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Small claims perjury question


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Last October, I emailed my then landlord to say that I’d be paying part of my final rent out of my deposit.

 

He replied minutes later with the following:

 

'Non payment of the agreed monthly amount on the date agreed by you on the agreement you have signed will result in a violation of our agreement and you will be asked to leave within 7 days of this email due to this exposing breach of contract and your deposit will count as rent owing’.

 

Soon thereafter, he confronted me in person. As I was unwilling to relent, he said he’d change the locks and throw my stuff out that day.

 

I phoned the police, who told me that would be criminal offence. As a result of this, my landlord relented. He instead said that, if I didn’t leave that day, he would ‘make your life hell’, adding that he would invite some friends around to party in the property (he knew I was a light sleeper).

 

As a result, I vacated the property after gathering some of my belongings, and gave him his key back (which was mistake, but I was in a great deal of distress and not thinking clearly).

 

I’m now suing my ex-landlord for my deposit and unspent rent, and for the distress and inconvenience his illegal eviction has caused.

 

He is claiming in his written defence that I left voluntarily and not under duress, on the grounds that I handed him back my key. If he says that in court, would it be grounds for a him to be charged with perjury, given that:

 

- No sane person would vacate a property when they have no-where to go to, especially when they have work the next day (and my new landlady would be able to attest that I contacted her for the first time on that day, which was the day I moved into her property).

 

- On my recording of my call to the police, I can be heard pleading with him to let me at least stay till the end of the week.

 

- He shows in his email that he’s willing to disregard the law (by threatening to ask me to leave within 7 days and to withhold my deposit).

Thanks

 

Jeff

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I completely agree about the evidential problems. Also, I think that judges get very prickly and very wary when litigants – especially litigants in person – start going into court and talking about perjury.

 

If you bring a claim then I would concentrate simply on making a good case without anything which might be considered theatrics – even if what you're saying is true – and then if you manage to win, you could think about making a complaint about him.

 

I think the you would have to start off by getting a transcript of the case – which would cost money – and then use it to make a formal complaint.

 

Let me say that, that although the standard of proof in civil cases is simply on the balance of probabilities – in other words you must prove your case better than 51%, in terms of criminal allegations, the standard of proof is – beyond reasonable doubt and this is a very high bar.

 

I think at the end of the day if you can get your money back, you will have to be satisfied with that. I appreciate that you are angry and I appreciate that there is an important principle here but I don't see any point flogging dead horses.

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You are suing him in a civil court, not a criminal court. The court you are claiming through is not there to decide on perjury issues.

 

In any event it is not clear to me that the landlord has committed perjury. Perjury would be a demonstrably untrue statement in a document verified by a statement of truth. If you did in fact hand back the keys, his statement is factually correct.

 

The way to punish people for acting in a particularly bad way in civil proceedings is through seeking a costs order. In small claims, the court has the power to ask one side to pay the other side costs if that side has 'behaved unreasonably'. As you are a litigant in person, costs could potentially be claimed at the litigant in person rate of £18 an hour. In order to do this you should serve a statement of costs on the landlord a day or so before the hearing. If you do some searching you can find examples of people successfully claiming costs on CAG.

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You are suing him in a civil court, not a criminal court. The court you are claiming through is not there to decide on perjury issues.

 

In any event it is not clear to me that the landlord has committed perjury. Perjury would be a demonstrably untrue statement in a document verified by a statement of truth. If you did in fact hand back the keys, his statement is factually correct.

 

The way to punish people for acting in a particularly bad way in civil proceedings is through seeking a costs order. In small claims, the court has the power to ask one side to pay the other side costs if that side has 'behaved unreasonably'. As you are a litigant in person, costs could potentially be claimed at the litigant in person rate of £18 an hour. In order to do this you should serve a statement of costs on the landlord a day or so before the hearing. If you do some searching you can find examples of people successfully claiming costs on CAG.

 

 

Note:- £19.00 per hour for the last year or so!

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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