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macantab77

Please help: Why have I received an N150? What do i have to prove?

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Hi,

I'm a claimant - I know people on these forums probably hate claimants but I'm quite nice really :oops:

 

I filed a claim against two defendants. One admitted and the other didn't respond, so judgment has been made for me, for an amount to be decided by the Court.

 

They've sent me an Allocation Questionnaire asking some things that I don't know how to answer because I don't know what I have to prove. In particular, they are asking if I will call witnesses. but I've no idea what questions I may be asked by whom?

 

What does a 'list of directions' look like?

 

Many thanks

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PS The N150 arrived with an N152 (Notice that a Defence has been filed), but the Court Office has told me that no defence has been filed.

 

Have they sent the correct form? They have already omitted to send me an N226 when they should have (it turned out that they'd failed to update their software!) so I'm not 100% confident in them.

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Hi,

 

I filed a claim against two defendants. One admitted and the other didn't respond, so judgment has been made for me, for an amount to be decided by the Court.

 

Did you originally file the claim for an amount "up to £xxx" rather than a specific amount?

 

I presume you have for the court to be responding in this way.

 

You say one defendant admitted and the other didn't respond. Did the one that admitted the claim admit to a specific amount?

 

Did you apply for default judgment against the defendant that didn't respond? The court won't automatically enter it if you didn't and the "judgment has been made for me, for an amount to be decided by the Court" may just be against the defendant that did respond and not the one that didn't.

 

In any case the court needs to progress your claim to work out how much you should be awarded as a judgment. You need to pursuade the court how much you deserve, quantifying it all as much as you possibly can.

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Hi,

Yes it was an unspecified claim for between £5-15K.

 

The 2nd defendant admitted liability for the whole claim, asking the court to decide the amount he should pay. He also offered to pay the unspecified amount in instalments of £10/month. I rejected this rate of payment because, if he had to pay the whole amount claimed, it would take around 100 years to pay.

 

I requested a default judgment against the 1st defendant.

 

So now I have the AQ, which seems to be designed for a trial, yet we seem to be heading for a disposal hearing? So some of the questions seem inappropriate.

 

They ask about witnesses, but CPR 32.6(i) seems to say that witnesses aren't normally involved except in a trial.

 

They ask about a track, but are disposal hearings classified by track?

 

And they ask for proposed directions and I'm not sure what that means in this context.

 

I can see that the idea is to persuade them how much I deserve. So will I need to prove anything - eg that rent was unpaid? A significant element of the claim is dilapidations - will they require more than the costed dilapidation schedule? Will the court say what they want to see prior to the hearing? Will the other parties be able to question me? I've tried to do some research using textbooks, but haven't yet found one that says much about disposal hearings. If there is a suitable book, perhaps you could post the title/author?

 

Many thanks

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PS If a track has to be specified, is there any harm in asking for the Small Claims track (I will be representing myself so no legal costs of representation are involved, but I understand that Small Claims hearings are more comfortable for litigants in person? Or would a request like that alert the other side to the fact that I won't be represented? (I don't think they will be represented, unless they can get Legal Aid somehow, but I don't think either of them are on benefits.)

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I believe all claims are considered "multi-track" before a specific track has been allocated by

the judge.

 

The disposal hearing will have a track allocated to it to decide on the disclosure proceedures etc before the hearing.

 

The idea is you exchange information with each other before the hearing to try and sort

it out between you, otherwise the court will make a decision based on the evidence before it on

the day of the disposal hearing.

 

In your case if the defendant has admitted everything in your claim it would be to sort out the value you should be awarded (if any).

 

Without knowing any of the specifics of your claim I cannot guess how I would carry on with it but the first thing I would ask is: Does the defendant have any assets? (i.e. a house with equity in it)

 

Getting an order for an amount of money and actually being able to recover it are different things.... You could end up being paid £1pw for 100 years or they could do a runner.

 

Did the court advise you of any free arbitration service? Maybe you could put on the Allocation Questionnaire you'd be willing to use such to come to an agreement on the value owed.

 

Check your home insurance policy if you have one, some include legal insurance and helplines.

 

Unless the defendant has assets you might be best to come to an agreement of what they can afford to pay you over a reasonable time to stop it dragging on forever.

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Hi,

Home insurance seems to exclude advice about this sort of thing.

One defendant (the guarantor) has admitted; the other (the tenant) just hasn't responded.

 

Prior to making the claim, I sent them both detailed statements about what rent is unpaid, my expenses for attempted recovery (permitted by the lease) and damages (dilapidations and other expenses). It didn't include evidence (eg invoices, which I have), but they have never asked for any additional information.

 

The tenant isn't denying that rent is owed (he had sublet without permission) but hasn't asked for proof. Neither has he questioned the costings on the dilapidations schedule. So I don't know what information there is to be exchanged.

 

Both defendants own a house with a mortgage. The tenant's house is in his own name only. The guarantor's house is in his own name and his wife's, and has a restriction on it by a debt management company but I understand from Land Registry that would not prevent a Court putting a charge on it.

 

Since neither seem to be defending, or even questioning the dilapidations costings (which must be arguable), I suspect that they may be expecting to get a judgment to pay and are then intending not to pay.

 

The claim is for >£5K so free court mediation is not an option. I have spoken to the National Mediation guys who suggested ticking the mediation box on the AQ, but apparently mediation can only happen if all parties tick the box - as mediation will cost £300 per session (each) + travelling costs + possibly venue costs (we are 300 miles apart), I suspect the defendants will not want to offer it.

 

I have to return the AQ by Sept 13th. It would be really helpful to know before then whether I might need to bring the only possible witness (my surveyor/estate agent); whether to suggest the small claims track (despite the higher value, although none of that value has been contested); and what 'directions' might be appropriate.

 

Many thanks

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Was it one claim for 2 or seperate summons? If no defence was submitted then no AQs should have been released.

Sounds like an error.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Hi,

One claim with two defendants.

 

I thought the AQ was an error at first, especially as it came with a N152 'Notice that a defence has been filed' when there has been no defence.

 

I enquired at the court office who said that they have to issue a N152 because there is no equivalent form to issue in the case of an admission, and that they 'always issue AQs at this court'. Two different offciers have assured me it wasn't an error.

 

I think in practice the CPRs give a court the flexibiliy to do what it likes (within the CPRs), and in any case CPR 12.7(2)(b) (which I think is appropriate here) says that when a court enters judgement it may 'allocate the case' - although I appreciate that that could be done without an AQ.

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I assume that you issued the N1 at your Court and not MCOL.The automated process would have simplified matters for you if it had been Northampton.


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He can't use MCOL as he has gone for an "unspecified amount not exceeding £15k".

 

What you need to do is make a list of everything you are claiming for, list of rent payments missed, backing it up with a copy of the lease, g'tee, invoices for repairs, photographs etc.

 

You need to quantify everything and back it up with evidence.

 

You basically need to pursuade the Judge it is just for you to receive the specific amount you are claiming, whatever that is going to be.

 

It would have been easier to have gone for a specific amount originally and you might have your default judgment now for a specific amount in order to apply for a charging order against one or both of their properties.

 

I would probably choose small claims track.

 

Is your amount claim going to be the same amount against both defendants? What exactly was the guarantor guaranteeing? Just the rent payments or everything the tenant is responsible for too?

 

If either of them have equity in their property then proper legal advice and representation might be worthwhile, you can claim all costs back from them and they would know how to go from here.

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"He can't use MCOL as he has gone for an "unspecified amount not exceeding £15k".

Why was it unspecified Macantab?


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Hi,

Thank you for the help.

 

I did wonder about whether the amount should be specified or unspecified, but there seemed to be a slightly grey area. I can see that a specified claim would be appropriate in respect of sums due (eg rent) and I guess for claiming actual expenditure such as legal costs. The textbooks I read seemed to be rather ambivalent over a claim for damages - in this case for dilapidations. One said that all claims for damages should be unspecified. The repairs have not actually been done, so my claim is based on costings in the Dilapidations Schedule. While those costings enabled me to arrive at an amount to claim, it seemed to me that they are an estimate rather than actual figures, and so would not provide a firm enough basis for an exact claim.

 

The deciding factor, however, was the advice of my solicitor. He is a property litigation specialist, and advised me that it would be an unspecified claim (that was before I submitted the claim, and possibly at a stage when the Dilapidations Schedule had not yet been costed, although there was obviously going to be no point in submitting a claim before the schedule had been costed).

 

Anyway, he is now my ex-solicitor, having charged around £1400 to issue one letter to each of the defendants. I have submitted a complaint to LCS, but that is another story.

 

So that's why I'm reluctant to start afresh with another solicitor. By the time they've charged my other arm and leg to read the documents, let alone do anything, I may have ended up spending another shed-load of money that I can claim but will never materialize. I appreciate that it may be necessary to resort to charges on the defendants' houses. Is this something that has to be proposed as part of the disposal/assessment hearing? Or can it be left till later, when they haven't paid in cash?

 

I have no idea how the claim might be split up between the defendants. That didn't have to be specified on the N1 and I assumed the judge would do so? Common sense suggests that first call should be on the tenant, but I'm unsure at what juncture the tenant is deemed not to have paid, and hence when the guarantor needs to be involved.

 

The guarantor is responsible for the rent and all the other covenants in the lease - which included keeping the property in 'a good state of repair', hence the Dilapidations claim.

 

I have been to my local Law Library this afternoon, and it seems there is a significant difference betwen a disposal hearing (prior to allocation to a track) and an 'assessment hearing' following allocation to a track, in which the claimant still has to prove loss/damage by way of evidence. It seems that in the former case, evidence is not given orally but by witness statements, with the implication that in the latter case they expect witnesses. Does that sound correct? If so it presents a slight problem in that my witness has said he doesn't want to attend, although I can probably persuade him to do a witness statement. I have lots of evidence on paper, including photos taken by my surveyor. Will I have to get him to sign them all personally to be admissible?

 

Would it be in order for me to suggest (as directions on the AQ) that the way forward is by way of a disposal hearing? Or would that come across as inappropriately arrogant (even if littered with 'respectfully's)? I'm wondering if they issued the AQ because of the complication of the two defendants, so that a disposal hearing may not after all be appropriate.

 

Also although I'd really like it to be small claims track (if a track is relevant at all), in view of the amount involved I can see no argument for it not to be Fast Track other than being a personal litigant, which doesn't seem to be a very good argument.

 

Sorry this has turned out so long.

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Right I understand. so you have a property that was leased to a Tenant and a guarantor acting as security that has been trashed left dilapidated with rent arrears and personal costs to yourself.You issued a summons and said pair named as defendants.The summons amount was unspecified due to your costings/estimates not being prepared but you have a ball park up to 15K.The Tenant has admitted the debt the guarantor has not responded.You have been awarded Judgment to be decided by the Court and AQ has been issued to you.Hence the reason for your post.

 

The N226 is a main form within the process of your claim and that really should be your next call

 

The defendant admits my claim - I did not claim a fixed amount of

 

 

You can download here:- N266 (opens in new window)

 

 

Just out of curiosity I assume you have landlords Insurance and wonder why this route has not been explored firstly before litigation

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Right I understand. so you have a property that was leased to a Tenant and a guarantor acting as security that has been trashed left dilapidated with rent arrears and personal costs to yourself.You issued a summons and said pair named as defendants.The summons amount was unspecified due to your costings/estimates not being prepared but you have a ball park up to 15K.The Tenant has admitted the debt the guarantor has not responded.You have been awarded Judgment to be decided by the Court and AQ has been issued to you.Hence the reason for your post.

 

The N226 is a main form within the process of your claim and that really should be your next call

 

The defendant admits my claim - I did not claim a fixed amount of

 

 

You can download here:- N266 (opens in new window)

 

 

Just out of curiosity I assume you have landlords Insurance and wonder why this route has not been explored firstly before litigation

 

Regards

 

Andy

 

I think he has already filed that form in to get to this stage and it was the other way round, the guarantor admitted and the tenant not responding.

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Hi,

 

Yes, #16 is correct.

 

Although there is a helpful possible error in #15 in that an N266 (not 226) might be useful (I wasn't aware of those). Would that be a good way of avoiding finding evidence, or is it too dangerous a tool in the hands of the inexperienced?

 

Property was not trashed, just in disrepair (lease specified 'good condition', painting every 3 years, etc). Also tenant had (without permission) modified the shop front to a design unsuitable for most businesses, with a consequent diminution in value. I have now sold the property so that diminution has been realised. I know dilapidations claims can be a nightmare but as I was claiming for rent etc anyway it seemed a good idea at the time.

 

Lease specified buildings insurance and insurance for loss of rent should the property become unuseable (it wasn't). Terms of the lease should have protected me from defaulting tenants so I never thought about taking out any other insurance. Property was inherited from my father who also rented it out and used a property management company (unlike me), and never had any other insurance as far as I know.

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N266 was intended not an error I only referred to the N226 assuming that you had now completed that as you made comment early in your thread that they failed to supply it.

 

 

Andy


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#18 Ah... the Court Office failed to supply the N226 but after I made an enquiry to the court complaints line, they contacted my local court office and advised them to update the software, which generated the form. Even the complaint wasn't easy though - first I had to get past the girl suggesting I 'just buy one from Oyez'. :shock:

 

What would you suggest asking for on the N266? Anything and everything I think I may need to prove?

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