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Small claims court procedure?

(6 Posts)
notcitrus Fri 05-Sep-08 16:28:17

Last year the tenant in my granny flat turned from being an OK tenant to a complete nightmare. We managed to agree that she would move out and I gave her 3 months' notice in writing. She didn't move, told me she'd give me the rent owed but never did, and I filled in the court forms to get an order for eviction. Eventually she left thanks to the court bailiff.

I then sent back the part of the form to claim the outstanding rent from her, and a while later chased the court to find out what should happen. Apparently she'd filed a defence but neither she or the court had sent me a copy. The defence is a pile of fiction, but what do I do now? Do I have to get back to the court and have a hearing, or can it be done by post?

I know the council are interested as somehow they paid housing benefit in advance for some months after she wasn't there - someone said recently I might be able to claim some money off them? I tried getting a solicitor last summer but of the list the CAB gave me, 9 out of 10 refused to represent a landlord and the other wanted £800 up front to even look at the problem, and I really don't want to throw more good money after bad (the outstanding amount is about £2300, but I doubt I'll ever see much of it).

Any advice?

MaryBS Sat 06-Sep-08 12:24:56

I think you you should chase the court. I've had limited experience in taking someone to the small claims court, but if you turn up to the hearing you can put your case, and can answer the judge's questions. It increases your chance of the judgement going in your favour IMO. Mine was over a faulty car I bought from a garage.

Maybe someone with more knowledge can help?

ilovemydog Sat 06-Sep-08 13:34:35

The court made an administrative error. They are the ones who should have sent you the defence.

The procedure should have been sent to you or included in the pack, but once the claim is filed, it's sent to the defendant who has the option to defend, counter claim or accept the claim.

Do you have a court date yet? In the meantime, ask the court to send you the defence.

notcitrus Sat 06-Sep-08 23:51:13

Thanks people - I've got the defence, but was wondering what I was supposed to do now - do I need to write my own version?

They didn't give me a court date with it, either. It was a few months ago I got the defence now - I've been so overwhelmed with pregnancy that it's one of many things I haven't been able to chase.

Sounds like I need to phone them... and spend forever getting them to answer...

ilovemydog Sun 07-Sep-08 09:44:42


notcitrus Sun 07-Sep-08 14:52:51

Thanks ilovemydog - it looks like the court have completely cocked up this one. Again. [the postal strike were partly to blame last summer, which didn't help].

The defence doesn't actually dispute the money owed, just claims harassment...

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