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A year ago, I appointed a legal firm to file a small claim against my ex-tenants for damages caused to my flat. To cut a long story short, the tenant accepted part responsibility (part-admission) and, for the sake of a speedy resolution, I accepted and presumed that my lawyer would obtain the court judgement to release the deposit and additional costs - end of story.
However, while I waited for further update from my lawyer (which was mostly 'there is no update, so I'll update you next week', the court then sent me (and the tenant) a form for mediation. As we had already reached a settlement, I wasn't keen on it in case it opened up the possibility of re-negotiating the claim downwards by my ex-tenants. So my lawyer went to query this with the small claims court. As usual, it was left pending without any update. After a while, the court sent my lawyer a Direction Questionnaire which, again, we didn't complete as she thought this may have been due to crossed post since the settlement amount had already been agreed. She raised a query to the court, which was left pending without any update.
I sent chasers to my lawyer regularly but she always maintained said that the court system was slow so she was always waiting for a response or that communication had crossed.
To my horror, a few days ago, my lawyer said that the court had dismissed the case and she doesn't know why. She then tried to contact my ex-tenants to persuade them to make the agreed payment but they were also aware of the dismissal, so they're now expecting to get their deposit back!!!
My lawyer assured me that they have followed all the right procedures but I sense the whole case has been mishandled but I can't pinpoint how. I have lost all trust and faith with the firm. I think they're just a call centre with inexperienced legal staff.
What should I do now? It's not a life-changing sum but we had agreed on a settlement and now I get nothing?
My lawyer has offered to re-file the case - is this the best solution? What can I expect this time round? Do my ex-tenants need to entertain this after the dismissal?
The case has been going on for nearly a year now and it has been time consuming and stressful. I have achieved nothing.
I would appreciate some guidance.
Thanks in advance.
It should have been a straight forward case but
I'm baffled too but I'm guessing it was because the case was poorly or un-defended, it was dismissed? In order words, the tenants won the case without doing anything?! I'm still trying to get to the bottom of it.
Thanks for the advice.
'My lawyer has offered to re-file the case'
THAT SEEMS THE MOST EXPEDIENT AND SENSIBLE SOLUTION. WHY NOT GO WITH IT ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WONT BE PAYING ANY FURTHER FEES?
OTHERWISE ITS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH WHETHER THE SOLICITOR OR COURT ARE AT FAULT (SUSPECT THE FORMER IN VIEW OF THE OFFER TO RE-FILE).
WHO ARE THE SOLICITORS?
WELL DONE FOR PURSING THE TENANTS.
Good point about establishing fault - I was wondering if I should re-start the process with another firm.
you will have to pay again.
Don't put any faith in the Solicitors Regulation Authority, or anyone else ! Trying to hold anyone in the legal system ( apart from the Police, everybody want to give them a kicking ) is nigh on impossible.
And as for the Almighty gods ( Judges, ) - there just isn't a complain process or body you can complain to.
You'd have as much progress as complaining against the monarch.
It appears that they're regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority....don't know if that makes any difference?.......
West Bromwich Building Society was 'regulated ' ( sic ) by the FCA who upheld their fleecing of Buy-to-Let mortgages, until Property118 took them to court and eventually the high court and won, otherwise, other Building Societies would have followed suit.