What are this lodger landlord’s possibilities of recovering damages via the Courts? » The Landlord Regulation Weblog

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Law caseHere’s a query to the weblog clinic from Mandy (not her actual title), who’s a lodger landlord in England.

Can I take my lodger to courtroom to hunt damages if I don’t have a signed contract or stock?

My lodger has induced substantial injury to my wood flooring (amongst different injury) and a couple of ground repairers have quoted over £3k to restore it throughout the 4 rooms and so they say it’s severe injury in components.

My lodger accepts that she induced the injury however says it’s put on and tear over two years and that my furnishings (mattress, chairs, couch) is at fault for breaking and inflicting the injury. She is morbidly overweight and my furnishings was in glorious, virtually new situation previous to her transferring in.

I despatched her contracts which I signed, however I can’t discover her signed one. Would I’ve any likelihood of success at getting any of the prices again and not using a contract or stock?

She’s handed in her discover and is planning to vanish as she says she hasn’t received the cash and is refusing to debate meditation, fee plans or another choices.

Grateful to your recommendation earlier than she disappears and earlier than I submit a expensive small claims software.


It’s not uncommon for there to be no signed contract or stock in lodger conditions, and I don’t suppose the dearth of those shall be a barrier to bringing a declare.  Presumably, the lodger is not going to attempt to faux that she by no means lived in your own home as a lodger in any respect.

Nonetheless, there are a selection of necessary concerns that must be taken under consideration earlier than issuing any authorized declare. In all probability an important is – is it price issuing proceedings in any respect?

Is it price bringing a declare?

Particularly, is your defendant ready to pay any judgement chances are you’ll receive?

For instance, if a defendant is on profit and doesn’t personal something priceless, the possibilities of getting paid are low. You can’t get blood out of a stone.

If defendants fail to pay voluntarily, then you’re left with the varied courtroom enforcement procedures, which I’ve to say are regularly ineffective. I focus on the courtroom procedures in this put up which please learn.

There may be additionally the truth that you want an deal with for the defendant as a way to carry your declare after which (if it isn’t paid) implement it.

Though you’ve an deal with in the intervening time (your deal with), if she strikes out it appears she shouldn’t be going to give you any forwarding deal with. So that you would wish to search out out what that is earlier than continuing. In case your declare has already began, it could must be paused till you realize what her new deal with is and may give this to the Courtroom.

Assuming that you’ll be able to overcome these issues, what about your case? Do you’ve a declare?

Do you’ve a sound declare?

Nicely, in case your lodger has broken your furnishings and flooring, sure, it is best to have a declare. If it’ll price over £3,000 to hold out repairs to your picket ground this sounds to me like greater than truthful put on and tear.

Though it’s doable that injury to the furnishings might come below truthful put on and tear if the furnishings offered was clearly unsuitable for her.  In any case, you should have identified that she was morbidly overweight on the time you rented the room to her.

As you shouldn’t have a signed stock, there could also be issues in proving that injury

  • Was performed throughout the time your lodger was dwelling with you and
  • Was performed by her

So if she disputes the declare, you would wish some proof to indicate that the injury was performed after she moved in and was performed by her.

That you must think about what proof you can carry. Do you’ve buddies who can again you up?  In any other case, will probably be right down to who the Decide believes when giving proof at trial.

Make a schedule

You will have to set out ‘particulars’ of your declare when going to courtroom. This can be a record of all of the objects of harm you’re claiming for.

For each merchandise, you will have to show

  • Legal responsibility (i.e. that the defendant is chargeable for the injury) and
  • Quantum (i.e. assuming the defendant is liable, what damages must you get).

So for instance:

  • Merchandise: Picket chair in lodgers room
  • Legal responsibility: The chair was in good situation when the room was let. On [date] it was found that the legs had been damaged. Because the chair was always within the defendant’s room the injury will need to have been performed by her.
  • Quantum: The chair will price £X to restore or
    The chair will price £Y to switch

To show the quantum you will have both an estimate of the restore price or a receipt for the unique merchandise or proof to indicate what it will price to switch it at the moment.  Catalogues, such because the Argos catalogue, are a standard solution to show the present worth of one thing.

Word that in case you are claiming for the alternative price of one thing, the Decide could not award the total alternative price relying on how outdated it was, as you can not declare ‘new lamps for outdated’.

It will be significant that you’ve an in depth schedule, because the Decide will anticipate this in case your case goes to courtroom and is challenged.  You need to put together this earlier than issuing proceedings – it’s a good solution to work out precisely what you’re owed.

Nonetheless, notice that you could be not must depend on it as the vast majority of courtroom claims are by no means defended.  During which case it is possible for you to to get a ‘default judgement’ for the sum you’re claiming.

The courtroom will ship out paperwork whenever you carry your declare telling you the way to do that. There are additionally on-line guides on bringing a declare, such because the information right here.

And eventually

From what you say, it appears this defendant will attempt to evade fee, so in the event you go to courtroom chances are you’ll find yourself out of pocket, notably in the event you use solicitors to carry your declare.

I counsel that earlier than issuing proceedings, you communicate to your insurers and see if the injury might be coated below your insurance coverage coverage.

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