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 Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hello, This is about reclaiming a deposit from a holiday let.

This answer was rated:

Hello, This is about reclaiming a deposit from a holiday let. We paid £500 in a deposit. We broke 3 glasses and incurred a charge for £9. The owner then alleged that we caused much more damage, including £122 for a new duvet cover. He has never provided any evidence, photographic or otherwise of this alleged damage. He also later relented as a gesture of good will on some of the alleged damage, but maintains that damage on the bed linen.

He now inites us to take him to court to reclaim the money, but advises us that as he is a trained solicitor he will win his case and the counter claim against us.

The recent exchange of emails is copied for your reference.

Please help.

Brian Sprague

I think the only thing in reply that I can say is,

upon checking my records and emails, you in fact did not send any photographic proof of the alleged damage to the bed linen, or maybe I should say, we did not receive anything from you pertaining to the alleged staining of the bed linen.


Hi Brian,
> I have checked my records regarding previous correspondence and can see that I sent an email on 16th August 2012 with pictures of the stained linen. I further made an offer of settlement to exclude the admin fee, but you refused to accept the terms of that offer, namely to sign a settlement agreement. I also offered to send you the linen, which you did not take up.
> Our tone was one of reconciliation, whereas yours was aggressive/defensive, leaving little or no room for me to manoeuvre.
> I sent a final email on 23 August outlining why I felt it was 100% necessary to obtain a signed settlement document for this dispute. I stated the options open to you.
> I chased you via email on 1st October and 25th October, after which I waited to hear from you. It is difficult for you to now claim some sort of moral high ground on the basis that we have held onto your £500 for 18 months. It was you who chose not to respond to my numerous requests to settle and you who have left matters this long. This could have been settled either directly or via the Courts back in 2012 if you were only prepared to focus on it.
> I am not sure what you mean by the 'employment' comment. It seems to be a comment to antagonise but is lost on me. Sorry.
> Re the 'facts':
> You continually seem to forget that you occupied a £1m property and were responsible for the house and it's contents. The £500 deposit you refer to is subject to any claims we would have on the condition of the property. As it is, you refused to accept the damage to the linen when you were advised of it. The item has a permanent dye stain on it, which a member of your group was responsible for. We tried to rescue the item but the dye mark would not budge. A new cover was therefore purchased.
> Following rejection by you of our previous offer, our current claim is for the replacement duvet cover, the three glasses and the resultant administration fee. You have so far refused to accept liability for the duvet or the admin fee and have refused to sign a dispute settlement document, so the issue is still very much in dispute. As such, we are completely within our rights to hold onto the full security deposit until such time as an agreement is reached and the dispute settlement document signed.
> For the record, we did have numerous other issues resulting from your stay, which we were prepared to waive as a matter of goodwill, but will reserve the right to review this goodwill gesture if the matter proceeds to Court. Your party is still, to date, the most destructive and aggressive booking we have ever endured. Take that information as you will.
> We, on the other hand, have approached you on three separate occasions to try to settle this but with no luck. On each occasion we have firmly stayed on the side of courteous, approachable and reasonable, all in an effort to secure a simple settlement to this issue.
> Those above are the facts.
> I have not heard from you for over 16 months now but am pleased that you have at last decided to try to reach resolution. I no more want to hold onto your remaining money any longer than you do. I would much rather settle the matter and move on. However, the passage of time does not change the facts as presented above. Simply put, we hold open our claim for the amount you were advised. We will happily pay that sum into court upon receipt of your claim. I have even been good enough to point out the negative elements of that process to your current stance and, as far as I can make out, you seem to be rejecting my advice as to how the Court will view things, and you want to proceed as you previously stated. That is your prerogative.
Just for the record, your assertion of the damages being only £9 are rejected a final time. Please don't request the same again, at it will be a waste of everyone's time. Our defence claim will be as advised to you previously in our email of 23rd August last, sub

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would like you to read the info given to you and advise me as to my legal position on recliaming my deposit.


Should I take this guy to court and if I do, what are my chnaces of winning?


He is very experinced with courts, I am not!




This is only a small claims court sum so the fact that he is experienced is a non issue. Also, just because somebody is always in court doesn't mean they are any good.

Obviously it comes down to the weight of the evidence. He is making allegations of damage and, if proven, then you will lose.

However, if he hasn't provided evidence of that then personally I would sue him. He might well cave in if you issue against him anyway and its not a sum really worth litigating over.

Even if he does provide evidence to the court, unless he has it date and time stamped in some way, you will still have the point that it could have been done afterwards.

Also, if you know you didn't cause this damage then it should not be possible for him to prove that it was caused by you.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please advise on his stance of pursuing a counter claim against me after he pays the court the money he has offered to do.


What about his stance on charging me admistration fees in providing me with the evidence?


What about his counter claim of reinstating the original charges against other alledged damages, an his costs being considerable?


What about his stance that the court will have a dim view of our reluctanace to accept his "offers" so far?


I dont think this guy will cave in - he makes a habit of being in court I think.






I can't see any detail about a counter claim except various threats to pursue one? He only has a counter claim if he's suffered loss.

He won't get admin charges.

He could claim his actual costs for putting right damage.

Generally speaking, courts do dislike people who refuse to negotiate but if the offers are not suitable then they are not suitable. Negotiation doesn't mean accepting bad deals.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He now claims he did send us photographic evidence of staining of bedlinen, but we did not recieve it. I have asked him to resnd the evidence.


Also, we did not sign any inventory upon entering the property and some have advised us that because of this he can not prove that we damaged anything.


What is your advice now?

Well, there is no admin cost in resending an email anyway.

If he sent them by email then he should have a record.

I wouldn't go as far as that on the point of the inventory. Inventories are just pieces of evidence. The fact that they do not exist does not mean that a claim cannot be proven. It just weakens it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please advise as to what the likely view of the court will be on this whole matter.





It comes down to the weight of the evidence. He is making allegations of damage and, if proven, then you will lose.

Obviously I will not know what view a court will take because I havent had full vision of the case.

However, unless he can prove what he alleges, which should not be possible on your account, he will lose.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you