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help! SCC?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
oh dear

i think i have to take someone to the small claims court

basically she lives in brighton i live in norfolk - when i was at uni in brighton i subletted her room in a student house. I gave her the £450 pounds deposit that she paid to the landlady herself, saying I'd get mine back when she got her's, at the end of her contract in at the beginning of june. I left the house after only a few weeks there - basically my fellow housemate hit on me which i rebuffed, when our other housemate (his gf of 3y) wasn't there. the girl i subletted from decided to tell the gf this and i was screamed out of the house as he told them i was making it up (and brighton - it was the final straw for me)

july rolled around but still no deposit - i emailed her and she said she wouldn't get it back until she returned the key, which she hadn't done then. all very civil at this stage but me telling her i really quite desperately needed the money as i had it loaned from my parents who were struggling financially. she became quite indignant of my needing it and acting as if she was doing me a favour getting it at all.

i emailed her again recently saying that this was getting ridiculous, that she had given me no indication of when i could expect the money and if i didn't hear from her about it soon i would have to go to the SCC. her response was 'ha! if that's how you want to play it, sue me!'

so i think i have to. questions:
will i have to go to her county court or mine?
i dont have her current address, how can i get it?
do i need a lawyer?
is it worth it if a lawyer costs loads?
how do i even start this process?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you have this all written up in contract?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    no it was verbal. but i have an email correspondence where she clearly acknowledges owing me the money
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why not ring your local police or go to the station?
    C-A x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its a civil offence im guessing, she has to go through the SCC as I dont think the police will do anything about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ... Oh... Sorry.
    C-A x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    shit. i really just dont need this
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can make a claim to the county court online. If it's for less than £5000 then it goes through the small claims track, which means there's no solicitors or barristers needed. Most of the claim is done by post and you'll only need to attend a hearing if it can't be resolved by post.

    You can make the claim through Money Claim Online, or by filling in form N1 at your local court if you prefer. You'll need to pay a court fee to start your claim, which gets added to the debt if you win.

    When you make your claim you'll need to give the defendant's name and address, so make sure you have her most recent address. This is important as you can't make a claim unless you're certain of her current address. You'll need to set out the details of your claim: when you paid the money, what the terms were and when you were told to expect the money back.

    She will receive a form setting out the details of your claim and she has 14 days to respond, either admitting the debt (in part or in full) or denying it. She can also ask for a further 14 days to respond. If she doesn't reply at all you can ask the court for 'judgement in default', which means that you win by default.

    If the court decides she owes the money, you will have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) awarded in your favour. If she doesn't pay up, you can take further action against her, such as sending bailiffs round to her house. In order to do this you need to know where she's living.

    The risks of taking this action are:
    1) that you will lose, losing the court fee;
    2) that she will move. If you don't know where she is, you can't enforce the debt against her, even if you do get a CCJ. The court won't usually trace people for you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thank you!

    I don't know her address, but i know her name, her old landlady's name, and her university. do you think one of them would tell me?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cant harm asking the old landlady.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she's friends with the sodding landlady
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you have no mutual friends you could get her address from? Or maybe send it c/o her old landlady, call the old landlady, tell her you have a *really* important letter for your friend who you haven't been able to get in touch with and ask if she would mind forwarding it on for you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The university won't tell you, it's confidential, and I doubt that the landlady will either- unless you lie to her. If she's registered to vote in Brighton she'll be on the electoral roll, but you'd probably need to travel to Brighton to see it. Try the phone book?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she's also an immigrant, here as a student. i'm never gunna get this money am i?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Could try and get her deported :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Evenstar, no you're not. CCJs can be enforced in some EU countries- if you know where the person is- but not in worldwide countries.

    You could consider going after the landlady, but she will say that it's a sublet room and not her concern. Basically next time don't sublet from a student because they're flaky at the best of times. You wouldn't believe how often I get disputes about this or utility bills.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would be tempted to go down there and talk to her face to face. It is easy for people to play the big man when hiding behind an email account or even a telephone, but when confronted with someone right in front of them I find people are often a lot more civil and helpful. Do you know what course she is on and what lectures she has, could catch her after one of those? I feel bad for you as it is incredibly frustrating to deal with people who are clearly in the wrong, but won't accept it, and she has effectively stolen money from you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    Could try and get her deported :)

    i love this site
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