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Rogue boyfriend - advice needed please

(25 Posts)
katieks Fri 30-Dec-16 07:40:55

Posting for a friend who finds herself in a tricky position

long story short - boyfriend moves in approx a month ago, relationship ends relatively amicably although there were some trust issues, name calling, so maybe not that amicably. But she says amicably. Boyfriend was due to move out, all set, but then announces that the friend he was going to stay at has said he can no longer stay there. My friend doesn't want her ex-boyfriend to stay in house (it's her house) but doesn't want him out on the streets either so agrees he can stay in her house for a few days until he goes off to family for Christmas hols (in Ireland). She makes it clear he needs to be OUT when she gets back. She leaves for her Christmas hols so he only has a few days alone in house. During those few days both of their (very valuable, £1000+) bikes get stolen due to boyfriend leaving garage unsecure. Boyfriend says he will pay up for bike, very sorry etc, etc. Boyfriend was supposed to hand in key when he left to another friend - he doesn't! Friend is in Spain so unable to do anything about it but returns to her house on return to find that boyfriend has left all his stuff there, but he is away (presumably in Ireland). Friend changes locks. Contacts boyfriend to say you can't get back in house, why did you take the keys & leave your stuff - boyfriend says it was by accident and that he assumed it was ok to leave his stuff there. He also admits he can't fund bike replacement. Oddly, his bike has been recovered, but is also at her house.

Her dilemma is that he has very high-value gaming and computing equipment and an expensive bike. He is now angry about her changing the locks and predictably things have turned sour between them. She wants to know can she keep his stuff until he coughs up for her bike? He claims not to have the money though. Also, she doesn't want him to come back to her house or see him again.

Advice/opinions please?
Also posted in legal as not sure of her legal standpoint.

SenoritaViva Fri 30-Dec-16 07:44:40

Speak to 101 (non emergency police). She needs to stay on the right side of the law but frankly I'd be furious! Presume they've reported bikes stolen?

I'd certainly want to keep all stuff until sorted!

Longdistance Fri 30-Dec-16 07:48:42

I'd say the dirty bastard sold the bikes to fund his trip to Ireland.

Your friend needs to go throw his crap out the house in black bags and if it goes 'missing' tough grin

WellErrr Fri 30-Dec-16 07:49:59

She just needs to lock his stuff away until he pays up. You need to be a hard faced bastard to deal with twats like this.

Sod the legality. It will be for HIM to prove she's in the wrong, not her.

How did his bike even turn up again? You know it was probably him who arranged the theft?

What I would do:
Lock bike and stuff up.
Tell him he'll get them back when he pays for the bike.
Tell him if he doesn't pay in a month you'll sell the bike and stuff and take your money.
Follow through on it all.

If he calls the police he'll need to prove they're his, won't he? And he won't be able to.

If you look to do it all 100% by the book and take him to small claims etc, you'll get jack shit.

MrsBertBibby Fri 30-Dec-16 08:13:29

If she doesn't mind being prosecuted for theft, the advice above is great.

She can't just sell the stuff. She needs to give him notice (Torts (interference with goods) Act 1977 I think) and can tell him she's exercising a lien over the goods until he pays the £1k. Can she prove he agreed to pay that amount?

WellErrr Fri 30-Dec-16 08:18:08

She won't be prosecuted for theft, as he'll first have to prove that a) it was his to start with, and b) she stole it. Which will be difficult if he voluntarily took it to her house.

WellErrr Fri 30-Dec-16 08:18:47

By difficult I mean impossible.

SenoritaViva Fri 30-Dec-16 08:19:49

Totally agree with mrsbertbiby, she needs to ensure she remains on the right side of the law, she doesn't want a criminal charge.

SquiffyAtBreakfastOnEggnog Fri 30-Dec-16 08:26:04

If he agreed to leave and take his stuff with him, surely he is implying that stuff left behind is not his so must be hers? (total guess, no legal basis)

illegitimateMortificadospawn Fri 30-Dec-16 08:28:39

Can't she just claim for the bike in her contents insurance and get ex to pay the excess? All this talk of holding his property hostage just prolongs the drama and delays getting him out if her house & life.

HeCantBeSerious Fri 30-Dec-16 08:43:40

If the garage was left insecure when they were away the insurance probably won't cover it.

WellErrr Fri 30-Dec-16 08:51:25

She won't GET a criminal charge.

The law won't help her here, you need to know how to play the system or you'll lose.

MrsBertBibby Fri 30-Dec-16 09:01:15

WellErr, are you legally qualified?

prh47bridge Fri 30-Dec-16 09:20:13

Which will be difficult if he voluntarily took it to her house

If she disposes of his property she is committing a criminal offence. The fact that he voluntarily took it to her house is irrelevant.

She won't GET a criminal charge

Why not? Open and shut case, easy to prove, so a nice one to help the police improve their conviction statistics. If the ex reports it to the police I would say there is a reasonable chance they would take action. And the ex could also take action against her to for damages which he would win easily.

The law won't help her here, you need to know how to play the system or you'll lose

Rubbish. As MrsBertBibby points out, she can exercise a lien over the ex's goods until he pays the promised £1,000. He would then have to pay up to get his goods back.

WellErrr Fri 30-Dec-16 09:25:27

To exercise a lien she'll have to prove that the money was owed to her.

To have her arrested for theft he'll have to prove she's stolen from him. How can he prove that? It's her word against his, the police won't be the slightest bit interested. Having experienced this from the other side, I'm fairly well versed in the legalities of it.

I know what I'd do, because I'm not a mug. But obviously, everyone is free to act in whatever way they think best smile

prh47bridge Fri 30-Dec-16 11:54:26

How can he prove that? It's her word against his, the police won't be the slightest bit interested

For the purposes of getting damages he doesn't need to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. The decision would be on the balance of probabilities (as would the lien if it went to court). Shouldn't be too difficult to achieve and, as it would probably be a small claim, the whole thing should be done without any legal costs. If the police got involved it may not be too difficult to prove for criminal purposes, although it would probably end in a caution rather than going to court.

I'm fairly well versed in the legalities of it

Enough to argue with genuine qualified lawyers, apparently!

katieks Fri 30-Dec-16 20:54:19

OK, so made some more enquiries. No written proof of his promise to pay for her bike. This was over the phone when they spoke, however, later he WhatsApp'd that although he offered, he cannot actually afford it.

His bike was recovered through advertising on social media and he was contacted about his bike by a stranger so that seems genuine, even though only his was found. The thefts were reported to the police.

We Googled the 'lien' thing but it looks like that's only for services from companies and customers not paying? Or if you're a bank or something? How would she go about arranging it herself? Would it count for anything if she got him to sign something saying that he will over time pay back the bike cost? I've told her it will need to be drawn up by a solicitor, but does it? She's not exactly super-loaded herself despite the pricey bikes, so is keen to avoid extra court costs etc, but she is super annoyed (as am I for her!) but doesn't want a criminal record either!! Any practical advice on what she should do next? At the moment they're just messaging abuse at each other. He refuses to give house key back (not that it matters because locks are changed, but he doesn't know that) unless she gives him his stuff. It's a stalemate, but what happens next?

KnittedBlanketHoles Fri 30-Dec-16 21:00:24

Is the social media thing about his bike true? It smells suspicious to me. Is there a crime ref? I'd guess he's sold her bike tbh

katieks Tue 03-Jan-17 19:33:46

There is a crime reference. Please can someone legally qualified advise on the lien aspect? She is being pressured into returning his stuff. She doesn't want to break the law. The info online is all about companies and services. How does her situation warrant a lien? How does she prove that the money is 'owed' to her apart from a one-liner statement stating that although he offered to pay for the bike, he cannot afford it (which he SO can if she sold his stuff!). She has tried CAB and Law Service Network - apparently not something they cover they say. Any advice much appreciated.

ThisThingCalledLife Wed 04-Jan-17 15:11:17

She will NEVER see the money for her stolen bike!
Even if she goes through small claims court she can't force him to pay up.

Is your mate a proper mug? Or just too nice for her own good?
Her first mistake was letting him stay on in her house AFTER the breakup and name calling.
Second mistake was letting him stay there whilst she was out of the country.

She needs to make a list of what his extended stay has cost her - in terms of utilities, bike, lock change and storage of his stuff.
Then send it to him via text/email and ask him how he's going to pay - and don't give everything back until it's paid off.
Or give back everything but the bike - saves him paying her in 'installments' - if ever!

oh...just so your mate knows - this doesn't sound like a 'coincidence' to me.
My home town was riddled with scams like this. People would arrange an 'inside job' and then cash in on insurance. The stuff would mysteriously make its way back to them afterwards......
Just like his bike was found and returned so quickly!

He doesn't care about your friend the way she thinks a 'normal' person would.

katieks Wed 04-Jan-17 20:57:23

My friend can't do that because it's illegal and doesn't want to risk a criminal record. I don't blame her and agree she shouldn't do anything illegal. That is why she is considering legal avenues such as lien or small claims.

katieks Wed 04-Jan-17 20:58:17

And she's not a mug, just a nice person who didn't want someone to be homeless as he claimed he would be.

RedHelenB Sat 07-Jan-17 18:37:47

Why should he pay for the bike if it was stolen? SZurely his offer would only be seen as a goodwill gesture? Give his stuff back, change the locks and have nothing more to do with him!

CouldntMakeThisShitUp Sat 07-Jan-17 22:01:42


She leaves for her Christmas hols so he only has a few days alone in house. During those few days both of their (very valuable, £1000+) bikes get stolen due to boyfriend leaving garage unsecure. Boyfriend says he will pay up for bike

Therefore he is liable.

RedHelenB Mon 09-Jan-17 13:14:11

Dont see why as he was not the thief and it has been reported to the police as a theft. Give his stuff back and have nothing more to do with him - your bike could yet turn up if his has.

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