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Thread: Do I have a valid counter claim?

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  1. #1
    steveeasy's Avatar

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    Default Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Hello,
    I have got in to a little mess. Ive got an item stored for which I'm obliged to pay 175 per month. In may this year I had arrears of £300. I wrote to the storage provider stating I wished to sell the item and clear the debt. I sent 9 emails to them over 2 months and never received one response. I found a buyer who paid a deposit and I contacted the yard to give me an up to date account so I could settle the arrears prior to selling the item. I also had been incorrectly invoiced and asked them to look in to the matter. still no response.


    3 days before the sale I still needed an account balance to settle. I called twice on the Saturday and was told yes you have been overcharged and they would come back with a balance that day. they did not. I called twice on the sunday still would not provide a balance. I called on the Monday the day of the sale and quite frankly was appaulled by the office person. she told me tuff you've lost that. I could not sell the item as I could not get a balance. the buyer went to the office and was told some quite rude comments about me and was scarred of by the yard. he eventually withdrew telling me hed been scared of by the yard.


    I received an apology from the office for the rudeness. They corrected the overcharge, but refused to provide a full statement of account. but the buyer had gone.


    I then found another buyer. he travelled 140 miles to view. when he got there he was refused access to see my item. He stated in 30 years he had never found a yard so unhelpful. he wrote a letter to me stating this.


    my contract with the yard allows me access at anytime. it does not exclude me providing access to third parties. they were just being awkward.


    I believe they were being difficult from the onset ignoring all my corrispondance. excluding access to buyers. not proving a balance of account to clear and refusing to acknowledge an overcharge. So I was put in an impossible situation. I could not sell. I could not move.


    Now ive received a summons for 1500. stating they have chased me repeatedly. never ever written to me. I accept the debt to may 2017. but wish to claim against them for breach of contract of not providing a balance of account in a reasonable time. and restricting access to my item unreasonably. it seams they know they are entitled to payments so just rack it up and then sue.


    What do you think.


    If someone owed me money and wanted to clear the debt id give them a bill straight away.

    Thank you

    steveeasy

    of course ive not ever been notified of court action. no notice of intended action or pre action protocol. or id have tried to resolve the matter.

  2. #2
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a vald counter claim

    Hi, It sounds like you have a good case to counterclaim and defend this claim. Firstly though, and this might sound paranoid/cynical - but have you actually seen the stored item recently ?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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  3. #3
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveeasy View Post
    my contract with the yard allows me access at anytime. it does not exclude me providing access to third parties. they were just being awkward.

    I believe they were being difficult from the onset ignoring all my corrispondance. excluding access to buyers. not proving a balance of account to clear and refusing to acknowledge an overcharge. So I was put in an impossible situation. I could not sell. I could not move.

    . . . ive received a summons for 1500. stating they have chased me repeatedly. never ever written to me. I accept the debt to may 2017. but wish to claim against them for breach of contract of not providing a balance of account in a reasonable time. and restricting access to my item unreasonably. it seams they know they are entitled to payments so just rack it up and then sue.

    What do you think.
    I think you'll be arguing over the precise terms of the contract.

    If you agree that you genuinely owe some of the money then in theory you would be making a Part Admission. But it may be best to file your Acknowledgement of Service stating that you intend to defend all of the claim to prevent a Default Judgment while you decide your next step.

    Without knowing what the item is (and how they store it) it's hard to comment on the access issue.

    The fact that the contract doesn't exclude third party access doesn't necessarily mean that they should allow it. They might argue that preventing third party access is done to protect your 'item' from vandalism/theft etc.

    Did you inform them of the visits in advance and give them your authority to provide access?

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forum’s site rules don’t allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email [email protected]. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  4. #4
    steveeasy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana M View Post
    I think you'll be arguing over the precise terms of the contract.

    If you agree that you genuinely owe some of the money then in theory you would be making a Part Admission. But it may be best to file your Acknowledgement of Service stating that you intend to defend all of the claim to prevent a Default Judgment while you decide your next step.

    Without knowing what the item is (and how they store it) it's hard to comment on the access issue.

    The fact that the contract doesn't exclude third party access doesn't necessarily mean that they should allow it. They might argue that preventing third party access is done to protect your 'item' from vandalism/theft etc.

    Did you inform them of the visits in advance and give them your authority to provide access?

    Di
    Hi Dianna,
    the item is a boat. they hold a lien over all boats. yes I informed them of the visit. At 2.45 they said they were locking the car gate at 4pm and would not let the potential buyer look at the boat. they said they were too busy. they have a pedestrian gate for people to go in and out after closing. the potential buyer wrote to me stating he had never experienced people being so difficult.

    I have tried to resolve the matter from an early stage, but I knew I had to clear my account before selling. I repeatedly asked to have an up to date account and check the overcharge. I was told the day of the sale id lost the overcharge. I could not complete the sale as I could not sell the boat whilst they held a lien over it.

    whilst I accept I an obliged to pay for the storage costs, I have found it extremely difficult to deal with them. I have written to them but will not get a response. If a counter claim do they get a Judgement against them if I was successful. it seams they hold all the cards.

    thank you

    steveasy

  5. #5
    steveeasy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Well all I can do is right to them and suggest mediation. I would prefer to settle the matter. I did email them on Wednesday but no response. do courts really take any notice of pre action protocol. it makes complete sense for both parties. I get the feeling ive been dragged along by this company to this point. I don't think they wanted paying I think they wanted to punish me as I had challenged them over the overcharge that was allways there fault.

  6. #6
    steveeasy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Sorry to go on. something is not right here and I think I know why.

    I did all I could to clear an existing debt. I contacted the claimant(yard) before ever being asked for payment arrears. I sent 9 emails over 6-8 weeks. I found a buyer. got a sale date. I emailed the yard and asked for a final account. several calls over the weekend. on the completion day I still could not get A FI NAL BALANCE.

    Now they have never given me any indication they were trying to recover the debt. no 14 days final notice. wham an N1 comes through to me and it says they have been chasing me. none of it makes sense so normally its not true.

    But they did not give me a final account balance to settle. why would they not have wanted to be paid. can I stop this on the basis they have not done even the most basic pre action protocol steps to avoid court action. Or are they as they indeed seam just trying to make matters as bad as they can because they can.

    It does not make any other sense.

    Steveeasy

  7. #7
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveeasy View Post
    Well all I can do is right to them and suggest mediation. I would prefer to settle the matter. I did email them on Wednesday but no response. do courts really take any notice of pre action protocol. it makes complete sense for both parties. I get the feeling ive been dragged along by this company to this point. I don't think they wanted paying I think they wanted to punish me as I had challenged them over the overcharge that was allways there fault.
    If you file a Defence and the Claimant informs the court within 28 days that they intend to continue with the proceedings then you will be sent a Directions Questionnaire by the court.

    On the DQ there will be a box to tick if you want to try to resolve the claim using the court's free telephone Mediation service.

    If there's a lien on the boat then you can't sell it until the debt is cleared. Without knowing all the facts it's not possible to say whether you have a counterclaim resulting from the two potential sales which were lost since they may argue that you couldn't have sold the boat even if they had allowed a third party to have access to it.

    Are you not being allowed to access the boat? Would it be practical for you to accompany a prospective buyer who wants to view it at the yard?

    Your problem is they don't appear to have established the disputed amount so how can you clear it!

    Is it possible to estimate the amount based on the contract stating £175 per month? Or are there 'extras' added like insurance etc?

    You can send them a CPR 31.14 Request asking them to produce any documents mentioned in the Particulars of Claim.

    Firstly login to MCOL and tick the box which says you intend to defend all of the claim so that they don't get a Default Judgment against you.

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forum’s site rules don’t allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email [email protected]. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  8. #8
    steveeasy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do I have a valid counter claim?

    Hi Dianna,
    Yes I am going to defend the claim on the grounds of them acting unreasonably. They are fully entitled to their storage charges, and I am fully entitled to reasonable billing and access.

    I am also entitled to be pursued by some one in an appropriate way. Pre action protocol. I should have received a letter setting the debt out. and a final letter trying to resolve the matter. none of which has taken place. there is no need for this to go to court. all that is needed is a resolution. as it is.

    without making the matter more complex, this is all about a snotty office person who absolutely thought she would not lower herself to answer any messages at all. then when it came to a head and the sale fell through. it was in the bag. they all became nasty.

    wehen the lovelly couple went to see the boat later in the year. they met the nice person. the couple sent me a letter stating they had never met such a difficult yard who singularly continued to be as difficult as possible not allowing my prospective buyers to even remove a cover.

    This attitude has continued till today . in the form of no notice to pursue the debt or even try to request it. I wrote an email to them last week inviting a response nothing. they want a CCJ a payment .then it continues, all without the a single response to me.

    is this not what the initial problem was about and got me in this mess. yes ill defend it. but will probally loose. but ill do all I can to mediate or use arbitration. that's what we are supposed to do.

    many thanks

    stephen

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