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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14309
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I'd like someone to look over a letter before action for a

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Hi I'd like someone to look over a letter before action for a potential small claims case. It's regarding a claim for compensation from tenant-landlord dispute involving disrepair for a property I have now left. Thanks!
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I've fully prepped a letter before action, clearly outlining the complaint with evidence and what I am asking. Its a 5 page letter with 13 pieces of evidence referenced... I haven't spoken to the landlord in a few years, this will be the first contact regarding the complaint (but the period is within the 6 years required)
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: London. Which is also one of my questions. I am currently living in Sweden! and am unsure if I can still file a small claims case if it goes that far. I do have a UK address I can use but could do with some advice on that...
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. Thanks.

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

If you have access to a UK address then yes, you can use the money claim online site: http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk and I have also attached a template letter.

If you would like me to review yours then no problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Jim, yes please if you could take a look at my letter that would be appreciated and give me any thoughts?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
File attached (33T4G7G)

Thanks, it's an excellent letter and covers the law and the issues in dispute.

You could perhaps include that breaches of the Landlord and Tenant Act provisions can result in prosecution by the local council and the landlord can be fined. It is also be breach of contract on their part and you would be within your rights to terminate the tenancy agreement and sue for compensation.

The Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have powers under the Housing Act 2004. They have a duty to ensure that properties in their area are in a habitable condition, and will serve improvement notices on landlords of properties which are assessed, under the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System as having ‘category 1 hazards’.

The local authority grants a licence to the landlord on the proviso they are fit to be landlord, do not breach the contracts, and ensuring the properties are habitable. You could threaten a report to the housing department to inform them of the landlord's conduct.

Also it would be a fast track case, not small claim - a small claim has a limit to £10,000. A fast track case is £10,000 to £25,000, making it slightly more complicated - feel free to come back to this site for ongoing guidance if you need it. The landlord may refuse the claim and you may have to issue court proceedings so if you do, let me know - I can offer the guidance.

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jim thanks, ***** ***** plan on using the small claims track as it’s easier however have laid out what the compensation could be in order to hopefully settle on 10k. Rather than starting letter with a 10k claim. I’m not sure if this is necessary though but don’t want to negotiate lower than10k.

Thanks, ***** ***** to issue for a specified sum of money and the allocation to a particular track is up to the court. If you issue for £17K+ then it may be allocated to the one above small claims, which is fast track. But it could settle for £10K - it depends on a lot of factors

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but i guess I was thinking an open letter with negotiable figure to my ex landlord would be a first look at negotiating. If it’s going nowhere I can then make a small claims track claim for 10k if it does that far..

Yes, indeed the court expects you to try and avoid court action if possible, so negotiation is expected. You can issue for £10K, no problem. Even in a fast track cases, costs are only fixed so if your true loss is more than £10K, you should issue for the higher sum

I hope this helps? When you have the chance would you mind giving me a positive rating for the answer (the site will then credit me for my time). There should be a rating system at the top of the screen. Any other queries please let me know.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I guess I felt safe with the small claims track as there is no need for a lawyer.

True, though fast track is not much more difficult to be honest. I can guide you if required

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also I wanted to ask under which basis am I making a claim for stress? Without knowing it’s hard to come to figure without anything to reference..

Well, breach of the landlord and tenant act is for damages, which can include stress if you were inconvenienced. It is a common law cause of action too (under the law of tort).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks. If I wanted help with a fast track with you what’s the process?

You can come back to this site, just post a new question and mark it "FAO:JIM" and I will pick it up - I am available most days including weekends

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks Jim I think I will do that. I am just amending my letter before action to add interest. I am adding this for the rent & college fees compensation. I am assuming you do not apply interest to any figure claimed for stress?

You can add interest on the full sum, yes.

I hope this helps? If you can reply “yes”, or when you have the chance would you mind giving me a positive rating for the answer (the site will then credit me for my time). There should be a rating system at the top of the screen. Any other queries please let me know.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Jim, appreciated. I may be back in touch.