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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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What can my cousin do about a storage facility in London

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What can my cousin do about a storage facility in London that registered her new card details in person, to continue automatic payments, then claimed she did not pay and disposed of her belongings? She has been traveling and did not receive the scant notices sent to her mail receiving company. She found out yesterday, but they gave her the runaround, seeming to know nothing, and no one who knew anything was available. She lost very personal and valuable items. She is devastated

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Are you in the UK?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Are you still corresponding with me? Please let me know what you think.

Many thanks for your patience. As promised I am replying today. As she can obviously not recover her belongings, the only thing she can really do is to consider a claim for compensation against the company by arguing they had acted negligently in the circumstances, which in turn caused her losses. The compensation would be for the value of the missing items, based on their worth at the time.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the compensation in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. That's very helpful. I'll pass it on. The facility manager does seem vague though, as - after saying everything was taken away by a disposal company - he told her yesterday he would have to look into the case and go to her unit to see if anything is left (when she was told by another employee it was already rented - by a worker who also said her things may be at another facility). Lots of mixed messages.

Ok well that is at least some good news as it means that some of the items may still eb salvageable which is probably better than getting compensation for them as it won’t replace these which are unique or of sentimental value.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. Not sure, she is waiting for more info. Something does not add up, and I don't think she will let this go until it is resolved.

No problem thanks

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