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Letter Before Small Claim Fill out the template

Letter Before Small Claim

Last revision
Last revision 04/09/2023
Formats Word and PDF
Size 2 pages
Rating 4.8 - 83 votes
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Last revisionLast revision: 04/09/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 2 pages

Option: Help from a lawyer

Rating: 4.8 - 83 votes

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Letter Before Small Claim

This is a letter that can be used before bringing a claim in the Small Claims Court in England and Wales. This type of letter is known as a letter before claim. If the claim will be issued in Scotland, then a different form of letter should be used.

This letter should be used where the claim is suitable for adjudication in the Small Claims Court. Some key features of small claims are:

  • cases that are simple in nature and do not contain any complex features; and
  • the claim must not have a value of more than £10,000; and
  • where the case concerns personal injuries, the claim for damages must not exceed £1,500 (or £5,000 in the case of road traffic accidents); and
  • where the case is raised by a residential tenant against a landlord regarding repairs, the estimated cost of the repairs should not to be more than £1,000 and the value of any other related damages should not exceed £1,000.

Commonly, cases which are brought before the Small Claims Court relate to:

  • consumer issues, such as faulty goods or services
  • simple personal injuries such as road traffic incidents
  • disputes against landlords regarding repairs in residential property;
  • disputes about the payment of debt (although it should be noted that where the debt is owed to a business by an individual, a different letter should be used).

It is important to sent a letter before claim, as this is required by the rules which govern civil proceedings. The letter will explain the basis of the claim and will confirm to the recipient what order the Court will be invited to make. All relevant evidential documentation may be attached to the letter.

The letter is not designed for use in complex cases which are likely to be allocated to the Fast or Multi Tracks. In particular, the letter is not designed for use in cases concerning consumer credit issues (loans), clinical negligence, professional negligence or disputes about commercial tenancies.

Before commencing the pre-proceedings process, the sender should consider the time limits which apply to the making of civil claims. The sender should consider whether any form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may assist in resolving the dispute. ADR is an umbrella term which is used to describe certain methods of resolving disputes outside of court. ADR includes methods such as mediation or arbitration. Other tools which the sender may consider prior to the instigation of the pre-proceedings process will depend upon the type of potential claim but may include:

How to use this document

Once this document has been completed with all the relevant information, it should be sent to the other party. It may be printed, signed and posted to the other party. It may be helpful to have the letter sent by recorded/tracked delivery. It is also acceptable to send the letter electronically via email. It may be helpful in this instance to request a read receipt on the letter.

The other party will be provided with a timeframe within which they must respond. Where no response is received, or where no satisfactory solution is reached, the claim may be issued in the Small Claims Court.

Relevant law

The law which governs the case will depend upon the nature of the intended claim. The process for making civil court claims is governed by The Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions.

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