Small Claims Court Page 3

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  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 10:20:44 27,355 posts
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    Didn't know this thread existed. Good thing it does as I have a question to ask:

    A former lodger of mine absconded owing rent, unpaid utility bills, breaking the sofa, causing damage to the value of a couple of thousand quid and stealing one of my 360s. This was about three months ago.

    After initially contacting the police (about the stolen Xbox more than anything else), he claimed it was a present I gave him (it sure as fuck wasn't). Upon being asked by the police why I would give something like that as a present to a lodger, he then made the outrageous claim that we were having a secret affair and it was lover's gift (I can't describe how angry that made me). After that, the police promptly declared it to be a civil matter and wouldn't pursue it, saying I would have to go through small claims.

    The problem is, I have absolutely no idea where he has buggered off to and unsurprisingly he is not exactly going to tell me is he? I have what I assume to be a valid mobile number for him (assuming he hasn't changed it). I know where he used to work, but again no way of confirming if he is still there.

    So, if I want to take it to small claims (and I most certainly do), how do I go about issuing a summons? I could ask for it to be sent to his (possibly old) employer in the hope they would pass it to him if he is still there or would forward it on to him. I've also had it suggested that I could send it to his last known address - which would actually be my own. Neither of those are exactly appealing to me, and it is my understanding that if I get a summons issued to those addresses and a default judgement is made in my favour in his absence, he can later get it easily overturned on the basis of having not been made aware of a summons in the first place.

    What are my options?

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • elstoof 26 Nov 2012 10:26:00 7,367 posts
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    Was he named on any of these bills, did he have a tenancy agreement, is the mobile number on a contract?
  • nickthegun 26 Nov 2012 10:27:05 59,937 posts
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    I'm going to go out on limb and assume that because you were sub-letting, there was no contract between the two of you.

    I think you can probably take it from there.

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  • Load_2.0 26 Nov 2012 10:48:17 19,281 posts
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    Damage in the thousands? Did he knock down a wall?
  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 10:51:44 27,355 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    I'm going to go out on limb and assume that because you were sub-letting, there was no contract between the two of you.

    I think you can probably take it from there.
    It's not the rent that bothers me, that's only a small amount of the total. I'm more concerned about the thousands of property damage and theft.

    With regards to his phone being contract or payg, I honestly don't know. If it helps, texts still deliver to it.

    He didn't have a written rental agreement, but I've looked into this and been told that in the absence of a written agreement, after a certain period of time an implied verbal agreement comes into effect and there is precedent for having it accepted in court.

    Though he has never denied that he lived there or paid rent. He even freely admits he wrecked the sofa, the carpets and damaged my property. He simply refuses to pay for the damage - not because he says he isn't liable, but because he says "you should just get a new one anyway, the sofa and carpets were old" (fwiw they weren't even five years old, which is hardly ancient when it comes to carpets and sofas).

    I'm just asking on advice about how to go about tracking him down/issuing a summons rather than people's thoughts about the merits of the case itself.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 10:55:46 27,355 posts
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    Load_2.0 wrote:
    Damage in the thousands? Did he knock down a wall?
    Wrote off an expensive leather sofa and carpets, a listed window in his room, wrecked the toilet resulting in a replacement of the whole flush system, caused damage to the front door around and including the lock after he drunkenly broke in after losing his keys and destroyed a lot of personal property.

    This was all while I was away for a few days at a family funeral.

    Edited by darkmorgado at 10:56:11 26-11-2012

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Mr_Sleep 26 Nov 2012 11:02:11 17,074 posts
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    Wow, classy guy.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • RyanDS 26 Nov 2012 11:04:22 9,377 posts
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    Dude, get a lawyer. If it is that much money involved don't screw around on forums asking questions, shell out for professional advice.

    A good lawyer would have been through this before and can give advice.
  • Rusty_M 26 Nov 2012 11:17:17 4,691 posts
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    Doesn't small claims only do cases up to the value of £750? Not sure as my memory is rusty on this (no pun intended)

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 11:23:53 27,355 posts
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    It's up to 5,000

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • elstoof 26 Nov 2012 11:29:50 7,367 posts
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    With no tenancy agreement, any time spent living there amounts to a sitting tenancy - the law tends to fall on their side as far as I know it. It's very hard even to evict someone who is living in a property as a sitting tenant. Without an agreement in place there's no guideline set out for expectations to care for any furniture. I'm sorry to say it doesn't look too good for any claim you try to make, if it were me I'd hound his employer to see if he still works there before turning up in a balaclava and breaking a knee or two.
  • Megapocalypse 26 Nov 2012 11:34:09 5,427 posts
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    Get down to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Giving advice regarding matters like this is what they're there for.
  • graysonavich 26 Nov 2012 11:52:07 7,353 posts
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    Chalk it up to a life lesson and put the kettle on.
  • Salaman 26 Nov 2012 12:16:14 19,068 posts
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    graysonavich wrote:
    Chalk it up to a life lesson and put the kettle on.
    Easier said than done that!
  • DaM 26 Nov 2012 12:31:59 13,225 posts
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    Could you maybe track him down to his new residence, and cut the electricity cables in the middle of the night?
  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 12:38:07 27,355 posts
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    It's tracking down where he is now that's the problem!

    I understand that I can get a default judgement in his absence, but it's a bit pointless doing that if I then have no way of enforcing it and recovering the money because I can't find him (other than the satisfaction of knowing that least I've screwed him with a CCJ for the shit he pulled). I know once you have a judgement you can pay to hire bailiffs to track them down etc etc, but I don't really want to go down that route.

    If I send the summons/ initial intent letter to who was his employer at the time, what are the chances of them forwarding it to him if he is no longer at the company? I suppose I could send an intent letter there and see what they do with it.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • LeoliansBro 26 Nov 2012 12:40:02 44,246 posts
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    You'll be at this for years. It isn't worth it.

    Also how did he 'write off' a listed window in his room? And why is that, or the door, your problem. The landlord shoud be chasing him, and if he's after you instead it's your own fault for not covering yourself.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Chopsen 26 Nov 2012 12:40:39 15,999 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    graysonavich wrote:
    Chalk it up to a life lesson and put the kettle on.
    Easier said than done that!
    Did he take the kettle, too?
  • Rusty_M 26 Nov 2012 12:59:02 4,691 posts
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    darkmorgado wrote:
    It's up to £5,000
    See, I knew I was ri-
    Oh.

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • Deleted user 26 November 2012 12:59:50
    Salaman wrote:
    graysonavich wrote:
    Chalk it up to a life lesson and put the kettle on.
    Easier said than done that!
    POTD!
  • nickthegun 26 Nov 2012 13:00:23 59,937 posts
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    I assume he paid you in cash with no receipts given?

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  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 13:04:28 27,355 posts
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    The rent was paid by bank transfer, so that was fine, but he failed to make the final payment and then did a runner. Utilities were paid in cash, but trying to get him to actually hand the money over for them was like trying to get blood out of a stone. I wanted him to be added to the utilities and pay by a monthly payment but he utterly refused to do it that way unless I basically handed him equal control over the property.

    I've got all the losses calculated, have sorted written independent valuations for damage estimates on the personal stuff he wrecked from two different businesses, etc. So I've done all the legwork around being able to show how I reached the figures. I have witnesses who can verify my version of events, and I have texts and emails between myself and him about his failure to pay the utilities and his promises to do so, him acknowledging he wrecked the stuff but refusing to pay the repairs/replacements etc etc (despite earlier promises to do so). So in terms of proving my story I'm covered.

    Like I said I just need a way to track him down so I can send off a summons (which I'm 99% confident he will ignore anyway, resulting in a default judgement in my favour).

    Edited by darkmorgado at 13:10:47 26-11-2012

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • LeoliansBro 26 Nov 2012 13:05:20 44,246 posts
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    Sounds like you've screwed yourself out of some cash then.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • nickthegun 26 Nov 2012 13:07:51 59,937 posts
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    Im no law talking guy but in the case of He Said V She Said, they found in favour of the defendant.

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  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 13:12:14 27,355 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    Im no law talking guy but in the case of He Said V She Said, they found in favour of the defendant.
    Read my edit above :-)

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Deckard1 26 Nov 2012 13:16:03 27,995 posts
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    Did you make love to this man?
  • spamdangled 26 Nov 2012 13:21:14 27,355 posts
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    Deckard1 wrote:
    Did you make love to this man?
    Jesus christ no. A thousand times no.

    He said that to wriggle out of a criminal charge of theft.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Deleted user 26 November 2012 13:22:26
    Just be grateful he's willing to publicly suggest you were having an affair with him.
  • Deleted user 26 November 2012 13:23:14
    Do you have any evidence at all you weren't having a secret affair and gave it him as a gift?
  • LeoliansBro 26 Nov 2012 13:23:15 44,246 posts
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    So you had to deny shagging him a thousand times??

    Sounds like at least some of them are likely to have an element of truth.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

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