Case law

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    It may be a good idea to submit evidence that you have tried to negotiate and she won't? At least the judge will see you have tried and is less likely to blame you.
    Re the video - I think bring it but also write down what it shows and how each thing relates to her claim (ie dismisses it)
    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me


      It has always been my experience that when I have attended court with all my paperwork and evidence filed properly, numbered, and in a folder so as to make it extremely easy for the judge - that the judge then allows the other side a lot of leeway when their paperwork is a shambles. If you show yourself to be the more "experienced" party, having got all the protocols right - then the judge is duty bound to give a fair hearing to the other side as well as you and for them not to be disavantaged because they cannot cope with getting the papers right. It looks as though a little of that has happened here.

      I personally always take one copy besides my own of the bundle into the courtroom because I have had defendants turn up without their copy or to deny they ever got one - so it helps if a copy can be given to them there and then - same as if the judge for whatever reason has not got your bundle in his/her papers.

      Idea for you - get the video tape transferred onto a DVD or CD disk so it can be played on a laptop - then take a laptop in your bag. If the judge then says no video player is available - then you offer to screen it on your laptop. Take the video with you though as original evidence.


        Phew, thank goodness that's all over.

        This time we had a much more reasonable Judge, he watched the video (thanks for the laptop suggestion or we would have had problems), the landlady tried to say it was taken at the end of the tennancy, but then mentioned how things that appeared broken in it had been fixed during the tenancy, so the Judge saw right through that. It turns out that the LL hadn't even entered the property after her sister moved out, before we moved in, she just assumed it was left in a good state because her sister told her so.

        The transcript of the phone call was admissible as evidence is far looser in the small claims court, although the LL and her witness did complain about it.

        So the result was.

        £50 for window ledge - no award.
        £2760 for Jaquzzi - no award.
        £300 for cooker repair - no award.
        £995 for loss of rental - no award (this was a carefully debated point, I will be far more careful about keeping records next time I leave a property)

        £50 penalty clause - no award. This was the only thing the Judge got excited about, he ruled as Mrs Rose thought it was to "Educate Tennants", that it fell under consumer laws and as such was not legally enforceable.

        £333.70 Carpet Cleaning - Awarded (this was harsh as the carpets were filthy when we moved in).
        £1280 replacement carpet - Awarded £250 (this was harsh as the LL changed her story this time halfing the age of the carpets, they were not worth anything when we moved in and I fail to see how a small warn area and a debatable stain added to a "Heavily stained carpet" costs £250)
        £60 Cleaning - Awarded
        £775 Cleaning - £200 Awarded, when she finally produced the invoice it was clear the majority of this was redecoration. This was a bit harsh as we did pay for a cleaner and the LL lied through her teeth about them turning up reguarly (so did the cleaner). Lesson learnt, if you rent somewhere with "a cleaner" make sure it is part of the contract or a letter is written and signed by the LL detailing frequency and specific duties. Always write a letter if they don't turn up!

        She also got order to pay half our court fees.

        So we get £151.30 back from our deposit + £60 fees. Which is far better than the landlady has ever offered, so we're taking it as a win. Sure financially it has actually cost me money, but you can't put a price on getting one over on someone trying to rip you off.

        Thanks for all your advice on this, it was easy to get through this, but all your advice helped us loads.


          Well done. She will see it as a defeat. Well done for taking a stand against her. Far too many people back down upon hearing the word "court", which is what people like her want.


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