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  • FIRST POST
    • whiteswan
    • By whiteswan 14th Jun 19, 12:05 AM
    • 168Posts
    • 100Thanks
    whiteswan
    I have been charged by a solicitor for a letter they sent myself ??
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 19, 12:05 AM
    I have been charged by a solicitor for a letter they sent myself ?? 14th Jun 19 at 12:05 AM
    Wasn't too sure where to put this............

    I own a Pub with a Pub Company - been here 16 years.

    A representative of the Pub Company tried to gain access behind my bar whilst I was not on the premises.

    He didn't identify himself and was quite rightly refused access.

    I then received a solicitors letter saying that I should have let him access wherever he wanted to as it is in my lease.

    I politely wrote back to them explaining that as he did not identify himself correctly or offer any form of id we cannot let anybody without proper id behind bar near to the stock or the tills and also for my staffs safety.

    However they have now sent me a bill for 200 for sending me the letter in the first place.

    Can they legally do this ? There was no warning I would be charged and no fees etc in their letter to myself.

    Can I now invoice them for my time and having to send a letter to them ?

    It seems really petty to be honest - especially after being here for such a long time with no problems at all - never missed a rent/beer payment and it's left a bad taste in my mouth to be fair.

    I have contacted the Brewery who they represent and hopefully they will just quash the charges - but am I allowed to write back - including a structure of my fees/time etc if I need to - or do I need to be legally qualified ?

    Dave
Page 1
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 14th Jun 19, 12:43 AM
    • 3,867 Posts
    • 4,170 Thanks
    LadyDee
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 19, 12:43 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 19, 12:43 AM
    They can't charge you for writing a letter - they charge the person instructing them. You have no contract with the brewery's solicitors presumably? Doesn't your lease provide for "reasonable" notice of access (unless in an emergency) or some such? The brewery should be grateful that you don't let anybody just wonder round the nonpublic part of the premises.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 14th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    • 24,749 Posts
    • 14,285 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    I have contacted the Brewery who they represent and hopefully they will just quash the charges - but am I allowed to write back - including a structure of my fees/time etc if I need to - or do I need to be legally qualified ?
    Originally posted by whiteswan
    Wait and see what the Brewery say before doing anything. You seem to me to be perfectly justified in refusing entry to effectively private premises by someone who failed to identify themselves. Don't "write back", simply refuse to pay the solicitor's fee.

    However, what prompted them to send the letter via a solicitor in the first place? Is this because you have repeatedly refused them entry? Why do they want access in the first place? Is it some form of inspection?
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 14th Jun 19, 6:35 AM
    • 22,820 Posts
    • 18,841 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 19, 6:35 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 19, 6:35 AM
    ...but am I allowed to write back - including a structure of my fees/time etc if I need to - or do I need to be legally qualified ?
    Originally posted by whiteswan

    If you did this it would legitimise the charge levied on you by the solicitor. As your hourly rate won't be anywhere remotely near the rate charged by a solicitor you'll be significantly out of pocket even if both sides pay up. Leave it to the brewery to sort out.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Jun 19, 7:02 AM
    • 13,112 Posts
    • 14,902 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 19, 7:02 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 19, 7:02 AM
    They can't charge you for writing a letter - they charge the person instructing them. You have no contract with the brewery's solicitors presumably? Doesn't your lease provide for "reasonable" notice of access (unless in an emergency) or some such?
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    The lease will certainly give the landlords some sort of rights to inspect etc, but won't necessarily be qualified about requiring notice (or specific forms of ID) unless that had been negotiated at the time the lease was drafted.

    And it will also say that the tenant has to pay the landlord's costs for enforcing the terms of the lease, so there's nothing wrong in principle with the tenant being asked to pay the landlord's solicitor's bill.

    So I think the only questions are:
    1. does the lease say they need to make an appointment

    2. did the guy really refuse to say who he was but claim he had the right to go behind the bar?

    3. was it reasonable for the landlord to go straight to their solicitors rather than just write to the OP themselves to remind him what the lease says? (probably not a great argument if the OP has in fact breached the lease)

    And no, tenants can't charge for their time corresponding with the landlord or their solicitors.
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 14th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    • 679 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    Paul_DNAP
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    Send them a bill for 400 for the letter you sent to them in reply to the letter they sent to you. Then if they chase you to court for the 200 they billed you, they'll end up 200 down on the deal.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 14th Jun 19, 8:16 AM
    • 4,627 Posts
    • 2,691 Thanks
    Colin_Maybe
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:16 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:16 AM
    Wasn't too sure where to put this............

    I own a Pub with a Pub Company - been here 16 years.

    A representative of the Pub Company tried to gain access behind my bar whilst I was not on the premises.

    He didn't identify himself and was quite rightly refused access.

    I then received a solicitors letter saying that I should have let him access wherever he wanted to as it is in my lease.

    I politely wrote back to them explaining that as he did not identify himself correctly or offer any form of id we cannot let anybody without proper id behind bar near to the stock or the tills and also for my staffs safety.

    However they have now sent me a bill for 200 for sending me the letter in the first place.

    Can they legally do this ? There was no warning I would be charged and no fees etc in their letter to myself.

    Can I now invoice them for my time and having to send a letter to them ?

    It seems really petty to be honest - especially after being here for such a long time with no problems at all - never missed a rent/beer payment and it's left a bad taste in my mouth to be fair.

    I have contacted the Brewery who they represent and hopefully they will just quash the charges - but am I allowed to write back - including a structure of my fees/time etc if I need to - or do I need to be legally qualified ?

    Dave
    Originally posted by whiteswan
    However they have now sent me a bill for 200 for sending me the letter in the first place.
    For clarity who sent the bill for 200? Was it the solicitors and are they claiming you owe them for sending their letter or was it the pub chain who sent it?

    What's the wording on the letter?
    • Potbellypig
    • By Potbellypig 14th Jun 19, 8:25 AM
    • 534 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    Potbellypig
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:25 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:25 AM
    I don't think we're getting the full story here...
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 14th Jun 19, 8:53 AM
    • 2,756 Posts
    • 4,501 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:53 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 19, 8:53 AM
    I don't think we're getting the full story here...
    Originally posted by Potbellypig
    Indeed

    OP - do you actually 'own' the pub as your post says ? If not what is your actual position and relationship with the brewery ?

    I can think of a particular Yorkshire based brewery who would operate on this basis and throw legal letters around with abandon - if it's this one owned by Humphrey then it's likely any response will leave you homeless/jobless fairly quickly
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 14th Jun 19, 9:33 AM
    • 819 Posts
    • 740 Thanks
    stragglebod
    Dear Sirs


    Thank you for your letter of xx. I am not liable for this bill, will not be making any payment, and consider the matter closed.


    Kind regards, whiteswan
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 14th Jun 19, 11:13 AM
    • 1,644 Posts
    • 1,058 Thanks
    m0bov
    Why did the brewery just turn up to get behind the bar?! Have you not paid your bills?
    • bris
    • By bris 14th Jun 19, 11:45 AM
    • 8,816 Posts
    • 7,706 Thanks
    bris
    I don't think we're getting the full story here...
    Originally posted by Potbellypig
    No I doubt it.


    What people are not telling you here is you need to read the terms of the lease you signed, that is all the rights you have.


    The lease will list everything they can do and I bet legal letters are covered in there some where.


    Unannounced visits are common for one reason, to catch you unawares. This is for obvious reasons, they can't catch you selling your own spirits etc if they tell you they are coming.


    he would have identified himself, just not to your liking, this will make them even more suspicious of you so expect more unannounced visits.
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 14th Jun 19, 3:10 PM
    • 3,225 Posts
    • 4,493 Thanks
    JReacher1
    This doesn't ring true.

    I can't believe that a representative of the company would try and get access behind the bar and not tell anyone who he was. When he was refused access surely he must have stated who he worked for and why he wanted access?

    It also seems unusual for a solicitor to be involved due to this one incident!

    This whole thing sounds very strange.
    • Les79
    • By Les79 14th Jun 19, 6:16 PM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 1,566 Thanks
    Les79
    In a previous post of yours you mentioned contacting your insurance provider who helped you to draft up a letter with regard to a business issue (can't remember if it was the BG, EON or Sky issue...). I would recommend that you contact them again here.

    If you are on good footing with the pub company (I'm imagining a franchise sort of setup here?) then surely the only reason for them getting a bit funny with you here is due to them being unable to carry out some sort of spot check?

    If so, to what degree are they in the wrong VS your staff not adequately trained?

    To be fair, the whole issue does sound a bit farcical even if you are omitting the odd detail, so you have a bit of sympathy from me.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    • 13,112 Posts
    • 14,902 Thanks
    davidmcn
    In a previous post of yours you mentioned contacting your insurance provider who helped you to draft up a letter with regard to a business issue
    Originally posted by Les79
    Though in another previous post, the OP was asking about disability benefits and said he worked part-time on minimum wage. Didn't mention he owned a pub as well! All a bit odd.
    • Les79
    • By Les79 14th Jun 19, 7:52 PM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 1,566 Thanks
    Les79
    Though in another previous post, the OP was asking about disability benefits and said he worked part-time on minimum wage. Didn't mention he owned a pub as well! All a bit odd.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Well, I'm not 100% convinced that it is odd...

    OP mentioned PIP both elements (Mobility and Daily living I presume?) and you can probably claim them whilst still working!

    Plus, by virtue of the issue at hand (OP seems to have been at home during the time when staff were present and this happened), I could buy into them working 20 hours per week solely at the pub. Can't really see someone disabled owning a pub AND holding down another 20 hour PT job...

    The remuneration amount does seem very iffy for an OWNER, though, and I can't see how OP would be on min wage! But maybe times are tough?
    • whiteswan
    • By whiteswan 14th Jun 19, 8:20 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 100 Thanks
    whiteswan
    Hi - thanks for the responses so far........

    I do own the business now (not always the case as I decided to take on the lease) - it's a lease I have taken on with a Pub Company - so they own the building and I pay them a rent - I am on a partial tie with the brewery - so not tied for all goods.

    I have today pulled out my lease and it does indeed include a clause to say that I must give them access - however he didn't identify himself at all - he said he was from the Brewery but offered no ID whatsoever so was refused access.

    I am Disabled but I also work as hard as I can for much less than minimum wage.

    They seem to want access whenever they like to try and "catch" people out buying there own stock which the lease forbids.

    All my bills are paid and up to date - thank you :-)

    It's super difficult in the Pub Game just to keep your head above water - but I'm giving it a good try.

    I have thrown it back to the Brewery and hope they decide to reverse the charges - those charges are more than I make in a week to be honest.

    So I apologise for the "own" comment - it seems to have lead people astray.

    Thank you so much for the responses - I was super annoyed when I read the email last night and wanted to "vent" !
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 14th Jun 19, 8:42 PM
    • 17,722 Posts
    • 13,836 Thanks
    hollydays
    So did you not ask for ID and then give him the opportunity to,prove it, if he couldn't eg a phone call?
    A blanket " not unless you've got ID" with no room for exploring other ways to prove who he was seems bloody rude
    • Les79
    • By Les79 14th Jun 19, 8:48 PM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 1,566 Thanks
    Les79
    So did you not ask for ID and then give him the opportunity to,prove it, if he couldn't eg a phone call?
    A blanket " not unless you've got ID" with no room for exploring other ways to prove who he was seems bloody rude
    Originally posted by hollydays
    I note that OP stated:

    A representative of the Pub Company tried to gain access behind my bar whilst I was not on the premises.
    by OP
    So, I suspect that one of their employees had that conversation with this person?

    If so, I think OP's potential liability would be inadequate training to their staff, and not much more. That *may* extend to owing a 200 bill (though the reasons are a bit iffy).
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 14th Jun 19, 9:03 PM
    • 17,722 Posts
    • 13,836 Thanks
    hollydays
    What exactly did your member of staff say to him.
    I think if it's an accounting/ security issue, and youve been pre warned to expect spot checks,on your till , in your contract, you might be on a sticky wicket.
    Last edited by hollydays; 14-06-2019 at 9:10 PM.
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