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Small Claims Court guide

edited 18 September 2015 at 10:08AM in Consumer Rights
676 replies 150.8K views
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  • enaidenaid Forumite
    19 posts
    Thanks , I have been reading about the costs and did find there were caps on the amount. I think the defendants solicitors was trying to scare me into backing off by making me aware of the costs and the fact they will ask the judge to award them if they win. Thanks again x
  • I am about to make a small claim application but I wonder if it is the best way.
    I invited a builder I knew (2 years) to look at a renovation job.
    he sent a kitchen planner (Benchmarx) and architect round to assess, layouts were sent as photos, I requested emails but didn't get one.
    he also came with the architect (paid for) and discussed opening up a wall.
    2 days later I was asked to pay for the kitchen as he was placing a 4 kitchen order and I would benefit from being part of the larger order.
    As I had known him a long time I trusted him and transferred the kitchen money to his wifes account, who also repeated the high-pressure technique and 4 kitchen order story.
    the job was booked for 3 months later - nov 18th
    1 month after the transfer (late sept), trouble started brewing, he went on another holiday and from the holiday he cancelled the job and said go get your money from the supplier when you are ready for the kitchen.
    I tried to carry on finalising the layout and establishing where the money was exactly, Benchmarx branch made the facts muddy and appear to act as a friend to the builder rather than a large firm with responsibility.
    end of November I raised a complaint with Benchmarx over their handling of the issue and sent my letter of intent to the builder.
    I had up to that point said I would accept a refund or credit in my name with Benchmarx.
    I was told I had actually paid a deposit, and they had no obligation to refund a penny and only goodwill existed, they would in goodwill allow me access to their account at Benchmarx.

    I am now hoping to appear in court asap.
    Does anyone think I have a good case, there is no contract but copies of messages cancelling job by the builder and money was transferred by BACS.
    He is threatening to counterclaim the purchase of materials and hire equipment
    the job was cancelled 7 weeks before the start date.

    Would anyone use a debt collector ( names came up when I search small claims)
  • AndyCHillAndyCHill Forumite
    2 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I'm a director in a UK small business and want to claim from another business, can I use this route to deal with the issue or is this for personal consumer claims against businesses only
  • waamowaamo Forumite
    10.2K posts
    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Name Dropper
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    AndyCHill wrote: »
    I'm a director in a UK small business and want to claim from another business, can I use this route to deal with the issue or is this for personal consumer claims against businesses only

    Anyone can use it.
    This space for hire.
  • sam1970sam1970 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    I had a big house renovation job last year by a building firm but since they finished work we had nothing but problems (failing new central heating, water leaks from two new bathrooms, uneven tiled floors, problems with electric work). Builder refused to acknowledge problems or come back to repair.
    I reckon the cost of putting things right will be around 15-20 K (obviously i will get multiple quotes) so do you think MCOL is the appropriate route? I checked their website and you can file cases up to 100 K.
    I have independent reports condemning the electrical and the gas work so I feel in strong position. Actually I reported him to Health and Safety Executive and he ended with a big fine and prohibition notice and I feel that will strengthen my case at court...Or should I instruct a solicitor?
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • waamowaamo Forumite
    10.2K posts
    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Name Dropper
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    sam1970 wrote: »
    I had a big house renovation job last year by a building firm but since they finished work we had nothing but problems (failing new central heating, water leaks from two new bathrooms, uneven tiled floors, problems with electric work). Builder refused to acknowledge problems or come back to repair.
    I reckon the cost of putting things right will be around 15-20 K (obviously i will get multiple quotes) so do you think MCOL is the appropriate route? I checked their website and you can file cases up to 100 K.
    I have independent reports condemning the electrical and the gas work so I feel in strong position. Actually I reported him to Health and Safety Executive and he ended with a big fine and prohibition notice and I feel that will strengthen my case at court...Or should I instruct a solicitor?

    For a claim of that size instruct a solicitor. It isn't a small claim as it exceeds the value and doesn't sound a straightforward uncomplicated claim.

    When claims are heard on a different track to the small claim circuit costs are much more generous so, should you win, your solicitor costs may well be paid by the losing side.
    This space for hire.
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
    7.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    sam1970 wrote: »
    I had a big house renovation job last year by a building firm but since they finished work we had nothing but problems (failing new central heating, water leaks from two new bathrooms, uneven tiled floors, problems with electric work). Builder refused to acknowledge problems or come back to repair.
    I reckon the cost of putting things right will be around 15-20 K (obviously i will get multiple quotes) so do you think MCOL is the appropriate route? I checked their website and you can file cases up to 100 K.
    I have independent reports condemning the electrical and the gas work so I feel in strong position. Actually I reported him to Health and Safety Executive and he ended with a big fine and prohibition notice and I feel that will strengthen my case at court...Or should I instruct a solicitor?

    I'd use a solicitor. But first check your home insurance to see if you have a legal expenses add on.
  • sam1970sam1970 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Thank you guys. I do have legal cover with my home insurance but not holding my breath. It tends to be worthless so Iam not even sure why I paid for it. 10 years ago me and my family got stuck in Paris when flights were cancelled due to volcanic ash. Air France refused to pay my expenses for the extra 7 days I spent in Paris plus my expensive travel cost to come back to UK via Eurostar (Business class). The legal advice I got from my home insurer solicitor was that the chances of wining were small (less than 51%) so they can not take the case on my policy but they were happy to take the case directly with me at a cost of £300 per hour which was mad considering that I was claiming £2500. I fought the case on my own, with help of Air transport users agency, including complaining to French aviation authority and ended a year later receiving an apology from Air France, all my costs plus compensation for my time (£3000 in total).
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
    7.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    sam1970 wrote: »
    Thank you guys. I do have legal cover with my home insurance but not holding my breath. It tends to be worthless so Iam not even sure why I paid for it. 10 years ago me and my family got stuck in Paris when flights were cancelled due to volcanic ash. Air France refused to pay my expenses for the extra 7 days I spent in Paris plus my expensive travel cost to come back to UK via Eurostar (Business class). The legal advice I got from my home insurer solicitor was that the chances of wining were small (less than 51%) so they can not take the case on my policy but they were happy to take the case directly with me at a cost of £300 per hour which was mad considering that I was claiming £2500. I fought the case on my own, with help of Air transport users agency, including complaining to French aviation authority and ended a year later receiving an apology from Air France, all my costs plus compensation for my time (£3000 in total).

    The insurer wasn’t by any chance DAS was it?
  • sam1970sam1970 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
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    To be honest cant remember as it is nearly 10 years now and I change my insurer every year to get a good deal. Anyway never heard of or used DAS before
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