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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I had a dispute last year with my two tenants over the return

Customer Question

I had a dispute last year with my two tenants over the return of their deposit where they wanted a higher rent abatement than I offered them for some major bathroom works that was done while they were there. They therefore failed to pay some rent in their last month.
When they moved out, I retained some of their deposit to cover this rent and they raised disputes with DPS where the deposit was registered. I dealt with one using the ADR service (which I was successful on), and the other I opted out of the ADR service (so it would have to be dealt with in court). The latter's deposit has been held with DPS ever since.
I have just this week received a claim form at my former UK address where I no longer reside. I was advised of the basic details of the claim form by phone by the current occupier of the address. Therefore, I have not been served with it and am not able to view the particulars of claim which are included with the claim form. What I do know is the following:
• Court: Central London County Court
• Date of service: 20 November 2015
• Amount claimed: £8375
• Court fee: £455
Now, here's the interesting part. I am a Mauritian citizen and live overseas in Mauritius and am not domiciled in the UK. The claim form was served on my former UK address despite the first claimant being made aware of the defendant's overseas address by e-mail on 15 November 2015 after the claimant requested it. If the claimant knows the defendant's overseas address, they must comply with Section IV of CPR Part 6 which concerns service of documents outside of the jurisdiction, in particular rules 6.33 to 6.43. Notably, rule 6.8 of Section II, which concerns service of the claim form within the UK, states that service of the claim form is subject to the provisions of Section IV, and rule 6.9 does not apply as this rule only concerns service where the defendant has not provided an address. Further, the address given on the tenancy agreement is no longer subject to section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 as the contract has ended and I am no longer the claimant's landlord. Therefore, the claimant simply cannot serve the claim form at my former UK address given that the claimant knew of my overseas address beforehand. Additionally, the claimant failed to comply with pre-action protocols by not serving me with a letter before action on my overseas address.
On the above basis, I want to contest the court's jurisdiction in the matter as the claimant has not complied with the civil procedure rules and the claim form has not been properly served.
So, on the advice of someone at the Claims Centre Contact Team (who are not legally trained), I have drafted an N244 application notice to request a stay of proceedings in light of the above, and also an acknowledgement of service to say I am contesting the court's jurisdiction and so I have 28 days in any case.
What I am looking for at this stage is any general advice from a solicitor on the whole situation and the given strategy. But, more specifically, I'm looking for advice on what to put into the draft order and if one could be drafted for me professionally based on the information I have provided (I have put all the documents neatly online to be able to view if required).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
At what stage are proceedings? Has Judgment been entered please?

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