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Everything posted by steve806

  1. Hi All Parked in Brighton last Saturday morning. Placed parking ticket on dashboard, checked it was in place after shutting door and went off shopping. Returned to find ticket on car floor and Contractual Payment Charge on window. Charge states that 'ticket falling from dashboard' will not be accepted as grounds for appeal. I appealed anyway on the basis that: 1. Tickets are paper, not adhesive, so cannot be secured 2. Weather was windy 3. Stated that I cannot be responsible for what happens when I am not at the car. There are many reasons beyond my control that the ticket could fall. My claim has been rejected by what looks like a standard letter. I have been told I can appeal to the IAS but if I don't pay the ticket within 14 days I cannot get the reduced amount (even if appealing). I would be grateful for any advice in appealing this charge which feels totally unfair as I bought the ticket. There was no intent on my part to evade paying for parking. kind regards Steve
  2. Hi All I am in the middle of a dispute regarding return of deposit and a response received from the landlord via the agent this morning has caused me great concern. We are having a disagreement over fair wear and tear on curtains and the landlord has said they believe the curtains have been damaged by my wife tying them up when open. The landlord says they have noticed this many times when driving past the house. Now, the landlord lives abroad and returns to the country a few times a year. He has no reason to drive anywhere near the property and his statement seems to suggest they have been spying on the property when in the country and opens up concerns that he may have done more than look in the windows. I cannot prove that they have been in the house when we were absent but my wife in particular is now feeling violated at the thought that it is possible the landlord has been in the house. Our tenancy agreement stated that it was a managed property (by the agent) and that the landlord needed to request in writing if they wanted to visit the property. They never did this in the 5 years we rented the house but now we are concerned that they never did because instead they just chose to enter when we were not in. Are we overreacting and if not is there anything we could do about this given that we have no other proof than the landlord saying he had driven past. Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received kind regards Steve
  3. Thanks for the kind response Steve. My deposit is protected. A check out was done but all I signed for was agreeing the kitchen and bathrooms required further cleaning and that the carpets were marked (with a note that the landlord was going to recarpet). 2 days later I was sent a schedule of dilapidations showing the things I am disputing. We did agree with agent that we would move out by 31st March 2010. In fact we moved out on 29th January and moved 200 hundred miles away. We only returned in March to prepare the house for check out.THere was some confusion between the agents local branch and their central lettings department. The local branch asked me for a check out date and I gave then 31st March but they did not pass this information to the central team who kept badgering me for a date - I must have told them 4 or 5 times I had arranged date with local office. Also, we did notify the agent at the begining of December 2009 that we wanted to end the tenancy early, but discovered they did not act on this request and market the house until January 2010. When I questioned this they said my request had 'fallen through the cracks'. My view is that this meant they lost a month of marketing through their incompetence. Does that sound reasonable? Furthermore, in September last year I requested to change the rent payment date due to a change in job and the agent advised me in writing that this would change my tenancy end date to 3rd April. They are now backtracking on this by saying a girl in their office made a mistake and this information is not correct. We have planned towards 3rd April based on this information and I would of thought the e-mail constitutes a legally binding change to my terms? The carpet cost is a share, but what bothers me is that I already offered £200 toward new carpets as the agent advised the landlord would be replacing them but this was declined so we spent £210 having the carpets professionally cleaned. I dont deny the carpets were not in the greatest state but we had a tenancy for 5 years with 2 children under 10 and 2 cats and both the agents and the inventory company both suggested to me that in those circumstances 5 years was a reasonable time to replace. It is the landlord who is insisting I pay towards new carpets. The carpets were budget carpets - I have seen them on sale in carpet world for less than £10 a square metre so even at 10% that would suggest £4200 for new carpets which is replaced with comparable seems really high The cleaning they have specified is the kitchen, bathroom and ensuite and they checked out stated 'further cleaning'. I have benchmarked clean costs for local firms and they average cost is £7-8 an hour. Based on their request for £250 that would suggest up to 31 hours of cleaning for 3 rooms. Does that not seem high even if it was a deep clean? We did leave the new curtains in the house. Any further comments gratefully received.
  4. Hi All My tenancy was due to end on 29th April 2010. In september last year I requested to change the date I paid rent each month due to a change of job. The landlord agreed to this and the agent sent me an e-mail confirming the payment date had changed and as a result of this change my tenancy end date would change to 3rd April 2010 and as a consequence all my planning has been aimed towards this date. In January this year I requested to end the tenancy early as I had moved to another part of the country for work whilst my family stayed in the house but we could not face being apart any longer. I paid the rent up to the new end date of 3rd April and moved out of the house at the end of January. Last weeks the agents have sent me an invoice saying they want rent for the period 4th to 29th April. I have responded advising them of the change made last September and when asked to prove this I have sent them back their e-mail. They have responded by saying that it was written by a new girl in the office who got it wrong and that it was a mistake to tell me the end date had changed to 3rd April and it should have been another date (not specified) and therefore I still owe them the money. Can they really do this? Surely their e-mail constitutes a legal change to my tenancy agreement? I cannot be held responsible for their error can I? Any advice gratefully received. kind regards Steve
  5. Hi All Any advice or feedback greatly received. I recently terminated my lease early. My lease was due to finish 30th April 2010 (thought I have e-mail amending this date to 3rd April which agents now say was an error) but I left the property on 29th January 2010. I paid the rent up to 3rd April when I left property. In March agents advised me they had a new tenant who wished to move in on 4th April and requested that I therefore check out by 31st March. Throughout March I received numerous telephone calls urging me to check out by 31st march so accordingly I organised to ensure house was clean and check out by this date. Now agent is trying to charge me additional rent until end of April and is now saying new tenant will be moving in on 1st may. Surely they cannot have it both ways - urge me to sign the house over to them and them try to charge me additional rent? We had lived in house for 5 years and having 2 children and cats carpets were not in best condition. Before leaving agents advised me that landlords would be having house recarpeted prior to new tenants moving in and I offered that instead of paying for professional carpet cleaning prior to check out (as stipulated in agreement) I would contribut £200 towards purchase of new carpets. Landlord initially agreed to this and then a few days later changed their minds and asked us to have carpets cleaned. After checking out I have now received schedule of fees for repairs etc and they are charging me £415 towards new carpets. Both my local agents and the check out man advised that 5 years was a reasonable time frame to replace carpets from a tenancy with 2 childrens and pets (carpets were budget - not good quality). Any comments on whether this charge is reasonable? Also, after 5 years in the property the curtains were no longer of good standard (were cheap to begin with) and as a consequence most were thrown away and replaced with curtains we purchased ourselves. The agent has now tried to charge us £150 for new curtains. Surely after 5 years they would be due replacing anyway? Comments please. Finally, I have accepted that the kitchen would require further cleaning - in reality some dust forming due to house being empty for 2 months, and have disputed that ensuite and bathroom require further cleaning - again dust, and the agent has suggested a charge of £250 to complete this work. Even at £10 an hour this would be 25 hours worth of cleaning which seems excessive. FYI all other rooms were classified as clean. Does this amount seem excessive? Any advice, feedback or recommendations on next steps would be gratefully accepted. kind regards Steve
  6. Hi All Apologies if this is long winded but I would appreciate any advice. My family have been living in a rented house (through agent) for 4+ years. Rent has always been paid on time, house kept clean and no major damage made to property. 8 months ago I was made redundant and after 4 months out of work (during which we still paid the rent on time every month) I found another job 200 miles away from where we live so had to live away from home for 4 months. After serving 3 month probation period my job was confirmed and as we were keen to put family back together (have partner and 2 boys) we began looking for a property to rent close to new job and found a property we expected to move into on 4/1/10 On 1st December 2009 gave 30 days written notice to letting agents of current property and 2 days later received a telephone call from them advising that I did not have a break clause and as a consequence some fees would be applied. Told agent I understood this and would expect table of charges soon. As of morning of 23/12 we did not receive any correspondence from letting agent. On this day we discovered there would be a delay in our new house being ready and we would not be able to move in until at least 18/1/10. As we believed this would leave us homeless from 1/1/10 and we would therefore have to store our furniture for 2 weeks and live with my partners mother for a shortwhile I telephoned agents of our current property to request that I extend my notice for a further month and leave the property on 31/1/10 as this would have been the easiest option. The agents were very quick to agree to this as it transpired they had forgotten to inform the landlords of our original termination request and had not proceeded with any aspect of the early termination. As we will be staying in the house a further month I have already paid the rent for the month of January 2010. The advice I require is around the fees and ongoing rent. The agent has today e-mailed a request that I pay them 3 weeks rent plus £220 fees to cover their costs in remarketing the property and reminding me that I will continue to be liable for the rent until a new tenant is found. They have stated that they will not commence until I have paid this sum. Given that the letting agent should have begun marketing the property 4 weeks ago and did not do anything until my call of 23/12 reminded them that I had in fact requested early termination can anyone advise if I should still be liable for these fees as the letting agents failure has meant that 4 weeks of potential marketing of the house have been lost due to their incompetence and this could lead to me paying additional rent until the property is relet. FYI my tenancy agreement runs out on 4/4/2010. Any thought or advice would be welcome. kind regards Steve
  7. Hi All Any advice on this problem appreciated. I was made redundant 4 months ago just after signing a new tenancy agreement for a year. Like lots of others it has been a challenge getting a new job but today I have received an offer of a new job. However, the job is 200 miles away from where we currently live. We would like to end our tenancy early so that me and my family (wife + 2 boys) can move to where my new job is as quickly as possible as: 1. We dont want to break our family up for 8 months until the tenancy ends 2. We cant really afford to pay for somewhere for me to live during the week and pay the rent on our house as well. I have searched through our tenancy agreement and cannot find any reference to ending the tenancy. Their is a list of reasons the landlord can end it but nothing about the tenant. All I can find in the agreement is the dates the tenancy is for. Please realise my intention is not to stiff our landlord (house is through a letting agency and we have kept it in great condition and paid every months rent for the last 4 years on time), we are just in unfortunate circumstances. Can anyone offer any advice on what we could do to try and get out of the tenancy early? kindest regards Steve
  8. Hi All I recently took my ex employer to court for unfair dismissal and lost. Felt the the case was heavily weighted against me by actions of judge and now have little faith in the process - but thats another story. I have now been unemployed for 6 months and like a lot of others in these tough times I am finding it difficult to secure a new role. I am currently in for a role that looks promising but have a huge concern about references. My ex boss is, lets say, not a nice man, and I have a concern that rather than let the ET decision be an end to it he will deliberately seek to sabotage my attempts to get a new job by refusing references or finding ways to give a poor reference. Of course a decent human being would not want to ruin another man's chances to get on with his life and hopefully he will take this view but still I am very concerned. Any advice or thoughts from anyone out there? kindest regards
  9. Thanks for your response elche. I had been employed by the company for 19 months at this time. Most of those in the other 6 unique roles had been with company longer than me, however, 3 of those roles were created in a restructure that was completed 16 days prior to my selection for risk of redundancy and awarded to staff whose roles were made redundant in that restructure and replaced with new roles. At time of this restructure I expressed my concern that these roles showed crossover to mine and could put my role at risk in the future. Little did i know just how quickly this would happen. NOTE: At time of this restructure I was told my role was safe and therefore not placed at risk in restructure. Also, when questioning why i was chosen for redundancy i was advised my role was 'a luxury' and that some of my work was stopping and the rest would be redeployed. I have evidence the work they told me would stop did not and this work along with the redeployed work was given to the 3 new roles created in restructure.
  10. Hi All i was made redundant on the basis my role was unique and the work was stopping. However, I have evidence that my work did not stop but was simply spread amongst 3 other people. Also, as my role was unique i was told there was no requirement for a selection pool. In my department there were 6 unique roles and I have the transferable skills to do any of those 6 jobs. Should there not have been a selection pool on that basis? Also, I have not been given any analysis of why my unique role and not one of the others other than boss saying your role is a 'luxury' and the work is stopping. I did ask for an analysis. Any thoughts welcomed. regards Steve
  11. Hi All I am due at tribunal end of August and working on my argument. After reading through all the papers I have requested from ex company I note many inconsistencies. Two examples would be: 1. In responses to both my appeal against redundancy and my ET1 my ex company have stated that my new boss was not aware of a redundancies announcement until the day it was announced. However, I have the transcript of the interview conducted to answer my appeal and boss states he did know prior to announcement (cannot recall when told but was told before announcement). 2. I have argued I was encouraged to speed up/complete/stop/transfer projects over a 3 month period to engineer my redundancy. Responses have given numerous different reasons for speed up/stop etc: clearing space for new projects HOD concerned I was taking to long to do work and asked new boss to investigate New boss was concerned I was taking too long to do work and told HOD they were going to investigate Work was removed to clear space to work on joint projects with sister company Work was removed as sister company would take it over projects etc etc - there are more My point is, is stuff like this important in my argument in building up a picture of incompetence, dishonesty etc or will a judge not be interested. Any thought welcome. regards to all Steve
  12. Hi All A lot of people seem to have viewed my post but no one has been able to offer advice. In case my post was too much waffle and not explained properly the question boils down to: Can my employer change my reporting line as a result of a restructure I was not involved in without any form of consultation? Really would appreciate any advice anyone can give. regards Steve
  13. Hi All Can anyone advice if my ex company could legally make the change described below without consultation? Within the company jobs were graded: grade 1 - administrators grade 2 - first level manager grade 3 - senior manager/specialist grade 4 - Head of Department (HOD) grade 5 - directors The department I worked in restructured (RS) the grade 3 roles. Pre RS seven grade 3 roles all reported into HOD. Three roles were common and the other four were unique. The RS reduced the grade 3 roles from 7 to 4. This was acheived by: reducing three roles from grade 3 to grade 2 (staff placed at risk and had to apply for these jobs) making one grade 3 role redundant (incumbent allowed to apply for new grade 2 and grade 3 roles) creating 2 new grade 3 roles not filling the vacancy created by one of the new roles being awarded to a grade 3 that held another role (effectively making another role redundant) A consultation period of 28 days was held. I was not involved in this - I was simply told my role was not affected. When the consultation ended I was told I would now report into one of the new grade 3 roles. Therefore, after RS department now had 4 grade 3 roles. Three of which reported to HOD and one (me) who reported to someone of the same grade. My questions are: Can the company legally do this without any form of consultation? And is this effectively a demotion without consultation? Incidently, 16 days after restructure completed company directors decided that due to poor sales (sales had been poor for 3 months - so prior to RS) they would consider redundancies. 2 months later I was made redundant (HOD decided my role was a luxury they could no longer afford). How many other grade 3 managers in my department do you think they made redundant????? You guessed it - none. Any view would be gratefully received. regards to all Steve
  14. thanks for the opinion flipper79. I will not be accepting this settlement offer. I have done a great deal of reading in the last hour and discovered amongst other articles a report by the CAB describing how 'threatening legal letters advising they will seek costs and then offering a derisory sum to settle' have become standard practice for employment solicitors a few weeks before the tribunal and despite having little chance of becoming a reality (the % of cases where costs are awarded has been consistently less than 1% for the last 10 years) they have proved successful in scaring off many claimants. I am confident enough in my claim to go to tribunal but of course there is a figure I would consider settling for to avoid further hassle/risk and move on with my life but £2000 is not that figure. Out of interest does anyone have an opinion on what the figure they would accept is against a claim of £27000?
  15. Thanks to the 2 replies so far. If it is helpful to people who could give advice the value of the claim is £27,000 - this being the loss of wages from dismissal date to tribunal date minus any benefits I have received in this period (which ACAS advise is the calculation for unfair dismissal cases). I am confident I have a case and confident that I have taken all steps to mitigate losses. However, with the current economic climate I have been unemployed for 7 months despite my best efforts to find another job. There is part of me that wants to close this matter and move on but the current offer makes me more inclined to continue to the tribunal.
  16. Hi All Can anyone advise please? I am due to have my claim heard in August and today i have received a letter from my former companies lawyers stating that they believe I have no claim and that when they win they will ask the court to award costs against me of £7500. They have also made an offer of £2,000 which will be withdrawn in a week if not accepted. Is the threat of costs just to scare me or is there a likelyhood I could end up having to pay these costs if I lose? Any help welcomed. kind regards Steve
  17. Hi Claire and David My date for defence is 24th so therefore 28th with public holidays. I phoned DG this morning to ask if they had received breakdown of charges. They called me back within 10 minutes and said yes they had and a letter would be coming out to me in next couple of days????????? Want to get excited by that but it will probably be a partial offer??? Link for article is: BBC NEWS | Business | Are penalty charges bank robbery? Good luck to you both
  18. As I am becoming bored and frustrated waiting for HSBC to submit defence (required by 24/12) I decided to try and speed things up by calling DG. I asked if they had received my breakdown of charges and they said they would call back. Within 10 minutes received a call stating charges had been received and a letter would be sent to me in next couple of days!!!!!! What do you all think? Will this be offer? If so do you think it is likely to be full or partial offer? I will of course let everyone once I receive letter.
  19. Congrats Babs. that is awesome. Give me fresh hope. Defence day is 24/12. Hoping to hear something a few days after that now. Again, I am so pleased for you. Steve
  20. Still waiting. HSBC have until 24/12 to submit defence. expect it to happen at 3.50pm that day. Just read an interesting article on BBC News where HSBC state 'We pay all claims before they go to court'. At the very last minute before court is what they really mean. It is so frustrating we are all having to jump through hoops when they admit they will pay. Good luck to all
  21. Hi babs I would love to hear how you get on phoning DG. 28 days to defend in my case is up on 24/12 and to date I have heard nothing from DG(sent breakdown of charges 2 weeks ago) so would be interested to hear if your call makes any difference to timescales. Good luck Steve
  22. Hi Claire My claim was acknowledged on 23/11. I have had notification of intention to defend from court but nothing from DG. To try and speed process up I sent breakdown of charges to DG as soon as I had name and address but so far it has not helped. I have heard nothing. There are a few of us on roughly the same timescale as you and to the bestof my knowledge none of us have heard anything. There is a conspiracy theory on the forum that with xmas due Dg are stalling in the hope people give up or accept reduced offers and some say they are just being cruel by ensuring no pay outs before xmas. I am now not expecting to hear anything until I receive AQ request from court (some time after 24/12).
  23. Hi All Another day and no contact from DG. 17 days till J day. Or is it? I filed MCOL on 21/11 and HSBC acknowledged on 23. As they have 5 days to acknowledge is it therefore 28 days from 23/11 or 28 days from 26/11. Be grateful if anyone could clear this up. Good luck to all Steve
  24. You have my sympathies Clare. I filed on 21st and it looks like I wont see anything this side of xmas either, so I know how you feel. Hang in there. Steve
  25. David I did get letter from court providing DG details and intention to defend. In response I sent schedule of charges to the infamous DEBS by recorded mail and have not heard anything since.
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