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  1. I think you really need to get off this forum and sit down with a frank legal advisor to see where you go next. Don't get upset with people as they have no axe to grind - it sounds to me like you had the worst brief. I just lost out on a small claim to the tune of 1200 quid i wastrying to get back from a rogue landlord - I failed! Unjustly of course. But christ what a nightmare you have on your hands. If you get advice to the effect that there is no chance of getting the case going again, maybe you ought to wake up in the morning and just say - ah well, it's only money. (as I did after my loss)
  2. I think I have been charged about 400 quid in unfair charges by Halifax over the years. It would take me a while to do the research. Worst incident was caused by two tiny purchases at somerfield - each of which incurred 35 quid and two direct debits for hardly anything that went through the same day - total bill about 170 quid. Not bad for a day's work eh! This was also caused by a hapless transfer on my part in the wrong direction - one halifax account to another - I had intended it the other way around. Of course that explanation cut no ice with the manager at my local halifax "when customers go overdrawn we have to do extra work. We think it only fair that we charge for this." I want to make that ****er eat his own words when the time is right. But on the other hand, I am considering making Halifax an offer - give me 300 quid back now and we'll call it quits. What do you think? Or should I wait for the appeals process to reslove and wait for a bigger pay day?
  3. If you bank with Lloyds TSB watch that they do not nobble you with Privacy Guard - it pretends to be a service to protect your private data but it really gives you sod all! My wife found a demand for 7 quid a month and realised that when she signed up for her Lloyds TSB credit card she had forgotten to uncheck a little box. I sorted it for her and now she does not owe them a penny. Anyway - watch out!
  4. As far as I know - the worst that can happen is that if you refuse to pay - they will take you to court for the money and ask the judge to enforce payment - meaning that your assetts would be seized - but let's face it - no judge is going to enforce payment from someone in your situation. You will offer a fiver a month and that will be accepted. Don't worry!
  5. I think my case was so unusual that the judge was never likely to rule in my favour. I can see that. I don't say that the small claims court is no good at all. I just think it is more useful to companies who are owed money by someone who will not pay - the issue is uncomplicated. But when you start arguing common mistake in contract law - as I did - you are on a road to no-where with a judge who may not even have legal training.
  6. I have a point of view I wish to share about the small claims procedure. I lost a case recently brought by myself against a landlord who I believed wrongly let me a flat with serious safety issues outstanding. Fair enough - I lost. many on this forum told me I would lose. Well ok you were right. But I have to say that the way the matter was decided really quite astonished me and I would have to think twice before bringing any future action that was not a black and white case. The judge's summing up demonstrated to me that she had not given the arguments deep and serious consideration. She even totally ignored legal arguments I presented on the day. And her reason for dismissing my case was based on a supposition that even my opponents did not support. Plus she made at least one false statement in her summing up. The whole thing was over in less than half an hour. Well - beware of small claims courts if you have a complex case - as mine was. I think even given a more experienced judge I would have lost anyway - but I did not expect the matter to be decided in so casual, amateur and subjective way.
  7. I was also noticed to park over 2 hours in the co-op - and I shop there evry week - no longer! Got the contravention notice for 40 quid now or 80 quid in a month - denied in writing that i personally parked there. Received a letter back falsly stating that as keeper i am responsible for the fine. Ignored it - Several letters threatening court action - total is now about 200 pounds. Have not heard from them in 4 months and no court action. Just stand your ground. You'll be ok - and never pay the blood sucking leeches.
  8. After some time researching I can see that housing law and landlord/tenant law is not the way forward to win my case. It seems absurd that the government set up the health and safety rating system - and lumped responsibility onto the local authorities to enforce it. Landlords are under no obligation to have routine safety checking in communal areas/stairwells. A complaint has to be raised before the local authority will do anything, as in my case. It's stupid - it means that either a complaint comes in or an accidents happens before any action is taken. So anyway thanks for your comments - they focused me away from what I thought would help me,into doing some serious research. I am now looking at contract law as I feel there was a misrepresentation.
  9. It is easy to say, now that I have alerted you to the fact some stairwells may not conform to latest safety requirements - Oh I would noticed it immediately. You don't know that for certain. Children have accidents every day because safety standards are not met - not because people are bad parents or don't look after their children. The unpredictable can always happen - and when the unpredictable does happen we need to be sure that safety standards are being adhered to - that is why we have safety standards. When going up and down stairs with my boy I always hold his hand and watch him carefully - but there is always that 0.01 chance that something could happen that I can't forsee - like the time when my kid broke free of my hand when we were about to cross the road - dashed across without looking because he saw his grandad on the other side. I don't expect other people to look after my children - I just expect them to carry out basic safety checking before I enter into legal contracts with them.
  10. I started this thread because I hoped that some of you might take it seriously that landlords/agents do not think they have a duty to do routine safety checking of communal areas stairwells in the properties they let. You are supporting the landlord's position - which is against the public interest. We need safer dwellings - and loading responsibility onto tenants for doing their own safety checks before renting is such an absurd point of view I cannot take it seriously. We have health and safety regulations? Why? How do we know that a restaurant practises cleanliness and basic hygene when we order a meal? Do you visit the kitchen of your local cafe and check for germs? Of course not. You trust that they operate their business properly and do everything reasonable to protect you as a client against danger. There are some parents who may have spotted that the gap bewteen the balusters on the stairwell were large - others who would not. My friend only noticed it because he works at a college where they had this issue, otherwise he would not have noticed. The health and safety executive know about it because every year X number of kids die on dangerous stairwells. The agent has admitted that the hazard was not obvious to the untrained eye - but they should have employed a trained eye to do risk assessment and made that stairwell safe before anyone with children let that property - that is the essesnce of my complaint.
  11. The agent has admitted that the hazard in the stairwell is not obvious to the untrained eye - I have that in writing. Swimming pools are regulated by certain safety legislation - that is why i do not have to check their changing rooms for slippery areas etc and do exhaustive safety checking every time I use them. The level of safety checking carried out by a landlord before he rents a property should be no less exhaustive. It is absurd to suggets that I should carry out my own risk assessment on a rental property before signing a lease. The government brought in the Health and Safety rating system for the very purpose of ensuring that landlords have their properties properly and professionally evaluated for risk, yet no such assessment was carried out on the property that I let - until I complained! Now that stairwell has been made safe and no child will fall through the balusters thanks to my persistence.
  12. I see your point - but no matter how careful you are, the unpredictable can always happen.
  13. Of course as a parent I am always on the lookout for potential dangers - but I can't be expected to do checks that require specialist knowledge. From what you say it follows that I should do a full safety check to ensure that there are no hazards every time I take my child to a cafe, swimming pool, school etc etc. So according to you the provider has no responsibility in respect of safety of clients - only the customer, hmmmm, you're clever, I never thought of it like that.
  14. I did not suffer any damages - I merely want a refund of my rent as I could not put the property to any use once the hazard became known.
  15. I agree that the safety of a child is the parent's.That is why when I discovered that the stairwell was a hazard I removed him from the property. But parental responsibility does not absolve a landlord from his obligation to ensure that his dwelling is safe for habitation.
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