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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Our house is beside the river. Our boat is usually moored at

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Hello, Our house is beside the river. Our boat is usually moored at the end of our garden. Our boat is currently with a boat repairer/servicing company at a nearby Marina. There is a lock between our house and the marina. This lock is closed and has been since early March (because a boat sank in front of one of the entrances, and the Environment Agency have not removed yet). The work on our boat was completed in the second week of March. If the lock had been open, I would have collected our boat at that time and motored up the river, through the lock to our house. However, because the lock is impassable, the boat is trapped at the repairers - until such time as the Environment Agency re-opens the lock. THE ISSUE: The repairers want to charge me a weekly storage fee - from March 19th to May 31st (£54 incl per week). They haven't made it clear yet if they want to continue to charge me a weekly fee up until the lock is finally open (but I assume they will). They explain that the landlords of the Marina have continued to charge THEM for the hard-standing boat spaces that they rent, so they of course will have to charge us. MY FEELINGS: I feel, as I cannot remove our boat, it is morally wrong for the repairers to charge us. MY QUESTION: Do I have any legal argument? or, is it just my bad luck in having this unfortunate timing, and I should pay?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, I received their emailed explanation, with attached invoice, two weeks ago. And I have not replied yet.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, thank you.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for persevering with my question by referring it to another solicitor.
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

what is the hold up from the Enviromental Agency in removing this sunken boat?

when did you last have contact?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. Thank you for your email. The reason for the Environment Agency's holdup in removing the sunken boat has been given as the Coronavirus situation. Their staff have been on other tasks. My last contact from the Environment Agency was on Friday, 5th June.

Thank you. What you want in an ideal situation, apart from the obvious of getting the boat back to the front of your house?

What is preventing that? The removal of the sunken boat?

Usually this would be dealt with by Waterways so what of the Environmental Agency got to do with it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question is simply about whether or not it is right that the Boat Repairers should request a weekly payment for storage of my boat for the 6.5 weeks, when they know that I was unable to remove the boat during that time? Do I have any legal argument? or, is it just my bad luck in having this unfortunate timing, and I should therefore pay?

As you appreciate, we live in unprecedented times.

Therefore, if they take you to court for the storage costs, bearing in mind that none of this is of their making but by the same token, none of its of your making, Lord only knows which way the courts are going to go.

You certainly didn’t agree to this and therefore there can be no contract to pay GBP54 per week or for that matter, any amount of money at all.

In the current lockdown situation it seems that they cannot even argue that they have been suffering a loss by the occupation of your boat in this space unless they can prove that they could have had another boat in its place. What they are doing of course, and it’s nothing to do with the legalities shooting themselves in the foot because what they are doing is alienating the customer by being greedy.

If they are refusing to release the boat until such time as you pay up then you can always pay up under pressure/duress and take them to the Small Claims Court for reimbursement and let the court decide.

My suggestion is to tell them what I have said, that this is neither your fault nor their fault and as they have suffered no loss, what they are asking for is unreasonable but under the circumstances you are prepared to meet them halfway and pay half in providing whatever they are asking for now is the end of it.

However this is not based upon any legal premise is based upon the practicalities of avoiding going to

If they don’t agree then it’s got to be decided one way or the other by a Small Claims Court judge.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear F E Smith, THANK YOU for your comprehensive and easy-to-understand answer. Much appreciated! Kind Regards ***** *****