As from April this year the current small claims limit of £5,000 has been increased to £10,000 and it is possible that the Government will increase this further in the future to £15,000. Cases dealt with on the small claims track will now be dealt with under much simpler Court rules, keeping legal costs down and greater access to justice when debts of up to £10,000 are owed. For claims issued before 1st April 2013 the old limit of £5,000 will apply.
Under new rules there will be:
- A ‘no costs’ rule – the winner will only get their legal costs back if the loser has behaved unreasonably, or they have a contractual right to costs
- Less formal and shorter hearings • Simpler preparation and presentation of expert, witness and documentary evidence
- A telephone mediation service
The most common types of claim in the small claims track are :
- Compensation for faulty services provided
- Compensation for faulty goods
- Disputes between landlords and tenants
- Money that is owed to you
Michelle Hayter, Dispute Resolution Solicitor, says “If you are considering taking Court action certain time limits apply. The time limit depends upon what type of action you are taking – the time limit for breach of contract is six years.” It is advisable to try and settle a claim before taking Court action. If you fail to do this the Court may penalise you. Only use the Court if you cannot get the problem solved by negotiation. Harassment and unlawful eviction claims will not be allocated to the small claims track and a judge may decide to allocate a case to a different track depending on its’ complexity, the need for expert evidence and other factors.
For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Michelle or a member of his team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.