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  1. Hi All Ok, well i have read quite some posts here and seen the letters to be used for debt collection. Situation in brief: 2 debts outstanding with BG - 1 for Gas 1 for Electricity - each just under £100 In March i agreed to pay of £33 a month for each Unfortunately I cannot do that anymore and am paying £10 a month Phoned BG to re-arrange payment - they verbally refused - nothing in writing from either side (probably should have) So now BG has forwarded my debt to Central Recoveries. I got the letter from Central Recoveries before BG stating they were moving, even though BG is dated the 4th and Central Recoveries the 11th. I pay every month on the 3rd I was in the process of writing a letter but thought to use this site first for info. Good that I did! Couple of queries: 1) I never signed anything with BG. They supplied through my previous landlord who passed on my details. So i just started paying but cannot remember ever signing an agreement. Does this make me liable or is my previous landlord / BG in breach of something? Should I ask for CCA? and if they cannot provide what is next step? (bit confused there ) 2) Can BG refuse a new payment plan? Which is reasonable within my current financial situation. 3) Who should I deal with, BG or Central Recoveries (CR from now on)? 4) CR demands either full payment (with 15% discount!) or court action. Is this right? Shouldn't they accept also a payment plan or is that up to court to decide? 5) I keep getting unknown phonecalls without anyone leaving messages. I assume some are BG, as a 0845 nr matches. But no messages left. Isn't this getting in to harassment? In itself I do not really dispute the debt, because after all i was using gas and electricity. But part of the reason I moved as the Landlord was 'cr*p' (sorry for that, I know now not all Landlords are like that). Any ideas and help will be much appreciated. They are really chasing me so want to get this to stop! And actually get my act together. This is my only debt I have apart from my credit card (which I just have hopefully moved over to 0% interest @ Virgin). Cheers Little -------------------------- Reference: Central Recoveries - PO box 52, Hattersley, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 3PQ (do I not need a real address?)
  2. Lol this made me and my techie OH laugh. (He has bootstraps!) But on a serious note, this is what the techie suggests: If you have contiguous data and need an image then the linux/raid combination sounds like a good option. If you just need to safe files the external USB drives are great and depending if you have a month spare to sit and click and drag your files, you could use something like LaCie drives as these proved to be most reliable for long term storage (as long as you dont knock them over) Other then that avoid tapes - cheap but apparently difficult to get 2nd set of equipment to read the original tapes. Even problems with same equipment few months later! Depending on budget it might be wise to invest in a firewire 800 card as usb 3 isnt here yet. THis will safe you many many hours of transferring. These are the best cheap options depending on technical skill. Other then that the cheapest option is pop down to Woolworths and buy a large stack of jotter pads for your 1's and 0's (apparently you techies understand this) Ok i am totally confused by this but hope you understand what my OH was rambling about Good Luck LMS
  3. Hi All Well my partner also has intolerance to gluten and we always try to buy rye bread (or as we also call it German bread). That he can 'stomach' We buy this at the moment from our local veggie delivery service (abel-cole) along with gorgeous fresh veggies. The bread is so fresh that even after 3/4 days you still dont need to toast it as it still tastes fresh. Other good places to buy are local country delicatessen, or if you are lucky, the local polish shops (which we have zillions of in our area). Hope this helps LMS
  4. Mike -> unfortunately we paid cash (well one friend did). I know now we shouldnt have done, but that is knowledge we did not have before Zam -> we paid as much as it said on the signs i.e. the total of clamp, administration and tow car. The tow car guy was so nice to not charge us the £15 we should also have paid if the car would have been on the truck. As it wasnt we did not pay for this (which we used to buy some drinks for later in the evening ) Cheers for the replies. Hopefully there is something we can do because its a lot of money
  5. Hi All Ok, my first post on this part, hopefully it makes sense. Any help will be much appreciated. This is to help out a friend. We all visited one of our friends on Saturday night. She just moved into a small estate where there is private parking, related to the people living on that estate. She had made arrangements with the owners of her block that we could park in front of the building. So my friend parked here and surprisingly was clamped within 10 min. Apparently he had parked in a space that was not linked to the apparment block of the friend we were visiting, but to other houses in the same estate. To us it looked like one big square were you could park, not really clear that different slots belong to different owners. As my friend assumed he parked legally (as he got arrangements from the friend we visited) he didnt read all the signs, as he thought that he would not be clamped. Although the area is full of signs we were not aware that there were different areas within this total parking ground for different appartment blocks. Also the signs were not lit and as it was dark, you wouldnt be able to read them, unless you were standing right in front of them. It is also not clear which slot is run by which company. The costs were very hefty. On top of my head we had to pay over £200 pounds. This was for clamping, administation fee and tow truck. Apparently the policy of this clamping company is that they clamp and immediately call out a truck for removal. We tried to argue for only paying for the clamp removal and not the truck, but they said, sorry the truck is called, its here within seconds, so we cannot remove that charge. So my question is, can we fight this????? And what is the best way to do this? Cheers LMS
  6. Hi all thanks for the messages. Tom -> send you a PM Crutey -> landlord is dealing with them so hopefully it leaves me out of it Thanks for the advice LMS
  7. as far as the letter states they are certified bailiffs or civil enforcement agents. And the thing is, i dont want them to have my details, that is none of their business. Why should i give it to them, they know the person doesnt live here anymore, Landlord has stated that numerous times, this agency just does not listen. And also a quick check with the council would show i live here and this person not anymore. I think the best thing to do is wait and see what happens. Just not opening doors to strangers My landlord has called the bailiffs to back off, and if they dont he is going to sue them for at least harrasment. LMS
  8. Ok, to cut a long story short. I am getting tons of message from different debt agencies regarding problems from the previous tenant of the house I now rent. To make it all worse, today a letter came in stating that they will come next week to take possessions to clear the debt. I am in urgent talks with my landlord to get it dealt with, but what can I do in the meantime. I am sick of all these messages and getting scared that I have to prove I am not this person or know this person, to people I dont want to know who I am. It scares me to think what tactics they can do. All previous post has always been returned to them and above all if they would bother to check the council, they would see I live there now and not this person Please help in to stop these people hassling my life Any advice is hugely appreciated LMS (well not so sunny today) Any advise on how to deal with this? Thanks LMS
  9. Hi Joa sorry bad wording there (blame to OH) What I meant was; before using the switch think about falling on your knees in case of a shock. So when you get a shock you fall on your knees. Being on your knees would break you off the current. When you think about something you have to do (instead of dont) you will remember that in case something happens. Trick of the mind. It is like instead of thinking "i must not forget my mobile" you should think "i must remember my mobile" Different wording but second is positive and gives the right outcome (well should do) Hope thats clearer LMS
  10. Ouch, that doesnt sound good. But here some advice, my OH is engineer and gives the following tips: * if you get a shock from a lightswitch (hope not though), put in your head to fall on your knees. Because that will break you off the current. * the lights flickering is quite likely due to no proper earthing. Which means any electricity will go through the person touching the light into earth * if the lightswitch is metal, unlikely, do not use it * if it is plastic the contacts have probably worn out and pose a real threat of fire. Again better not use it! * give the landlord 24hrs to sort out this dangerous situation and if he doesnt want to do anything state that you will call for an emergency electrician and bill the landlord accordingly Dont worry too much, but be careful of what you plug into the sockets as well. Make sure that if you really need to plug in/out something, have someone around in case of problems. Hope this all sorts out quickly. At my old house the electrics were shambles also and the landlord sadly didnt do anything about. I just hope that a law comes in place quickly, both for the safety of tenant and landlord. LMS
  11. I am not here to take sides but wonder the following. If stated that the landlord does not provide picture hooks or shelving on the wall, and in the contract it says you are not allowed to 'alter'/'decorate', will this mean that you have to stare at empty walls all the time? Sorry but that doesnt sound enjoyable to me. Imagine your own house and you dont have any pictures, paintings or mirrors hanging on the walls nor any clocks or whatsover. Do you still think its an enjoyable home. If you rent for only short term that is different, but if you stay for couple of years i would think that most people would like to hang something on the wall. I would, otherwise I would go crazy. I guess there are 2 options here: 1) landlords should provide houses with picture hooks, shelving etc 2) tenant asks permission to hang up pictures, shelving etc. To be honest I never thought this all would fall under alternations and always hung up stuff on the wall (but well fit and carefull where). Never asked the landlord for permission and they never complained during housing inspections. If it is against contract, why dont they say something about it?? I do go here with the o/p that its strange it was never mentioned Just my thoughts here LMS
  12. Hi All Ok this is a bit shocking and something that everyone should check urgently, no matter if you are tenant/landlord/homeowner. When I moved out of my old house I found out that the oven in the kitchen was wired into a 13amp fused main plug (clearly labelled on the plug). However, since then I have spoken to several engineers (including BBC and British Gas) and they all confirmed that this is illegal and extremely dangerous. The oven needs to be wired into the separate special ring main in the kitchen which is a 40amp fuse and is marked as such. Not having done this properly causes increased risk of fire and electrical shock (most likely deadly) :o All the engineers I spoke to were surprised I survived this kitchen for all those years!!!!! So please check your own situation and make sure you are in a safe kitchen. Please dont mess around in the kitchen yourself, get a professional recommended engineer. LMS
  13. Hi All this post is to inform people of what is and is not possible when you have a dispute. I think it is both useful for tenants and landlords. As some might have read I had a fairly unpleasant experience over the last year with my previous landlord/agency. Although some here on the site have given me useful information, this still did not satisfy me and I decided to ask an independent organisation to look into this. I did this not to get personal gain but to see what is and is not legal and to help future tenants who might sign up with this agency. Finally after several weeks of communication between me and the Trading standards they finally had a meeting with my previous landlord/agency and below an outcome of the result. 1. Issue relating to advertised rental prices I had a dispute with the agency regarding what they advertised and what they asked (this related to offers in excess of). See below the reply. With regard to the issue of pricing I will have to seek some further advice from the Office of Fair Trading as the practice of asking for "offers in excess of" with regard to rent is unusual and I can find no precedent for it. I have advised the agents that they cannot charge tenants over the amount stated in their advertisements if no "offers in excess of" statement is included in the advert. Also that they should not raise rental charges after they have been agreed with prospective or sitting tenants am not particularly happy with the "offers in excess of" practice as applied to lets as I feel it may give rise to an auction of sorts. It may ,however, not be an illegal practice. 2. Issue relating to for sale signs. I had a dispute with them regarding signs they put up for 'marketing' purposes that the house was for sale, sold and let out. I am not happy with their conduct regarding sale boards and I have reminded them of their responsibility to remove boards from properties that are not for sale (or let) as soon as possible. They are aware that they can be prosecuted for falsely suggesting that they are selling or letting a property when it is not for sale or let .The placement of their boards will be monitored by officers from this service and some form of enforcement action will be taken if the practice continues 3. Disposal of mail Their explanation for the disposal of your mail was that it was disposed of by contractors or builders who were beyond their control. I mentioned to them that it is illegal to dispose of another persons mail (though this law is not enforced by Trading Standards) and I will include advice not to do so and not to breach any agreement with their tenants to forward mail. Trading Standards will be advising the company further on various contractual issues and will make it clear that they cannot unilaterally alter terms of a contract without the permission of the tenant (and in some cases the landlord). It is very important that Estate Agents are transparent in their dealings with the public and that the identity of all interested parties in any particular property are declared to tenants and prospective purchasers. The agent will be advised about their responsibility in this area and their conduct will be monitored I hope this helps others who might come across similar situations Sorry for the long message, but it could be of nice reference and nothing could be left out LMS
  14. Aequitas, does the address have to be the personal address where the landlord lives? or can the address be a PO box or the letting agency? Just something I have been fighting over in the past and still dont know the answer Cheers LMS
  15. Hi DNA as for references there are several options. For one, do you have good contact with someone you worked with who can be a reference? I used not my last manager but the previous one as he was better and more positive. As for references also, an employer cannot really give out negative feedback as this might turn against them. So if they cannot give a positive reference they often just acknowledge from when till when you worked there and that is it. I would not worry about that now, like Ell-enn says, go in, have a good time, make sure you ask some questions. References can be sorted later and i bet there are enough people here who are willing to give some good advice for that. LMS
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