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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 6470
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Australia Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I have a flat that I rent on short term base through Airbnb

This answer was rated:

I have a flat that I rent on short term base through Airbnb and booking.com last friday I had a booking for 1 night only but after checking the driving license of the guest I didn't provide the key safe code as guest was young and her home address was very close to my property..so I thought they were just looking for somewhere to have a party. Although I refunded the price and didn't provide the access, they smash the kitchen window and access my flat.they damage my property ,stole a tv and smoke weed inside.i have already a text from the person that made the booking where she said it is true she went in my property but it was her friends to smash the kitchen window. I have around £1000 damage and I would like to understand if I can get compensated by the lady ( or her parents as she is only 18)for the damage caused to my property
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I reported to the police
Assistant: Where is the flat located?
Customer: Gu113ea
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today. I am just reviewing your question.

You would have to sue the 18 year old - she is an adult in the eyes of the law and can be sued in a civil action. Whether she borrows the £1,000 from her parents or whatever, doesn't matter so long as you recover the money for the costs.

I would recommend that you send the 18 year old guest formal letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded.

You will need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee of £60 (based on a £1,000 claim) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property, summons to court for questioning, all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

Hello again, if you can please click to accept the answer (5 stars at the top of your screen) and give me a rating on the site I would be very grateful. It won’t cost extra to give the rating.

Many thanks.

JimLawyer and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
hi Jimi, i rated 5 stars. just 1 clarification...in the template you sent me the reference to "paragraph
7 of the Protocol, and paragraphs 13 to 16 of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and
Protocols" can be left as they are on my letter? i just need to replace the amounts of the claim?

Hi there, yes, leave that in - it is important. Just insert your amount and the letter is fine

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
As part of this process, i.e letter etc, do we at any point need to supply the police report as evidence? I presume if it went to small claims court, then yes.

Yes, once the claim has been issued - the court will give you a date to send evidence to the other party. That will be a few weeks off yet though

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We are currently on holiday, and the police need my signature to finalise the report. Therefore this will be outside of the 14 days since the event, in order for me to issue the letter to the girl.

That's fine, you do not need the Police report to issue the claim for damages

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Jim, another question if you please. In the costs i am claiming from the person, what can i claim? This has obviously taken me a lot of time away from my holiday with my children, costs to obtain legal guidance etc... Or should i only be requesting the costs to fix the property?

I would claim all incurred costs, not just limited to those to fix the property

You could include a sum for inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of the holiday, probably be looking at a few hundred pounds extra (£500 to £1000)

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, will do. We have also had to do a short term fix on the window until we can obtain a full quotes to replace window. I think this should also be included.

Yes, you can claim what is reasonably-incurred - the court would only disallow unreasonable expenses or if you have not mitigated your loss