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  • FIRST POST
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 8th Jan 18, 3:33 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 15Thanks
    Flyveryhigh-
    MCOL (Small claims) - HELP
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:33 AM
    MCOL (Small claims) - HELP 8th Jan 18 at 3:33 AM
    Hi all. I submitted a claim using MCOL on Thursday morning for the return of a deposit I gave to an ex landlord who is hoping the whole problem will just go away.

    The amount is 600 and I opted to add interest in bringing the claim up to 640ish. Including court costs the claim totals 704. I have looked over the Particulars of claim section and have made 2 mistakes - my fault.

    Mistake 1 - I mentioned I sent a letter before action on 17/10/17 - but I should have written 17/11/17. Typo regarding the month.

    Mistake 2 - although I clicked the option to automatically include court fees in the claim (so it automatically added it on to the amount) - I forgot to put a sentence saying "I'm also claiming the court fees" in the POC section - however the total claim amount includes court fees.

    This ex landlord is the type to try and wiggle their way out of anything and I'm pretty sure they will pick up on those 2 rookie errors.

    Can anyone please advise me on what best to do, and whether my worry is actually justified? Should I send the claim?

    Thank you !!
Page 2
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 12th Jan 18, 8:07 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Thanks! Point taken
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jan 18, 11:59 PM
    • 44,484 Posts
    • 52,825 Thanks
    G_M
    Thanks for all your advice. I have now sent the LL and email stating that in order to withdraw the claim I will need the full deposit including court fees and that at this time a payment plan is no longer an option. I stated that if they don't want to or cannot pay then the claim will be proceeded and worked with through the courts system.
    Originally posted by Flyveryhigh-
    Have you not been reading the last few posts?

    Write a LETTER. Go to the post office and ask for 'proof of posting'. Do not send it recorded delivery.

    Dear Mr Landlord,

    Further to my Letter Before Action dated xx/xx/17 which was hand delivered, with a witness, the same day, and since you have repeatedly failed to make the payments owed, I have now commenced legal action.

    The sum owed is now X, comprising the deposit of Y plus court fee of Z. If this is received in full, I shall inform the court and withdraw my claim.

    Kindly send your cheque for X to the above address (or 'transfer the funds to my bank account number 00000000, sort code 00-00-00').

    Yours sincerely.

    zoomingupabove

    note: ignore any messages you get vie email, twitter, facebook, rabbit, text or grinder and do not send any messages you get vie email, twitter, facebook, rabbit, text or grinder.
    Last edited by G_M; 13-01-2018 at 12:02 AM.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 13th Jan 18, 1:45 AM
    • 18 Posts
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Yes I have, I just seen that someone also said that their evidence pack was 90% emails - so i thought that that was also acceptable. I will get a letter off tomorrow

    Thank you!

    P.S. Isn't it spelt 'Grindr'...? Not that i'd know...
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 13th Jan 18, 9:57 AM
    • 2,598 Posts
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    steampowered
    Email is perfectly fine, if that is the usual means of correspondence with the landlord. Although a letter can have better effect.

    The court will not be remotely interested in your general chit-chat with the landlord. The court is only concerned with whether the money is owed, or not.

    If the money is owed, the court grants judgment. If the money is not owed, the court does not grant judgment.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 13th Jan 18, 1:00 PM
    • 1,140 Posts
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    teneighty
    I will just qualify my comment about emails. Whilst my claim was mostly based on email evidence I printed off the email chain which included my contact and responses to show that the defendant had received them and had engaged in the disputed contract. Obviously there was other evidence as well but the judge was perfectly happy with the emails, even some which were one off emails with no reply.

    For a one off email that might not be replied to I would suggest also sending a copy letter in the post with proof of posting just to make sure. Funnily enough for my letters the judge did not ask for the proof of posting but the defendant did not deny receiving them. (All the letters were sent recorded and separately as ordinary first class with proof of posting, all the recorded letters were rejected by the defendant and were returned to me unopened by Royal Mail)

    I would have thought that the basis of your case will be proof that you paid the deposit and then any correspondence from the landlord confirming they agreed to refund it but then failed to do so. Unless the landlord can produce evidence that they have either already refunded the deposit or proof that you caused damage which required the deposit to be withheld then you have a cast iron case so do not get too hung up on the minute details or every little text message.

    Remember it is quite informal and the judge works to balance of probability, its not like the High Court dramas you see on TV with highly paid barristers trying to find complex legal loopholes.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 14th Jan 18, 3:43 AM
    • 18 Posts
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Many thanks. I will be sending a letter as per the template above on Monday (was on nights and didn't get to the post office today).

    It's tough regarding the deposit because the landlord asked for it via bank transfer and then refused to give me a receipt in writing or email and got aggressive whenever I asked again. What I have regarding the deposit is WhatsApp messages asking for it, confirming it was received and the transaction on my banking. Additionally I have invoices for the entire duration I was there regarding the monthly rent.

    I spoke to citizens advice about this and they told me it didn't matter as long as I could prove I was living there and sent the money.

    I put the information of the deposit in my formal requests and letters before action and this wasn't disputed - technically because the LL ignored.

    I'm just a little worried now because all the correspondence regarding the LL admitting they owe me the money is on WhatsApp and Text mostly.

    I will be dealing directly with written letters from now on.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 24th Jan 18, 6:17 PM
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    • 15 Thanks
    Flyveryhigh-
    So - update. The Defendant has submitted an Acknowledgement of Service and has stated they intend to dispute the entire claim, although I have absolutely no idea on which grounds.

    Additionally, the address they have put on the AoS is their previous address where they no longer live. All of my letters have been sent to their current address where they have lived for nearly the past year, which is correct. So now i'm unsure as to why they have put on their AoS their old address where it says "Address to which documents about this claim should be sent".

    Anyone know why this might have happened?
    • martindow
    • By martindow 25th Jan 18, 10:18 AM
    • 7,593 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    martindow
    So - update. The Defendant has submitted an Acknowledgement of Service and has stated they intend to dispute the entire claim, although I have absolutely no idea on which grounds.

    Additionally, the address they have put on the AoS is their previous address where they no longer live. All of my letters have been sent to their current address where they have lived for nearly the past year, which is correct. So now i'm unsure as to why they have put on their AoS their old address where it says "Address to which documents about this claim should be sent".

    Anyone know why this might have happened?
    Originally posted by Flyveryhigh-
    I'm sure someone will be along with some advice on this. In the meantime it may be worth calling the court. They can't comment on the merits of a case but will discuss procedures and possibly help with how to deal with an incorrect address.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 25th Jan 18, 10:43 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
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    Comms69
    So - update. The Defendant has submitted an Acknowledgement of Service and has stated they intend to dispute the entire claim, although I have absolutely no idea on which grounds.

    Additionally, the address they have put on the AoS is their previous address where they no longer live. All of my letters have been sent to their current address where they have lived for nearly the past year, which is correct. So now i'm unsure as to why they have put on their AoS their old address where it says "Address to which documents about this claim should be sent".

    Anyone know why this might have happened?
    Originally posted by Flyveryhigh-
    If they have supplied an address where documents are to be sent, you send them there.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 26th Jan 18, 12:52 PM
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Thanks for your comments. I don't have any documents that I need to send the LL. All previous correspondence from me has been sent to their current address; just a bit confused as to why they've now put their old address where they no longer reside in the acknowledgement of service. I'll give the court a call and ask their advice should they be able to give it.

    This however means that, if I send the LL anymore letters I should send them to their old address as this is what they've states on the acknowledgement of service, even though I know they have nothing to do with it anymore? Seems very strange they've done that.

    I'll post back when I get advice on it.

    Thank you both!
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 26th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Spoken to the court and they basically just said it's up to the defendant to change their address on the acknowledgement of service even though I know it's not correct.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 31st Jan 18, 7:28 PM
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    Flyveryhigh-
    Hi all. Did a little research into this. So, the defendant put their old address on their Acknowledgement of Service - and it seems this is some sort of loophole as they can then claim they never received court paperwork and thus have the claim set aside. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this or head the LL off somehow as they're clearly trying to wriggle out of this anyway possible.
    Last edited by Flyveryhigh-; 31-01-2018 at 7:32 PM.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 31st Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 875 Thanks
    saajan_12
    Hi all. Did a little research into this. So, the defendant put their old address on their Acknowledgement of Service - and it seems this is some sort of loophole as they can then claim they never received court paperwork and thus have the claim set aside. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this or head the LL off somehow as they're clearly trying to wriggle out of this anyway possible.
    Originally posted by Flyveryhigh-
    Do you mean they can claim they didn't receive things sent to the old address or new address?

    - Old address is stated on the AOS, so you can reasonably send court docs to that going forward.
    - New address is (i'm guessing) listed on your tenancy as the "address for serving notices", so you can rely on sending any notices to that address.

    So I don't see any wriggle room, but to be safe you can always take a copy of whatever you've sent to date to one address and send to the other, and going forward send to both addresses.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 31st Jan 18, 9:32 PM
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    steampowered
    The Defendant clearly knows about the claim, as he has acknowledged service.

    I cannot see a judge granting a set aside application for a claim because documents got sent to an address chosen by the defendant !!!

    There aren't any other court documents at this stage anyway. The next document to be filed is the Defence to be filed by the Defendant.

    Just proceed with the claim using the address he has given. Court judgments are not linked to a particular address. Go ahead with getting a CCJ, and give the correct address to the bailiffs.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 9th Feb 18, 7:16 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Flyveryhigh-
    Thanks for all the input so far!! Very helpful!

    So yesterday I received an email from the landlord headed "Without Prejudice" where they've admitted they owe me the money. The LL offered 600 in 2 installments (1 of 200 by end of Feb and another of 400 by end March).

    They sent this via email, but i'm reluctant to respond via email as i'd rather deal with formal letters.

    Additionally, I don't want to accept their offer - it is less the court fees which I originally stated that i'd withdraw the claim if I was returned my deposit including court fees. Furthermore, I don't think they'll stick to it and if they do pay 200 and run off still owing 400 it means I cant get HCEO involved if they don't pay.

    Any advice on how I should respond to this "Without Prejudice" mail? Can I just say, "Please refer to my earlier correspondence dated XX-XX-XXXX", or just ignore it?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Flyveryhigh-; 09-02-2018 at 7:19 AM.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 9th Feb 18, 7:25 AM
    • 12,362 Posts
    • 9,403 Thanks
    fatbelly
    If they want to admit the debt and repay in instalments there is that option on the court forms. You are under no obligation to accept, or even reply to, a 'without prejudice' letter.

    If no formal response within 28+5 days of the claim date, ask the court to issue a 'forthwith' judgement, i.e. pay the whole lot immediately.
    • Flyveryhigh-
    • By Flyveryhigh- 12th Feb 18, 8:00 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Flyveryhigh-
    This whole thing is just snowballing. So the LL submitted their defence just in time but I have a couple of issues with it. If someone could advise i'd be forever grateful... again.

    So, as above the LL sent me an email last week titled "Without Prejudice" - and offered to pay in installments over the next couple of months which I refused as they hadn't kept their previous promise on paying me back in installments.

    However their first point in their defence refers to the "without prejudice" offer they made me, I thought they weren't allowed to refer to this? As they have done so, can I refer to it from here on in?

    They have also stated they tried to agree to pay me back in installments but I refused (as per the without prejudice letter). Then in another point they make in the defence they are now saying that they are keeping my deposit as I damaged a sink and carpet and they need to cover the cost of replacing these items. Surely they have just undermined part of their defence?

    I took pictures when I left and no damage is visible - as I genuinely didn't damage anything.

    What is the best course of action, should I send the LL a letter explaining why I disagree with the points in their defense 1 by 1? Should I lay my evidence on the table (i.e. pictures of the property the day I left)?

    I'm pretty sure the landlord also didn't declare my occupancy to HMRC, could I raise this and use it as leverage, or just let everything take its natural course through the small claims court?

    Thank you!
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