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Company refusing to remove their cash machine

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  • Company refusing to remove their cash machine

    Hi

    I've recently taken over a small shop, it was presented as vacant so there was no ongoing business and pretty much no furniture were left in the shop except a cash machine that's at the front of the shop. After contacting the company that owns the machine, I've been informed that they have no idea as to when they'll be able to remove it, this is causing me quite a few problems because I want to refurbish the shop and the machine is taking up a lot of space. My question is that since I'm not in a contract with the company, would I get into trouble if I were to have this cash machine removed and disposed of personally?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tags: None

  • #2

    So you are an involuntary bailee, but still have to take reasonable care of the goods, and so may not just dispose of them.
    If you do you could be sued for the value of the machine

    However as you are also a gratuitous bailee (ie receiving no recompense) you can terminate the bailment by giving notice to the owner of the goods.

    Tell them that if they do not remove the item by dd.mm.yyyy you will arrange for it to be sold at public auction. You will then pay them the proceeds less your costs.
    This is in accordance with your rights under The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      Tell them that if they do not remove the item by dd.mm.yyyy you will arrange for it to be sold at public auction. You will then pay them the proceeds less your costs.
      Thanks a lot for your response. Is there a specific amount of time that I need to give them? There's a chance that no one will actually pay anything for it, would I be able to ask the company to pay for the cost of removal and disposal?
      ¬*

      Comment


      • #4
        You should give them a "reasonable" time.... say two weeks.

        The notice has to comply with part II of schedule 1 of the act:
        (1)A notice under section 12(3) shalló

        (a)specify the name and address of the bailee, and give sufficient particulars of the goods and the address or place where they are held, and

        (b)specify the date on or after which the bailee proposes to sell the goods, and

        (c)specify the amount, if any, which is payable by the bailor to the bailee in respect of the goods, and which became due before the giving of the notice.

        (2)The period between giving of the notice and the date specified in the notice as that on or after which the bailee proposes to exercise the power of sale shall be such as will afford the bailor a reasonable opportunity of taking delivery of the goods.

        (3)If any amount is payable in respect of the goods by the bailor to the bailee, and become due before giving of the notice, the said period shall be not less than three months.

        (4)The notice shall be in writing and shall be sent by post in a registered letter, or by the recorded delivery service.

        If you think it will¬* fail to sell¬* you should include in the notice a warning that if they fail to collect and it fails to sell you will dispose of the item as scrap and invoice them for your costs. (whether or not you'll be able to collect any such costs is a different matter entirely!)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by des8 View Post
          You should give them a "reasonable" time.... say two weeks.
          Thank you so much, I'll start writing that letter now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by des8 View Post
            If you think it will¬* fail to sell¬* you should include in the notice a warning that if they fail to collect and it fails to sell you will dispose of the item as scrap and invoice them for your costs. (whether or not you'll be able to collect any such costs is a different matter entirely!)
            They responded to me and they're asking me to prove that I'm the new owner! At the same time, they're refusing to remove the machine because of Covid-19, their reason being that they're unable to facilitate it as there's a lock down, which is nonsense, there has been no stoppage to construction work. They're also threatening that selling/scrapping the machine would be a criminal offence! It seems like an intimidation tactic, any advice?

            Comment


            • #7
              You could write back pointing out couriers are still operating and so it would be easy for them to arrange a collection.
              Accordingly your notice under the Act still stands (unless they are prepared to pay for storage at their own risk at your premises. The charge is £Xx per diem, payable weekly in advance. If they fail to pay your notice is automatically reinstated)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by des8 View Post
                You could write back pointing out couriers are still operating and so it would be easy for them to arrange a collection.
                Accordingly your notice under the Act still stands (unless they are prepared to pay for storage at their own risk at your premises. The charge is £Xx per diem, payable weekly in advance. If they fail to pay your notice is automatically reinstated)
                Am I under any obligation to provide proof that they've requested?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't see why.

                  One further aspect
                  You took premises over as "vacant".
                  Are these rented if so the landlord might be held responsible for disposing of the machine
                  If purchased the previous owner is responsible for your costs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You could also charge them storage. £50/ day seems fair.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paulajayne View Post
                      You could also charge them storage. £50/ day seems fair.
                      Actually you can't as you have no contract with them. In¬*¬*Kolfor Plant Hire Limited v Tilbury Plant Hire Limited¬*Judge Newey QC pointed out that an involuntary bailee has no general right to recover the costs of storing unwanted goods or of removing them to a place of storage. This is because storage charges can only be created by contract.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paulajayne View Post
                        You could also charge them storage. £50/ day seems fair.
                        The problem is that it's costing me more than that, I can't start the refurbishment until this issue is sorted out, and I've got loan repayments coming up soon while the business isn't operational and the refurb hasn't even started. It would only cost them no more than a few hundred pounds to remove their property, I don't understand why they're behaving like this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by des8 View Post
                          This is because storage charges can only be created by contract.
                          So I can only charge them if they accept the storage fees that I quoted in my correspondence to them?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jd01 View Post

                            So I can only charge them if they accept the storage fees that I quoted in my correspondence to them?
                            That is correct.
                            You could try charging them, but if they refuse to pay you will have difficulty enforcing your charges.

                            Proceed either with the notice to remove and then sale or pursue landlord/seller for your costs following failure to provide the vacant possession¬*

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by des8 View Post
                              That is correct.
                              You could try charging them, but if they refuse to pay you will have difficulty enforcing your charges.
                              Would sending the notice by email suffice? They've responded to my email, or do I have to send the same notice by recorded delivery as well?

                              Comment

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