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LondonlawyerJ
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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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Claimant's (council landlord) action possession

Customer Question

Claimant's (council landlord) action for taking possession of property was overturned on appeal and the case fast tracked, remitted to the county court to be re-heard by another district judge. The claimant and their agent fabricated evidence to deprive the defendant of housing benefit commenced proceedings for rent arrears.The defendant, psychologically traumatised, fell ill with skin lesions all over her body. Medical records and images available. Defendant failed to raise the matter on appeal by way of counter claim because too stressful. She raised the matter on re-hearing at the county court with a claim for damages on the grounds of harassment, negligence and lack of duty of care, and requested for adjournment to find a solicitor. The judge dismissed her Notice of application, stating that the counter claim was out of time. Urgent.Please advise.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 10 months ago.
Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
Civil Procedure rule 20 deals with counter claims, 20.7(3) states
3) A defendant may make an additional claim –
(a) without the court’s permission if the additional claim is issued before or at the same time as he files his defence;
(b) at any other time with the court’s permission.
So it sounds like your friend should have been seeking permission to file a counter claim out of time. She needs to get legal advice and representation. If she is eligible for housing benefit then she may be eligible for legal aid.
Even if her counter claim is nor allowed she may well be able to rely on the misconduct of the Local Authority re: HB as a defence.
If she is defending a secure tenancy then she has a great deal to lose n these proceedings and needs to urgently look into getting legal representation if she can.

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