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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My partner has just been served with a small claims court summons

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My partner has just been served with a small claims court summons for alleged damages to a property she had been renting for the past 12 years. It was a short hold tenancy renewed every year on the 31st of January and was in joint names with here recently divorced husband, who despite not living at the property for the last 3 years has always remained the lead name on the tenancy agreement to the point of insisting that he pay the monthly rent directly to the Landlord as part of her child maintenance for their 3 children twin boys aged 15 years and a daughter aged 12. This has been resolved along with her entitlement to all the security deposit for the property within a Consent Order for Marital Settlement approved and signed by a judge last month January 2015. She moved into new rented accommodation and ended her existing tenancy. At which time she became aware that the deposit had not been placed in an appropriate Government scheme when it should of been back in 2007 and now it seems he has delivered his defence by way of a summons. She denies any damage and surely after 12 years he cant expect everything not to be subjected to any ware and tare ? She has extensive documentation from original receipts from the letting agent for the deposit the original signed agreements each year and a lot of photos through out the property both inside and out with time and date to prove they were taken as she finaly left the property as it would also appear there has been no check in or check out inventory, which puzzles me as how he can prove what state the property was, in the first place ?
My question is in which way should she respond to the summons within the time allocated, baring in mind she has a claim to make against the landlord for non compliance of his lawful duties since 2007 which would compute to 7 counts against him as he renewed and even reworded the agreement yearly
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Was it ever renewed and just the ex signed it please?

no she was always asked to sign as well

Alex Watts : And she did?


Alex Watts : ok. I assume she wants to defend it?


Alex Watts : why did she sign though?

i assume we are talking about the tenancy agreement as i said it was in both names and she was always told she had to

Alex Watts : Ok, so she wants to defend the claim and also counter claim against the landlord?

yes her ex has also signed to say he will waver his right to any compensation as well as the deposit

Alex Watts : Ok so she has the response pack from the court?

at present she only has a summons which states she has 14 days to respond from the service date being 24/02/15

Alex Watts : What she needs to do is file a defence why she is not liable, but also a counter claim against the landlord for all the things that are wrong.
Alex Watts : She needs to keep this below £10,000 in order to remain a small claim
Alex Watts : In addition she will have to pay a court fee for the counter claim depending on the value to issue it.
Alex Watts : But she can file a defence and counter claim then the judge will decide who is liable for what
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

would her ex not also have to be sited on this summons because he was the lead name in a joint tenancy

Alex Watts : If it is a counter claim against the landlord then - no

i mean can the landlord serve only her with a summons for damages when the items he has mentioned would of been damaged whilst he still lived there

Alex Watts : Yes. It is a matter for the landlord who he sues, either or both

ok thank you there is also a response for more time 28 days from service will she need to send any relevant evidence at this time?

Alex Watts : No evidence at this stage, that will be before trial
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy a thing for you about this today pkease?
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