Garage repaired car without permission

Our car broke down and the garage picked it up.

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That's all they were asked to do but they repaired it without our permission or advising us.

We complained (we had not intended to get the car fixed) and their response was to offer to waive the tow charge. We have declared the car as SORN, but don't know where to go from here.

l You can take the garage to court for delivery of the vehicle as they are holding it unlawfully (don't go straight to court, get a solicitor to do a strong letter to them).

The garage might counterclaim that you are due the repair cost and it may be your word against theirs, but that would be enough if you are both regarded as credible.

I WORK in a care home, however six weeks ago I was given a job offer from the council with the condition of a satisfactory reference from my employer.

I asked my manager if she would do the reference, which she agreed to do. Last Monday the council told me they still haven't received it.

I contacted Acas and was told they have no obligation to give me a reference.

My colleague was also offered a council job and is having the same problem, so I assume it's not personal, maybe more a case of they don't have staff to replace us. Surely they can't have a hold over us like this?

l All I can suggest is that you go to the potential new employer and tell them the story, and see if they would take a reference from another party - perhaps someone else you have worked for or a professional representative of your governing body.

Also, seek a meeting with the managing director of your present people as the refusal to give a reference is unfair and most unusual.

I worked with a firm that is moving premises. In the new office, the hours are different, and unsuitable for me. Can I do anything?

l If you have not agreed the variation in conditions your employer is in breach of contract and if you don't accept the changes (whether or not your boss has offered extra payment or benefit to compensate), you will be treated as having been constructively dismissed.

It is then a question of whether the employer has acted reasonably as to whether your "sacking" is fair. Check your contract - it may give the employer the right to vary conditions.

I RENT out a flat and got a demand from the downstairs neighbour for a large bill for painting his ceiling, saying a leak from my flat had caused water damage.

l You're right to be wary. Demand evidence, a set of comparative quotes and ask why he didn't contact you when the damage took place. And why isn't he using his insurance?

Anyone whose property is damaged by water ingress has a duty to mitigate their losses and not just use the opportunity to better themselves at your expense. If he can't prove you had a faulty pipe or whatever, he has no claim.

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