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Cancelling Renting A Garage - Owner Wont Return Money

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Hi,

 

I rented a garage to store my stuff whilst I move house. I was told the garage would be available on 23rd December so I sighed a 'tenancy agreement' on the 19th in preparation for the commencing rental period, and paid 6 months upfront.

The 23rd came round and the previous renter had not vacated the garage. I was then told it would not be available until the middle of January. This was useless to me as I was moving house that day. I told the garage owner immediately that I wanted to cancel and have my money refunded, which he agreed to do 'in a couple of days'. I then had to source another garage. It has now been 10 days and, after chasing, there is no sight of my money.

Where do I stand?

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I suppose what has happened is that the owner of the garage and spend the money. How much are we talking about?

Anyway you are entitled to all of your money back – plus any additional and reasonable expenses that you might have incurred as a result of the owners breach of contract. Plus interest.

So can you give us some details please of the amount of money paid for the deposit, what alternative arrangements did you make? Did it cost you more – and if so how much?

 

 

Also, is the owner of the garage doing this commercially or is it their own private garage? Are they in your local area or some distance away?

Do you know where they live – do they own their own property?


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Hi, thank you for your reply.

I paid £600 for 6 months @ £100 per month.

The alternative garage has not cost more, but I have had to take it out of my bill money to cover it. That is why I am annoyed he has not given it back.

It is a property company that owns a block of garages. The owner is not local, but I have their address.

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Thank you. These are all good answers.

The fact that they are a commercial enterprise is good and that they are not local is also good. The reason for this is that if you sue a business then even though you are the claimant, the case will be heard at your local court. I'm assuming that you are a private individual. The need for your commercial adversary to come to your local court to attend a hearing or to pay for representation at that local court will focus them a little bit

The fact that they owe you £600 is good because £600 is the threshold at which you can transfer the case to the High Court Enforcement Officers for enforcement. Although this costs you £66, the High Court enforcement mechanism can be pretty ruthless and can incur up to £2000 costs which is payable by the defendant. This also will help to focus them a little – and also will provide you with extra satisfaction if it goes the distance.  You get your £66 back with the enforcement

I would have been more comfortable if you had told us that the alternative garage had cost a bit more. Have you not been put to any extra expenses in having to change arrangements at the last moment?

The question now is – what you want to do about it. You can simply write to them – I'll huff and I'll puff and…, or you can get serious and threaten a legal action. You would only do that if you really meant to go ahead with it. Your chances of success are much better than 95% on the basis of what you say. You would claim your £600 plus interest.

I would expect that they will put their hands up pretty quickly. They would be stupid if they even forced you into paying out the court fee – but if you did then you would get this back when you won.

I don't think there's any point in mincing around. I don't think there's any point getting into protracted discussion about it. The money is clearly yours. They have broken the contract. I have to say that it worries me that you are simply "annoyed" not to get it back. I would be enraged – and if you aren't enraged then maybe you haven't got the anger to go ahead with a legal action.

 


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Yep, letter before action time

 

i bet they are just hoping you will go away and stop bothering them.

They dont have a leg to stand on as they couldnt perform to the contract.

Bit like me selling you London bridge, we can agree a price and I can take the money but as i dont own it I have to refund you because i cant keep my end of the bargain.

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Well unfortunately the OP doesn't seem to appreciate that if they want to make headway with this, and they have to engage with this thread.

We haven't seen them for about seven days


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So I have the guy the benefit of the doubt that 'he was away' and other things like 'it would be paid this week' and the money has not materialised. The last thing I sent him was if he did not return my money I would take it further. Still no money. I am livid. 

So I now need a letter before action. Is there a template I can use for this? 

Thanks

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Quote

Letter of claim


As you are aware, on XXX day we entered into a contract under which I was to rent your garage at XXX address XXX for a period of XXX months.

You contacted me and cancel the contract at short notice because you told me that the previous occupier of the garage had not vacated it. As a result I had to make alternative arrangements.

At the time of entering into the contract you require a deposit of £XXX which I paid by cash/credit card/cheque.

Although you unilaterally cancelled the contract you have not returned my deposit even though I have tried to contact you about this.

In fact I have attempted to reach you on at least XX occasions that there has been no response.

If you do not return my money to me within 14 days of this letter, I shall see you in the local County Court and without any further notice

Believe me

XXX
 

 


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Spend the 14 days looking through this forum for information on how to start and to bring a small claims action. It is very easy but it is worth informing yourself in advance.

Log onto the County Court money claim site. Open up an account and start preparing your claim. You can save your work so that on day 15 you can click it off.

I suggest that you post your draft claim here before you actually do issue it.

Suggest the claim:

 

Quote

The defendant owns a number of garages and rinse them out by way of a commercial enterprise.

The claimant seeks the return of £XXX being deposit for a garage rental from the defendant at XXX address.

The defendant unilaterally cancel the contract at short notice and has failed to return the deposit despite several requests.

The claimant seeks the return of the deposit plus interest pursuant to section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984

 

I think it's about time you let us know who this garage owner is


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basically you have to tell the person that the letter is a letter before action under the pre action protocols of the civil procedure rules. You then. say how much is owed and why and give the person time ( min 7 days but 14 is more usual) to either pay up or explain why the debt is denied

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Thanks for the help guys. I have sent him 1 more text asking for my money. I will print the letter out today.

What's also annoying is I am away from home at the moment and am going to have to buy a printer just to print this letter. So now I am even more angry at this for causing me extra expense.

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Well simply send it by email. – You can additionally send a copy of the email to some friend of yours who has a printer and who you can trust to post the letter off first class.

 

I don't think you told us who the garage owner/landlord as yet have you? Any special reason for this?


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I don't want to name in case it jeopardises me possibly getting my money back before court action.
If it goes to court then I will shout this companies name from the roof tops.

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It's up to you, of course - but it won't hurt you and in fact if he discovers that his behaviour is being talked about on the internet it will put pressure on him to behave.

It may also help others who may be in the same position.  It is unlikely that you are the only one that has been treated in this way.

 

These people thrive on secrecy


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Letter sent today. Hopefully this will prompt some action. 😒

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Don't bet on it.


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