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Thread: Amending your Claim. N244

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  1. #1
    Mad Hatter's Avatar

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    Default Amending your Claim. N244

    NB: THIS IS AN OLD THREAD FROM 2007 - The Price for filing an APPLICATION to AMEND without consent has gone up to £155.

    If you have filed a claim at court and need to amend it for any reason, then you must use an N244 form.

    Print of off at least 2 copies as you will not be able to save it. The cost for amending your claim will be £35 which is non-claimable.

    If you are amending your particulars of claim you need to put the amended parts in RED or cross through the parts you are removing then underline the replacement parts

    http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.u...t_forms_id=484
    Last edited by Amethyst; 11th March 2015 at 11:52:AM.
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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Just got off the phone to the local civil court (liverpool) and lady there said that to amend my claim I have to file a N244 application without notice - pay a £155 fee (2015) - there will be a hearing - and the other side will be able to argue against the changes to the claim.

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    That's correct. You've found a bit of an ancient thread here.... the price has gone up massively since May 2007, and is being mooted to rise again to £255 in April.

    I'll amend it.

    What claim are you amending ?
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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Hi - I filed a claim against my mothers landlord for a clapped out boiler and crumbling plaster over 1 wall. Basically the Landlord knew of the clapped out boiler and plaster damage before she moved in, but refused to give out any information (as per the pre-action protocols for housing disrepair). We only found out how bad it all was months after we moved in so the legal notice given to the LL in our claim was dated then.

    After the claim was filed at court the landlords solicitor then provided the 'house file' which detailed the LL knew of the water damage to the back wall and clapped out boiler before the move in date.

    Now in settlement negotiations before a hearing, they are refusing to backdate the notice period to when we moved in, citing the dates in the original claim we filed, regardless of the fact the LL knew of the disrepair beforehand.

    I can only think we have to amend the claim (the particulars) in light of the disclosure, and use that to force a better settlement.

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Has the landlord submitted a defence with this disclosure in ? What stage is the hearing at - mediation ?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    There is no hearing date, the claim is effectively stopped for now as we are trying to settle before court (as the risks of court are great). It's a small claim for damages only (under 10k) which we have to handle ourselves as the LL fixed the disrepair when our solicitor issued the initial claim letter (after many years of disrepair) and no more public funding is available from that point. (mum is a pensioner). We issued the POC for damages only (i.e. 'specific performance' to fix the disrepair had been satisfied by the LL) There are two aspects the LL is arguing with re: settlement. The notice period in the filed POC, and the 'provability' of the disrepair to the boiler (there was no engineers report). The LL is stating they have their own engineer who will be a witness and basically lie and say there was very little wrong with the boiler if it goes to court. What weakens the LL's case is that they found they could not repair it because of the extent of the missing components and had to replace the boiler.
    Because the LL refused to comply with the preaction protocol is there any chance of getting them to pay for the N244 fee? I could use that to pressure them to agree the notice period - or goto a hearing in which they will lose.
    Last edited by muscleriot; 11th March 2015 at 12:44:PM.

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Okay, so your claim was to ask for the LL to rectify the situation, and he has done so ? If that is the case what are the current negotiations for ? damages ?

    Might be a plan to post up your particulars of claim.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Particulars of claim (amended to removed identifying info)


    1. The defendant was at all material times a Registered Social Landlord which owns and operates a large stock of social housing.
    2. The Claimant was at all material times the tenant of the premises known as XXXX, social housing held under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement with the Defendant.
    3. This property had previously been held back by the Landlord from its general property allocation pool.
    4. The Claimant, who is disabled, moved into the property on 26 May 2008 and proceeds by her Litigation Friend and son. The Defendant was aware of the Claimant’s condition.





    1. It was an implied term of that tenancy agreement, pursuant to Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant 1985 that the Defendant would, inter alia, keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling and the installations therein for the supply of gas, water, electricity, sanitation and space heating. Furthermore, by virtue of Section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, the Defendant was under a duty to all persons who might reasonably be expected to be affected by defects in the state of the premises, to take such care as was reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that they were reasonably safe from personal injury or from damage to their property caused by a relevant defect.





    1. Further, the following were implied terms of the agreement:






      1. that the Defendant had the right to carry out repairs and remedy any defects in the premises which might expose the Claimant to the risk of injury;
      2. that any works of repair effected by the Defendant, its servants or agents, would be carried out with reasonable care and skill and within a reasonable time of notification;
      3. that the Defendant would grant the Claimant quiet enjoyment of the premises throughout the term of the tenancy.






    1. In breach of the tenancy agreement, the Defendant has failed to comply with the implied repairing obligations particularized in paragraph 2 hereof and/or to comply with the implied terms in paragraph 3 hereof and to remedy the defects hereinafter appearing within a reasonable amount of time, despite complaints about disrepair having been furnished on the Defendant.




    PARTICULARS OF NOTICE



    1. For the (a) problems with the boiler and heating system and (b) damaged plaster and ceiling, notification of (a) and (b) was given ;

        1. Verbally in response to phone call from Defendant on or about 8th June 2009.
        2. In person at a meeting at the premises showing the Defendants representatives the problems on or about 19th June 2009.
        3. By letter on or about 09 September 2009, and on a frequent basis since this time.







    1. For the problems with (c) the damp, peeling paint and black mould to the kitchen, notification of (c) was given;

        1. Verbally and in person in a meeting at the property pre-inspection visit on or about 7th May 2008 when the Claimants son, expressed concerns to the Defendants Housing Officer.
        2. By phone on or about 8th June 2009.
        3. In person showing the Defendants representatives the problems on or about 19th June 2009.
        4. Also, by letter on or about 09 September 2009, and on a frequent basis since this time.


    2. The defendant’s Complaint Procedure has also unsuccessfully attempted to have been used to resolve these issues.
    3. The claimant believes the defendant would have known about the faults of the boiler and/or structural issues of the plaster disrepair and/or water damage, prior to releasing the property to the tenant. The claimant has unsuccessfully attempted many times to obtain information from the Landlord about this requesting access to the House File by following the pre-action protocol for Housing Disrepair (4)(d) - Access to the House File. The defendant has consistently treated the claimant in a contemptuous manner and has not released this information to the defendant.

    PARTICULARS OF DISREPAIR




      1. The Plaster to a large area of the middle room and ceiling around a boxed central heating pipe had suffered water damage and was warped and addled in parts and this was only repaired in June 2012.
      2. The central heating system was defective and would be financially ruinous to use, the claimant had to pay to use both systems, when only one was needed, and this was only remedied on or about 12 September 2012, when a new central heating system was installed.
      3. There was black mould from damp to the kitchen, again this was only repaired in June 2012.





    By reason of the matters aforesaid the use and occupation of the premises by the Claimant has been substantially affected.



    PARTICULARS OF DISCOMFORT AND INCONVENIENCE



    1. The said dwelling has been cold, damp, mouldy and smelly and has been a particularly unwholesome and unpleasant environment in which to live.
    2. The unrepaired plaster damage and ceiling damage meant re-decorating and wallpapering could not take place for many years causing distress and lack of enjoyment of home.
    3. By persistently refusing and also neglecting to carry out urgent repairs frequently reported to the landlord, the Defendant has treated the Claimant in a contemptuous manner. It should be noted the eventual outcome regarding the boiler; faults were not minor and could never be repaired economically. Under Part L Building Regulations, a replacement new condensing boiler would thus have had to be fitted by the Defendant. However, this would have been outside of the Defendants general scheduled boiler replacement programme, and would thus have been significantly more costly for the Defendant. The Claimant believes the Defendant deliberately delayed repairs on this basis.
    4. The Claimant was fearful of the cost of using the Defendant’s central heating system despite it being the principal source of heating and the only source of hot water. Putting the hot water on, meant the central heating system would also be on and a large amount of energy wasted. Conversely, using the central heating would mean a large amount of hot water would be boiled at the same time and be wasted. She felt she could not afford to heat or utilise hot water in her home properly, having to heat both heating systems, unable to switch between them. There was a constant worry of the cost of doing very frequent domestic tasks like putting the hot water on for dishes. It would have been ruinous to use such a defective heating system on a frequent basis, so it was barely used and when used, only used for short bursts. She suffered from having to wear outside clothes indoors much of the time, being confined to whatever room the fire worked in, and suffering with extreme cold in the winter. For many cold periods the place was uninhabitable and the claimant had to stay with relatives for frequent periods during the Winter, and Spring as the fear of the additional costs of using the heating system prevailed. In 2009/2010 it reached -16 C for long periods and the tenant was put in very great distress having to spend a long periods of time absent her property. The tenant also had the added inconvenience to be confined in and having to move to which ever room had a working gas fire, because only one gas fire was functional for most of the time.





    1. The dining room fire was left in a state of disrepair from 16th Nov 2010 and the Front room fire was condemned 20th Oct 2011, which left the Tenants only form of heating being the defective boiler from 20th Oct 2011 to 12 Sept 2012.





    1. The Claimant will rely so far as may be necessary on the Defendants' breach of the duty of care imposed by the said Defective Premises Act.

    ANDthe Claimant seeks:





      1. damages not exceeding £10,000.00.
      2. interest pursuant to Section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984.





    Statement of Truth
    I believe that the facts stated in these Particulars of Claim are true.

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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    All I would really want to change in the POC is the notice period to when she moved in, to reflect that after disclosure we can show the LL knew of the faults beforehand. I would like to add more about how disfunctional the boiler was but can live without that.

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Okay, so you are now only seeking damages.

    The disclosure showing that the LL was aware of the disrepair before letting the property serves to strengthen your case. I don't believe you need to amend your claim, the disclosure can be bought up in your witness statement. Presumably you are still seeking under £10k damages.

    In your preaction letter did that request damages as well as the repair ?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

  11. #11
    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    The initial 'letter of claim' filed by our solicitor to the LL did claim damages also, but under the CPR rules once specific performance is carried out public funding ceases and it becomes a claim for damages only (something I also had to clarify with the LL solicitor) under 10k. (The case law which allows a damages only claim to proceed from the original housing disrepair claim is Birmingham v Lee 2008).

    Housing disrepair in the small claims court is limited to £1000, to allow public funding to occur with solicitors on a higher track, but after the repair is fixed public funding stops, and you have to proceed yourself in the small claims court for damages (from the effect and costs of the disrepair) only (under £10000).

    It took a visit to a dedicated housing solicitor to clear the confusion up between the limit for housing disrepair (£1000) for small claims which I thought would prevent her from claiming any damages after the repairs were fixed. (which she can upto £10k) This is not detailed in the CPR rules for the small claims track (part 27).

    I think I will ask for the LL to allow the notice period to change in the POC, and if not then proceed to N244.

    I would not want to risk the POC being different from the evidence, and rely on pleading a witness statement as I have now some experience of cc judges and have had things like special damages simply rejected despite evidence because it was not in the POC but referred to by the POC in a schedule list attached to the case. The reailty is you seem to be lucky if the judge has even read your case beforehand.

    Trouble is if AFAIK you appeal the costs dramatically rise and you can lose on another point of law even though the original judgment was plain wrong in law.
    Last edited by muscleriot; 11th March 2015 at 13:43:PM.

  12. #12
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Is this the difference between 26th March 2008 (move in date) and 7th May 2008 (landlord notified of issue) ?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

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    muscleriot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amending your Claim. N244

    Its the difference between 26 May 2008(start of tenancy/move in date) and June 2009 (notice of disrepair given). Worth a fair amount in percentage rent reclaimed.

    I would simply add to the POC the notice periods that the landlord can be shown to have been aware of, or should have been aware of, the faults listed in the LL's own House File. That notice should therefore be effective from the tenancy start date of 26 May 2008 as per Defective Premises Act 1972 s4
    Last edited by muscleriot; 11th March 2015 at 14:14:PM.

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