How do I go about claiming damage through a small claims court?

My tenants left damage which surpassed their deposit. Most damage was also hidden, undisclosed, and discovered after an initial inspection with them.
I’ve been advised to claim the rest of the money for the undisclosed damage through the small claims court.
How do I go about it?

You will need to get a form from your local Civil county court (possibly on line now) complete it and submit with a fee back to the court. They will then send to the defendant in the case and then if no agreement then they will set a hearing date to make judgement.

Thank you for your help. I’m new to this…

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I heard its another order then to get the money, more fees so you have to weigh that up

Lodging a small claims case online is straightforward enough and you can do it via the Money Claim Online website ( You enter your’s and other party’s details, the amount claimed, supply a reason for your claim and pay the fee. You then have the opportunity to serve further details about your claim. It’s meant to be a relatively simple process for a legal lay person to follow but I still recommend seeking some expert advice beforehand - mainly to ensure that your submitted information and documents are well drafted and you’re aware of some basic legal protocols. ‘LegalBeagles’ is a great site for this kind of free advice.
Don’t assume that it will be quick. The courts are very slow and if you win (either by default or after a hearing), you may then need to take enforcement action to get the other side to stump up.
I’m NOT a legal professional and my advice above is simply from personal experience as I’m currently suing a builder through the small claims court!


Thank you for your reply. I’m new to this.

Much appreciated

It is still a bit of a minefield for those unfamiliar with court proceedings. The court can demand the tenant pays up, but cannot enforce payment from tenant, especially if the tenant cannot or will not pay up. I am a landlord who has (through good fortune more than anything else) avoided most of the pitfalls, but I am very cynical these days since the laws seem to support tenants not landlords now.

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Agree The reason being is that there is not enough council housing (sold off at below market prices to win votes) so keep tenants out of the council system by keeping them in private accomodation by any means fair or foul

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Hardly fair to target those very landlords now though. It feels as though we are all being regarded as rogue landlords when many, like us, take great pride in being exceptionally good landlords.

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Thanks. I’ve a feeling that the tenants won’t pay… if that’s the case, won’t they have an outstanding court fine against them?

Yes and this will catch up later in life .SWEET

Yes, but in my experience tenants wear CCJs as badges of honour. Whatever detriment this may be for them, unfortunately unpaid debts won’t help you. It annoys me so much that the courts can demand payment but will not enforce it.

send in the sheriffs

Does that not cost e tea?

Sorry, predictive text…

Does that not cost extra?

Yes, by the time you pay court fees and bailiff fees what’s left to make it worthwhile? That’s what I meant when I say landlords are the losers these days. It actually makes me very angry because I personally go to huge lengths to look after my tenants.

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Hi. Our tenants have caused damage by not heating and ventilating the property. Have had various trades people in as the tenant claimed the house was the problem. All experts have agreed unanimously that the cause was lack of heating and ventilation. We have paid the bills to get this sorted. Had the latest damp expert in yesterday as more damp occurring outside of the bathroom but he thought this was all part of the original and ongoing problem of their lifestyle. The tenant has just right now become rude and abusive regarding the trades persons opinion.
We have avoided saying anything as don’t like the confrontation but this whole situation can’t continue.
Just read your post and doesn’t look like there is much hope of landlords recuperating their loses.
Is Section 21 still being scrapped? Is it valid until 21st June please?

I went to huge lengths to accommodate these tenants, so I’m upset that they hid damage from me…

It dooes cost extra but I imagine the sweet feeling of GETTING them. If no one does that, then they always get away with it

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Section 21 still stands.

Good info on NRLA website