Deciding whether to file a small claim

A small claim is a way you can ask the court to obtain compensation or your money back if something goes wrong. It might be that you’ve experienced poor service, the product is defective, your landlord does not make improvements or if you have not been paid for work you have done.

Small claims are also known as money claims and the process is designed to be straight forward.

Before starting a claim, it’s wise to try other methods to solve the dispute first – such as making a formal complaint or use mediation as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Often, simply starting a claim is sufficient to make a person or business pay up, so you may not need to attend court at all.

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Check whether you can file a small claim

You can file a small claim of no more than £10,000 should you have an issue with something you have already paid for – such as bad service or an item that doesn’t work. It is also possible to make a small claim if you have already paid for the service or product you have not received. You must make your claim within 6 years of when you bought it.

You can file a small claim if you want your landlord to make repairs and the estimated repair costs are less than £ 1,000 or your compensation claim is less than £ 1,000

Compensation can be used for things such as discomfort, stress, cleaning or extra heating costs. It can be difficult to decide how much compensation for the claim. You may need the assistance of a lawyer. For a firm of Huddersfield Solicitors, visit  

There is a time limit to claim for repairs that you know are needed but the owner did not improve within a reasonable time. You must claim within six years of their knowing that improvements needed to be done.

You can claim up to £ 10,000 if you owe money for the work you have had done, for example if you are self employed.

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Check the strength of your claim

If you do not have a lot of evidence, you will not have a strong claim and that’s probably not a good idea to start one. Collect documents or photos you have to support your claim. It might help you make a list of what is happening in date order and then find evidence to support them.

Proof you will have will depend on the problem. These can include things like:

your original receipt

Damage photos

Invoices, repair costings or estimates

Check the cost of filing claims

It’s probably not a good idea to make a claim if it will cost you a similar amount as the amount you are claiming. You must pay certain fees to file a claim – with the amount varying depending on what you are seeking to claim. There might also be other fees payable, such as when your case moves forward. If you are successful with your case, you might get recompense back from the other side. However, should you lose, you may be made to pay for the costs of the other side.

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