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angelness

Advice on how to deal with small claims summons

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Hello,

We are a small limited company and have recently rec'd a small claims summons from a tenant for £5,000+ interest. We have tried to research this fully and are confused as it appears that the small claims limit is £3,000. We wish to defend this and would like some advice on how to do so - we have sufficient evidence regards defending the actual content but need to know if it will even get this far as the amount is outwith the scope of the small claims court. We have also read that Ltd Companies must be represented by a solicitor in the small claims court. This will prove difficult for us as we are barely solvent. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Hello and Welcome,

 

You are correct, the small claims limit is £3,000, who served the summons on you.


 
 

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Hi,

 

The summons was put through the door of the registered office of the company also my home. It was in a plain brown envelope which stated that it contained a citation from Livingston Sheriff Court. Section 8 service on defender was completed as the place being Falkirk (even though we are in Livingston) and signed by a Sheriff Officer but their name wasn't stated.

Edited by angelness

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I would call the court stating the reference and request further information

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I've a feeling the Sheriff Officers might be in Falkirk, like crocdoc says you should call the court and ask for further information and mention the small claims limit.

I don't get how it can be a small claim being over the £3,000 limit.

 

Representation in court will be required for summary cause (claims between £3000 and £5000) and ordinary cause (for claims over £5000)


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

RIP: Rooster-UK - MARTIN3030 - cerberusalert

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Hi,

 

Thank you for all the advice. I appreciate what is being said re calling the court but we would actually prefer that it was played out in court as this would expose the nature of the claim and also create a delay. I will call the court to find out if as a limited company we are permitted to be represented by an officer of the company.

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Might help if you can post up what the court papers have and give us some details what it is about.


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Hi,

 

Thanks for advice so far. It appears to get more complex... I went to CAB for advice and gave them a copy of the summons - they contacted the court and were advised that it is a summary cause case even though we have been served small claims summons.

 

The CAB said that the court didn't seem to think it was an issue that the wrong paperwork had been served! The CAB advised that we will need to employ a solicitor and that they can't help any further. I don't feel comfortable posting the summons on the web but am happy to explain the claim.

 

It has been served by tenants who have been served their notice to quit and section 33 paperwork. The claim isn't detailed but states that they want a decree to make us install central heating, fix leaks, electrical inspections. The prob for us is that the property is on an estate where much of the properties are boarded up and the remainder will be demolished within the next year or so.

 

The tenants were aware of all this when they moved in in June and were given 6 months rent free to then be followed by 6m at a reduced rent. They were very keen for the first few months and the man is a qualified tradesman. At the beg of September we explained it was not economical for us to install gas central heating given the situation and so offered to provide electric space heating - they refused.

 

Since then everything has been an issue and they have also taken us to PRHP - no date set for hearing yet and now they have served the court summons.

 

We think they are looking for a pay off. Does anyone know of any other agencies of bodies that we can go to for assistance as funds are limited and we are keen to defend this in the correct manner.

Thanks

Edited by citizenB

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http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice

 

Phone an adviser

 

0808 800 4444*

9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

 

Give Shelter (Scotland) a try. They have a legal section and will advise both tenants and landlords.


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Hi angelness

 

 

on the court side please look at this Scottish courts link: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/small-claims

 

 

Now an important question you have mentioned that the tenant has appealed to the PRHP could you please confirm whether the tenants appeal to PRHP was proceeding before you were issued with court papers?

 

 

Do PRHP know that the Tenant has issued courts summons on the matter they are appealing to PRHP?


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Thanks, for the tip re Shelter - I will call them on Monday.

 

Re the PRHP - we haven't even got to the stage of replying to the referral letter yet. PRHP decided to take the matter on at the beginning of November and we are keen to follow this process through. We are due to reply to their letter of referral later this week and they intimated that they would conduct their visit sometime after late December. We were then surprised to get the court summons as we thought we were following the PRHP process and that court proceedings should be a last resort. We have always been keen to communicate and move forwards but the tenant's did not want to try mediation. It appears that their main motivation is gaining a large payoff. In light of the court summons I do not feel that I can respond fully to the PRHP letter as this may prejudice the court case and so I will inform them of this and see what they say.

We have looked at the courts website in detail and just disappointed that we have no choice but to incur the costs of employing a solicitor to defend our position even though we feel court action is premature.

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Hi angelness

 

Its is important that you immediately inform PRHP that the tenant has issued a court claim at the same time as going via PRHP

 

This is from PRHP website:

 

Can the prhp turn down my application?

 

Yes, but only if it is frivolous or vexatious (i.e. you are raising it just to be a nuisance), or you have recently made an identical or similar application in relation to the same house and not allowed time for the situation to change, or the dispute to which your application relates has been resolved. Also remember that your application will not be valid if you do not provide all the necessary information.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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I will inform the PRHP, I was planning on asking them to delay their inspection/hearing until after the court hearing. I believe that both myself and the tenant have to respond in writing to the PRHP by the date set in their referral letter and so I was going to wait until then so that the tenant also has the opportunity to inform them - or not as the case may be.

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