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punkyfish
19-12-2011, 12:15 PM
Hi
I have recently moved out of a room I was renting from someone I considered a friend. I was there as a lodger and had no written contract and no deposite. About 6 months ago I spilt some wine on a white sofa - I cleaned it up and offered to get professional cleaners in when I moved out - which I did. I also paid the cleaner to clean the sofa's pair and a large living room rug as the cleaner was coming in anyway. I thought the matter was closed and we parted on good terms.

A few days after I moved out my ex-landlady emailed me asking that I pay for the damage caused to the sofa. I expressed suprise as I thought that it was in a better condition than when I moved in. She is now demanding that I pay for 2 brand new sofas or her choosing for the living room (and her choosing is expensive). The sofas were 5 year old white sofas - one of which I caused no damage to. I have offered to pay approx 1/2 of the cost of the one sofa (I applied the betterment principle) but she says this is unacceptable.

Its complicated by the fact that I managed to leave something there of sentimental value and a couple of other things that I simply missed picking up and I also overpaid my reant (moved out halfway through the month).

Her emails are getting increasingly rude and aggressive and I don't know what to do. She won't let me go round to pick up the stuff that I left and she won't let me send a friend round. Does she have any right to demand this amount of money? Any advice would be appreciated (and in future I know to ask for a written contract and not mix money and friendship)
Thanks

Lingy
19-12-2011, 12:28 PM
Sounds like a coward emailing you threats after you have left .If shes a friend you could simply knock her door when you know shes in .To collect your belongings ,If she refuses tell her you will report her for theft.

Snorkerz
19-12-2011, 12:29 PM
She has no right to retain your goods - that (iirc) is a breach of The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 and probably the Theft Act 1968.

If you have adequately cleaned the sofa to a condition appropriate to its age then you have no further obligation, and your offer seems more than generous. Personally, I would think 50% would be appropriate if I had rendered a 5 year old sofa useless. She certainly has no claim for the other sofa.

Get advice on your personal goods from the police or citizens advice, and then write a formal letter explaining that you have tried to act in a responsible manner but you will not be paying any further amount. You can include in that an acceptance that she may choose to use the court service. If she takes up that offer, you have nothing to fear providing you have adequately cleaned the sofa to a condition appropriate to its age.