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This might be very intuitive for someone to suggest me to ask him to put it back. But please hold on.

I live in a hostel and changed room to the next room which had a cooler already (owned by my new roommate). I put mine outside in the corridor which is a common practice. The old cooler was bought by me last year and left in the corridor because of space crunch. The new person in my old room has started using it now without asking me.

Scene: he is my hostel mate but we never talked. He is not new here (he came to the college 2 years ago, in the same batch/hall as me).

It is very hot here.

The person in charge of the hostel did not respond to the mail below:

The person/ people living in (room) currently, uses/ use a cooler without the permission of the owner and most probably even without paying the additional cooler charges.

Just because I or anyone else might make them put it back outside doesn’t make them less of a thief. It will be called a reclamation.

Kindly make them put it back outside. Also a humble request: This mail doesn’t need to be shared with anyone else in the hall if it doesn’t concern them. Thank you Name

How do I ask the person to put it back?

I'm unsure how to respond if they tell me: "you are already using a cooler in your room. Why do you need to take this back?", or "can we please use it for summers only since you already have one?"

Also, there are possible damages to pump and motor (which is common due to poor quality water; I paid 500 rupees for the fan motor two months ago).

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    Do you need your old cooler at all? Why not putting it up for sale? Also, why do you need to leave it in the corridor? – ooOOooK May 18 at 19:58
  • Yes. In July when we move to the new rooms, I’ll be using it. So not for sale. Rooms are too small to accommodate two coolers. Whenever people leave for summer vacations, they put all the luggage in a locked room safeguarded by the management but they don’t put coolers in those rooms. But I am staying so, my old room was all empty, new room had a cooler already So my cooler is outside, like everybody’s. – ankiiiiiii May 19 at 4:03
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    Is it possible this person didn't realize the cooler was yours and just assumed it belonged to their room? – Erik May 19 at 6:06
  • @Erik No because everybody buys a cooler if they have to use it. And coolers left in the corridor are not there because the owners abandoned them. Everyone here knows that. It's due to the space crunch. – ankiiiiiii May 19 at 6:07
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    I made a small edit to remove the "should I" question you added in - it's up to you if you want to ask for money, but if you decide you do want them to pay for use/repairs, you should edit that info in. – Em C May 20 at 16:48
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On the surface this would seem like a generalisation of the problem mentioned in another question. You could check my answer there, justified by the issue I had once with a landlord who gave away my bicycle.

The simplest approach is to meet your new hostel mate, give them the benefit of the doubt that they may not know the local customs, but be direct and frank:

The cooler that you took belongs to me. Please return it to the place where you found it, and leave it there.

If however you think that this may cause conflict, you can be a bit softer:

I understand that you are new to the hostel. We have certain local habits, one of which is that of leaving some of our properties in the corridors under the understanding that it will not be taken by others without our permission. My cooler, which you took, is one of such properties. Please return it. If you really need it, ask for it first.

As you notice both these approaches do not involve the "person in charge of the hostel". The reason is that you may want to try and set the right footing with a new member of your hostel community. Involving an external authority, just like dragging someone to court, to resolve this situation should be considered a last resource if you can't reach an amicable solution. From experience with legal matters, the first question a judge asks is whether you have tried to resolve the question and find an acceptable compromise directly with the other party: "No" is not a good answer.

Also, to further avoid conflict, consider the possibility of offering to lend it as an act of kindness (a favour forward), or rent it, or sell it.

  • I appreciate your answer, but as my comment above says that he is not new here, the second quote is, I'm afraid, not helpful. I would mark it the answer if you might extend the last paragraph on how to respond if they tell me: you are already using a cooler in your room. Why do you need to take this back? OR can we please use it for summers only since you already have one. || Should I warn them against possible damages to pump and motor (which is common due to poor quality water)(I paid 500 rupees for the fan motor two months ago). Should I ask them to pay me after summers if something breaks. – ankiiiiiii May 20 at 6:01
  • Also about that legal procedure, i did that in some anger and frustration. – ankiiiiiii May 20 at 6:04
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    @ankiiiiiii The general advice is still sound : talk to the roommate, assume there was some miscommunication and give them the benefit of the doubt (to avoid the roommate become defensive). As for all the scenarios you proposed, the cooler is your property so it should be enough, it's up to you to figure out what you want to do and what compromise you're willing to make. Once you decide those, talk to the roommate. – MlleMei May 20 at 9:03

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