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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68004
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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In 2013 I put furniture etc into storage - 1 indoor

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In 2013 I put furniture etc into storage - 1 indoor container (everything fine) 2 external containers (everything beyond repair) When we collected our things we realised that the containers were difficult to open; had large heavy objects on the roof; holes in the roof; woodworm and collapsed floor in one and clearly something had been burning on the roof of the other. i have been trying to get the owners to respond to me or my son, but they say they will and weeks go past and we get the message that they're really busy. I spent £8000+ on this storage and would at least like that money back...the contents are beyond repair and mostly have ended up at the dump, or smashed up and burnt. I understand that these people themselves realise that the outdoor containers are not fit for purpose and I have email correspondence to that effect. What can I do?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in Scotland. The containers are in Cockerham, near Lancaster
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Email correspondance
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't know

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.

Have they provided any explanation at all for the damage caused to your furniture?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
no, they haven't although they did admit that they are no longer using outdoor containers

I note you placed the furniture in storage in 2013, so when exactly did you collect it all?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Probably around June2019

OK and did they provide insurance with the storage?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I can't afford to ring you. I keep getting text msgs on my landline to contact you. I am a pensioner and also can't hear very well, so this isn't helping me

Don’t worry about the pop-up mentioning a phone call – this is an automatic offer made by the system, giving you the opportunity to pay extra to discuss things over the phone. However, it is entirely optional and if you just ignore it and close it down you will not be charged extra and we will just continue in writing at no extra cost as soon as you can tell me whether they provided insurance with the storage?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No, I don't know if they did provide insurance. I asked a couple of ins companies about insurance, but they wouldn't insure the contents because I wasn't able to look after the containers

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Assuming you cannot get the company to voluntarily compensate you, it may have to come down to you initiating some more formal action against them to do so.

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 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 for this information. I appreciate your clarity and hopefully the matter can be resolved using the above. However, I am unsure of what to make a claim for - the rental costs exclusively, or guess at the value of the goods and put an arbitrary figure on them - and add this too? What price to pay for sentiment....or replacement value?

It can be difficult to determine the actual costs to claim and generally it would be the costs to replace the damaged goods, but at their current value, so not a new-for-old replacement. You probably won’t be able to get a refund for the full service costs but a proportion of that. Finally, sentiment will unlikely be considered as you cannot place a value on that so you have to only claim for their actual financial value.

Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello - Thank you. I will gather the correspondence and set about composing a letter.

All the best