration in this case?

Alex Watts :

Then sue both her and the company as first and second defendants

Alex Watts :

It may take it out of being a small claim if law arises

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Now that's good advice :)

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Okay

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

So how do I make a complex claim

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

how do things change

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

This is new area to me

Alex Watts :

Because if its a complex claim there are Court rules and procedures to follow. There will be disclosure, trial bundles to prepare. If reason you lose in Court you would be personally liable legal costs of the other side.

Alex Watts :

Keep it a small claim

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

On he small claims forms

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Is it easy to make first and second defendants

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

is this the same as co-defendant?

Alex Watts :

Yes it is very easy. There is never technically a co-defendant, but yes its first, second, third, fourth etc

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I will know when I het the forms!

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Can you recommend any legal phrases to help

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I want to lay out offer, acceptance and consideration

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Should I quote case law at all as a lay person?

Alex Watts :

No, you dont need to worry about that.

Alex Watts :

Just set out what happened and what you are claiming and why

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

SHould I try and show that the person accepted

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

rather than the company

Alex Watts :

Do both

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

Really

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

I am worried that if I lay out accpetance by the comapany

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

that this might jepardise my chances of revoering the money

JACUSTOMER-2gkjr475- :

can you expalin why tht might now be the case

Alex Watts :

No, you can sue both the company and indidivual. That is the best way of doing this

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

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