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Deadline on putting a claim through small claims court

(5 Posts)
HazzaB Thu 15-Nov-12 12:35:22

I'm wondering if there is a reasonable amount of time within which you need to act to put a claim through small claims.
We have been involved in a dispute with our lettings agency which we have tried to resolve. Last contact with them was May, when we didn't manage to reach agreement and we said that the next step for us was to pursue through small claims. Since then, DS2 arrived early and we moved house. Been v busy. We now would like to pursue through small claims. Is it now too late? Would the time we've left prejudice our case?

Also - anyone know whether we have to go through ARLA first (lettings agency are an ARLA member), or can we go straight to small claims? I'm guessing we do need to go through ARLA to show that we've tried all avenues to resolve.

ClareMarriott Fri 16-Nov-12 07:51:39

What is your dispute actually about ?

HazzaB Fri 16-Nov-12 10:50:36

It's financial loss to us. We're the landlords, the letting agent acted on our behalf. They did a terrible job and we found them to have breached their contract with us. We complained, and asked to cancel the contract due to their breaches. They said they would move us to a 'lettings only' rather than full management contract (which we didn't agree with as don't trust them), and they said that they would retain the current and the previous tenants' deposits against monies that we would owe to them under a lettings only contract. So we have lost both deposits from the previous and the current tenancy. This meant we had to refund the previous tenant from our own pocket and will be in the same position when the current tenant leaves. Our point was that they should refund the deposits to us (so we can refund the tenants as necessary) and then continue a dispute directly with us over any fees they considered us to owe (and which we dispute).

ClareMarriott Fri 16-Nov-12 11:51:56

I'd make an appointment with a solicitor who deals with this type of thing , take all your paperwork with you and find out where you stand as this has been going on for longer that 6 months

prh47bridge Fri 16-Nov-12 12:40:03

You have 6 years from the date of breach of contract to start your claim. You have plenty of time. You should not use a solicitor for a small claim (less than £5000) as you will not be able to recover your legal costs from the other side.

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