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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78665
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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A person left their stuff at my house without my permission

Customer Question

A person left their stuff at my house without my permission after they had stayed with me for 2 months. When i found it, i told them to pick it up and they didnt. They owe me almost 600 pounds and i told them I wouldnt give their stuff back until they paid me. They now sent a fake contract saying if i didnt pay them by august 5 they would sue me.
JA: Where are they? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: They left their stuff with me in London and then went to America for a month. They are now back in London.
JA: What steps have they taken so far?
Customer: They texted me asking if they could pick it up. I said I wasn't available and then they sent their friends over unannounced when I was in the shower. I told them it would be at least the end of the week. I talked to my therapist and he said I should send an invoice with payment terms and if they didn't pay me to say i would sell their belongings to get the money that they owed me. They then disputed the invoice, didn't pay it, and now just sent me a contract they wrote up themselves with no legal authority. Am i able to send pictures on here?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The reason I'm being strict with them paying me is because he destroyed my room, was a nuisance to my flatmate, and used the treat of staying with my rapist as a tactic for free rent. I would not have let him stay otherwise. I know he is still in contact with said person so I'm angry and don't want to give in.
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
A person left their stuff at my house without my permission after they had stayed with me for 2 months. When i found it, i told them to pick it up and they didn't. They owe me almost 600 pounds and i told them I wouldn't give their stuff back until they paid me. They now sent a fake contract saying if i didn't pay them by the 5th of August they would take legal action or sue me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

I understand you are withholding someone's belongings as they owe you a sum of money. Did you actually loan this money to them?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I didn't loan them money. They stayed in my room and destroyed my belongings and agreed to pay me back for them months ago and haven't.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
There was an option to call and then it went away because the payment method was declined. I just approved it on my banking app
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hi there. Phone calls are an additional service, which is entirely optional. You do not need to choose to request a phone call as I am still here to deal with your original query in writing over this chat.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

OK thanks, ***** ***** should this person have paid you by?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I payed the 44 pounds for it and the transaction went through.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
August 31st. I just sent him an invoice though it's wasn't legally approved or anything
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

I am an independent user on this site, in the same way as you are, which means that unfortunately I have no involvement in processing phone calls or in the billing side of things. If you need to query anything to do with phone calls, billing, charges or membership, you may be able to take certain actions by going to your account on this site. Alternatively, please contact the site’s customer service team directly. You can find their contact details by following this link: https://www.justanswer.co.uk/help/contact-us. Hopefully, they will resolve any issues you have to your satisfaction.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I'm most concerned about the "contract" he sent me and if it's legally binding or not. My Dad is a lawyer and said it wasn't but while he works in the UK he is only qualified in the US so I wanted to check with a UK lawyer.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Okay I can chat via message. It's just hard to explain because this started out as petty friend drama and now I received papers he made of a what I think is a fake contract which says I owe him more than 10k.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

OK so please upload a copy of it on here

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
File attached (QPL5Z5L)
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
We never had a contract. He left his things at my house without me knowing and I told him to pick them up months ago and he did not
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
as stated before, I was not aware and did not agree for him to store his belongings at my house
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.
Thank you. Please leave this with me for now and I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Okay. I will gather other information regarding the payments and payment requests from my side in the meantime because after reading the contract again, his claims are false.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi can you please prioritize this chat. I know it's legally that important but it's very easy to solve. I have anxiety amongst a number of other mental issues and this is quite triggering for me.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
This is what I want to say back to him.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Joe,Thank you for taking the time to make and write up a contract that doesn’t exist. As I will state further in this message, nothing was agreed upon except you paying me back for listed items and me storing the glass, which your friends have already retrieved.I told you I would contact you when I was available for your things to be collected, and I said it was going to be at least the end of the week. I told you not to contact me until you paid the money you owed me, listed on the invoice. You also broke those payment terms. I blocked you because you responded in dispute of the invoice after I said not to. My phone was stolen, so that might be why your calls weren’t going through. I have barely been home and will not be home until Friday morning. You sent your friends over unannounced at wildly inappropriate time.You verbally agreed to pay the difference in energy costs during your stay in the car on the way back from your storage unit. You said you would replace the candles when I was still in LA almost 3 months ago and before you left for America they were in the mail when they were not, that you would fix or replace my sweater you ruined in February and haven’t, you took it upon yourself to deduct a candle that wasn’t included. I took the sweater to a dry cleaner and they said it was not possible to restore it to original quality because of the type of cashmere and severity of damage.I never agreed to watch your stuff. You didn’t tell me you were leaving it. It’s not my problem you didn’t check for anything I didn’t move into into hall. When I saw it, I told you to pick it up and you didn’t. You took no measures to have someone pick them up. Your belongings you left are not my responsibility.I know you didn’t just get back to London. It’s not my fault I’m busy/away when you choose to contact me and haven’t had the time to fully dig through my stuff to search for yours.I told you I found some of them. It’s not my fault or problem if some aren’t here. I’m not legally responsible for you leaving/forgetting your stuff somewhere without asking. This is the equivalent of someone forgetting their jacket at a bar. The bar is not responsible for left items.There have been multiple people staying at my flat, there still is someone staying, movers in and out, and it’s is still a mess from when you stayed.I’m sure you can understand my annoyance and lack of moral to go out of my way to search for your belongings, when you refuse to pay what you owe me and threatened to stay with my rapist of a year and a half if not at mine. You held that over my head, and the only reason I let you stay in my room was to try and prevent you from having contact with him. I know you still have contact with him. And on top of all of your other behaviours, that's the lowest and most sickening.I told you I would give it back once you paid me everything you owed. I agree not to sell anything, but if you don’t pay me back in timely fashion I will also take legal action for harassment and emotional abuse for using Evan as a tactic for free rent and dodging financial responsibilities in consequence for using excess energy in terms of leaving lights on, using the washer on the longest cycle multiple times a day, and all around being a terrible house guest in which caused long-term immense stress on me and my housemate.I also will not hesitate to pursue legal action against him to prove your threats of him as emotional abuse. I’ve also spoken to a lawyer and your said “contract” is not legally viable in any way, shape, or form, and my claims will hold up in court.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I researched harassment and emotional abuse legal qualifications and what he did qualifies
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have evidence of the sexual abuse that I was not going to file, because I didn't want to go through the effort and I'm great at dissociating, but this situation is beyond triggering and I will do all means necessary for this man to pay me the mere £600.00 this man owes me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

This is an example of bailment, which occurs where one party takes possession of another's goods, for a limited purpose or duration. During a period of bailment, the ownership of the goods does not transfer and legal title remains with the original owner. Once the purpose for which the goods are taken is fulfilled (most commonly an outstanding payment being made), the goods will return to their rightful owner.

Both parties have separate duties in these circumstances. The bailee is the person who takes possession of the goods. They have a duty to take reasonable care of them, to perform any pre-agreed tasks in relation to them and to return them in accordance with the terms of the bailment (i.e. when the conditions for return are met).

The bailor is the original owner of the goods and they have a duty to pay for any agreed service undertaken by the bailee and to collect the goods at the appointed time or within a reasonable period thereafter.

A common dispute that arises in bailment situations is that of lien – this occurs where the bailee decides to retain possession of the goods until they are paid for their services. Whilst that is indeed possible it would depend on whether the reasons for doing so are fair and justifiable, such as if they have good cause to challenge the bailor’s refusal to pay.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

If the bailee wants to eventually dispose of the goods, such as to recover any associated costs or losses, this right exists under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. Under section 12 of the Act, the bailee must give the owner notice in the prescribed form to collect the goods within a reasonable time. If the bailor does not collect, or otherwise give directions for redelivery, then the bailee is entitled to sell the goods (at the best method available, normally by auction). He must account to the owner for the sale proceeds but is entitled to associated costs and sale expenses.

The requirements for notice are that it must:

- be in writing

- be delivered to the bailor, left at his proper address, or sent by post

- specify the name and address of the bailor and give sufficient particulars of the goods and the address or place where they are held, and

- state that the goods are ready for delivery to the bailor

Where the goods are to be sold, the notice must also specify:

- the date on or after which the bailee proposes to sell the goods

- the amount, if any, which is payable by the bailor to the bailee in respect of the goods, and which became due before giving of the notice

- the notice shall be sent by registered or recorded delivery post

Whilst the duration of notice is not explicitly specified, 28 days is reasonable if you are simply disposing of them and are not pursuing them for further payments, although if payment is demanded in respect of the goods (for example in relation to a storage charge or other debts) then the law states that not less than three months' notice shall be given before the goods shall be sold by auction, or otherwise disposed.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
There was no prearranged agreement. I physically was not in my flat and not aware of any items stored.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I think it is unclear because
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I don't have access to my messages because my phone was stolen and I cant counter act his claims.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello again and thank you for your further queries, which I will be more than happy to answer. A written agreement was not necessary, that was just a general explanation on what could be relevant but in the end it could be a simple case of the obligations of one party being simply to return the money owed.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you. I have a few more questions. I sent him an invoice saying that he needed to pay me by July 31st attached here
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
File attached (3QL52P6)
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Can I send him the same thing he sent me in return because he did not pay me on invoice terms and has owed me money since February?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
how can he value the painting he did himself at 10,000 pounds? He verbally told me it was a gift, and after I didn't receive payment last Sunday and found out he was still in contact with the person who sexually assaulted me I stabbed a hole in it.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Im bipolar and have borderline personality disorder and had an episode
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

You can indeed send the same thing if needed. As to the value of the painting, he may have a figure in mind but unless it has been officially valued by an expert, that would mean nothing.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Ben, I need you again. This was his response : Betsy,I have never offered you the painting. Nor would I.I'm no longer going back and forth with you on this matter. I am giving you until tomorrow Monday the 15th of August to accept my offer (and this is the last time I will offer it).
Otherwise I will have to go to the police.Here are your options:You accept my offer to pay for the replacement of your jumper and replacement of three new candles.- Or -I will come to your house with an officer and my attorney to collect my belongings.You are actively breaking the law. You are refusing to give back items which do not belong to you. This is a criminal act of theft, and it will be reported to the police as such.You are not a bailiff or a landlord. You have no right to legally withhold anything from me.I am being more than patient with you and out of respect I am trying to find a means to reconcile. However, I legally am not obligated.You are illegally withholding my belongings which is a criminal offence.You have until Monday to decide which route you'd like to take this in.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 days ago.

Hello, thanks for getting in touch. We do kindly ask that customers post any related follow up queries within 7 days of submitting their original question. After that time, if you need further support, we would request that a new question is posted as we cannot offer indefinite assistance under one query. If you need any further help on this matter please post it as a new question on our site. Many thanks