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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 12071
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am in dispute with a holiday property owner who refuses to

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JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: i am in dispute with a holiday property owner who refuses to return the property deposit due to damage that occurred during Storm Francis in the summer
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have of course written to the owner who refuses
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: I have tried charge back with the bank but they say that it was an online transfer so they can't help.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have then applied for county court claim. the owner has replied rejecting the claim with a complete pack of lies about how we left the property which is simply not true. they have suggested mediation but I don't know what there is to mediate because I want the money back that we are owed

Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will do my best to resolve this quickly for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue. You can refuse mediation as it is optional and only works if a) both sides agree to it and b) there is some common ground - which there isn't.
My view is that you should press on with the claim. It will take a few months to resolve with it being contested but I see no problem with the merits as the damage was not your fault. I am sure you will win the claim - once you do, there are a variety of enforcement methods you can use if the owner still doesn't pay your claim, including bank account freeze (third party debt order), summons to court for questioning over their ability to pay, charging order on their property, bankruptcy (if they owe £5K ore more), attachment of earnings order if they are employed, etc. To answer your question, you are not obligated to participate in mediation even though the courts encourage it. If the owner flatly refuses to pay anything then it would be a waste of time and you should simply continue with the court proceedings. You might want to consider an application to strike out their defence if their defence has no merit - it would be a way of getting this court case over and done with sooner rather than letting it run its course. I would only recommend you make such an application if the defence has no merit though. I can give you the information you need it you want to attempt this - you should first invite them to settle within 7 days and tell them if they don't, you will apply to strike out the defence. The court would grant your application (at a hearing, after listening to you both) if you can show their defence has no merit and there is no good reason to let the claim run its course to a final hearing.

I hope this helps and answers the question which is easy to understand - please feel free to ask me anything else. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Thanks for using our services and have a good day,

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
thanks Jim, I am confident that we caused no damage, acted responsibly. my concern is her false claims where she says she has photographic evidence. how can we prove that any photos were not taken of the property in the pristine condition that we left it
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
sorry I didn't no there was a further fee please do not call

Hi, I can’t take a call at the moment but other experts are free to contact you. If no one calls you then you will not be charged for it - an "authorisation" has been made for payment, that's all. However, the call request is open to all experts. If you would like to cancel the call and the charge, customer services can be contacted here:

Well if she wants to succeed in her defence she needs to show dates with the photographs to stand the best chance of success. It would come down to that and also your word against hers.

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