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Mumsnet advice please on the next step - garage involved

(35 Posts)
elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 12:14:26

30 months ago I split with my long term partner. We have 2 children which he sees regularly. We live in a small community and he currently lives one street away with another woman. The issue is about a garage that I own which is not part of the house. He has used it to store his work tools. A year ago I asked him for the key. His reaction to this request was verbally very frightening, this along with some other issues made me realise I was not coping and I took some time off work. I am much more on track now and think I ought to get the issue resolved. I don't really want to involve solicitors but I think I should put my request in writing to him. Any help with the wording would be gratefully received, in my head I keep hearing the phrase 'without prejudice' but what does that actually mean? I am asking for help as I keep getting a mental block as the original confrontation looms back and rational thought becomes clouded.

butterflygirl15 Sun 28-Jun-15 12:18:47

I would get a solicitor involved tbh - it will be worth it. They will prob give him a set amount of time to give you your key back or further action. He doesn't seem likely to care if you send a letter and it will only upset you and set you back.

Verbally frightening - was he abusive during your relationship?

LIZS Sun 28-Jun-15 12:22:51

Treat it like a business transaction . Issue him with written notice to remove his possessions and return the key by a specific date. Failing that remove the items and change locks.

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 12:24:58

Thanks Butterflygirl I was thinking about the letter perhaps suggesting some threat of a solicitor getting involved. He used to be a nice bloke but then became not so. I think he was unhappy.

pocketsaviour Sun 28-Jun-15 12:25:05

"Without prejudice" simply means that any offers made by you or the other party in an attempt to settle a claim cannot be taken into account when and if the matter goes to trial.

For example if you make a complaint to a shop, and they reply offering you a £10 voucher "without prejudice", you could still take them to court under sale of goods act (or whatever) and seek full damages.

Not really applicable in your case since your ex is basically trespassing.

I would consult a solicitor, it's worth getting it done properly.

Wordylicious Sun 28-Jun-15 12:31:24

I would suggest one pleasant letter, asking for removal of the goods then return of the key in 14 days.

In the meantime consult a solicitor.

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 12:34:28

LIZS you are right and I am being too subjective. Now, how do I word it please? So that if it becomes a very contracted law type issue I have not said the wrong thing and my evidence trail is squeaky clean.

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 12:39:54

contracted? protracted

Optimist1 Sun 28-Jun-15 12:44:07

Something along the lines of "A year has passed since I asked you for the key to my garage. Now I need you to remove your belongings from it so that I can use the space. Please arrange for it to be emptied by 12th July and return the key to me. If this isn't done I'll be forced to take further action."?

The "further action" could then be a solicitor's letter, or another letter from you telling him that you'll be disposing of his belongings at the end of a further week.

It goes without saying that you should change the lock once you have possession again!

Toffeelatteplease Sun 28-Jun-15 12:44:43

Does he have any financial claim over the garage or just the stuff in it?

If just the stuff. Give him fourteen days to suggest a mutually convenient day within the next month he would like you to drop it off. Otherwise you will drop the stuff off on his doorstep on (name a day) then change the locks.

Or if you can throw a little money at the problem. move it to a storage company, pay for a months storage. authorise your ex collect. Tell him what you have done. Change the locks

butterflygirl15 Sun 28-Jun-15 12:47:24

You can give him a set time to take his belongings, and if doesn't take them in that time you can dispose of them as you see fit. I had a solicitor write a similar letter for me. As long as I gave notice I could then dump or sell his stuff without any recourse. But please do take advice too.

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 12:49:25

Thank you Optimist I like your idea of 'further action'. Now how do I address my exp. I certainly do not want to use 'Dear' is 'FAO' acceptable? #or just simply his name?

Optimist1 Sun 28-Jun-15 12:59:45

I know what you mean about "Dear", although I think in the context of a letter it doesn't really convey affection. Personally I'd just use his name.

I quite like the option Toffeelatte suggests of delivering his stuff to his new address on a specific date if he hasn't taken any action. You could keep this as one of your alternative "further action" options!

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 13:01:57

I know clarity isn't my strong suit today. One of the issues is that he has the key. I cannot gain access. I have considered using bolt crops but thought I really ought to do the calm route first, that is why I was asking for some help in writing the notice/letter/e-mail. I don't want to inflame the situation just take the necessary steps and get it resolved.

kewtogetin Sun 28-Jun-15 13:06:26

Call a locksmith to open the garage, empty his shit into boxes, locksmith can then change locks and issue you with a new key. Take ex's shit round to his house and leave it there.

Optimist1 Sun 28-Jun-15 14:47:51

Oh, I didn't realise that you didn't have access (he could be storing anything in there!!). In that case I agree that breaking in at this stage could be seen as inflammatory.

butterflygirl15 Sun 28-Jun-15 15:05:45

also if you dump his stuff outside his house you could be accused of fly tipping apparently.

Toffeelatteplease Sun 28-Jun-15 15:06:35

What?!? Does he have any financial or documented claim to the actual garage?

If not Just get a locksmiths in or bolt cutters. You can't be done for breaking into your own garage....

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 15:37:04

He does not have any financial claim to the garage or indeed the house. I am the sole mortgagee. I stated earlier that we live in a small community - if you fart someone will tell you about it at work the next day. I just want to play it by the rules. However I think I will bite the bullet and just send the e-mail. This could end badly though.

foolonthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 15:42:25

Send the nice polite letter and then tell the most mouthy gossip at the corner shop/school gates that you have sent a nice polite letter asking him to remove his stuff.

With luck some nosey-parker will ask him if he has taken his gear out of your garage yet when he is at the pub (or similar). he may have more invested in seeming reasonable to his mates than to you.....

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 15:46:03

A year ago I asked you for the key to my garage. I think that is more than sufficient time to return it. Please could you remove your items and return me the key within fourteen days from this e-mail. I hope you will oblige and not have to cause me to take further action.

This the intended e-mail. Is it ok wise ones?

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 15:48:10

of not from

foolonthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 15:50:21

Very polite...I'd be more direct in the last sentence...he is not obliging!

from this email. If you fail to comply I will take further action.

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 16:05:59

Done. Sent it. and now it has pinged back at me arrrrgghh. Text could be the next option

elephantoverthehill Sun 28-Jun-15 16:08:46

Delivery to these recipients or groups is complete, but no delivery notification was sent by the destination server:

This is the message I got back. Does this mean it didn't do the read receipt thing?

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