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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6470
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have an issue concerning the t&c's that a removals company

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Good morning,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: I have an issue concerning the t&c's that a removals company are trying to enforce. They severely damaged a valuable painting and are insisting that their liability is only £40 as their very extensive and illegible t&c's confirm. Can I challenge their t&c's for being printed in such small type (and extending to over 6,000 words) and for for unfairly limiting my legal rights ?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: eNGLAND
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

A company such as their cannot circumvent negligence by adding in a clause in their terms and conditions.

I will find a template letter for you to use. How much is the painting worth (roughly)?.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi - it's worth at least £10,000

Sorry, I cannot take a call at the moment. If no one calls you then you will not be charged for it. However, the call request is open to all experts - if you want to cancel the call then please send an email to [email protected]. I can continue with the question online if that suits?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
please cancel the call
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
And send me the information by email

You have two allegations against the removals company :

1. breach of contract given the poor service (breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in failing to provide a service carried out with reasonable care and skill); and

2. a remedy for compensation due to negligence on their part.

I would recommend that you send the removals company a 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 tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards if they do not repay you. You can contact Trading Standards on 03454 040506 if required.

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.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: http://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) 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 are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee. If this applies, let me know as you cannot use the online money claims site – you have to use the paper N1 claim form and the EX160 fee remission form (I have copies).

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 (and then apply to force a sale), application to wind up the company, apply to summons them 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

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