This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Small Claims Procedure

Default summons for rent arrears

Landlords may issue a default summons to claim rent arrears when it is not appropriate to incorporate the claim in a possession action, or the tenant has left.

Can I claim rent arrears regardless of the type of tenancy?

Yes. Essentially this is a straightforward action for debt, therefore, it does not matter what type of residential tenancy is in existance. If in doubt, contact us.

Can a letting agent make a claim on my behalf

No, letting agents do not have any rights to complete court forms on behalf of their clients. Only the actual claimant or a qualified legal advisor (e.g. solicitor) may complete and sign court forms.

Can I make a claim online?

Yes. Money Claim Online is a simple, convenient and secure way of making a claim on the internet. With Money Claim Online you can keep an eye on the status of your Claim, Judgment and/or Warrant.

You will be asked to pay the fees to issue Claims and Warrants online by Debit or Credit Card.

Money Claim Online has been designed to be easy to use from a computer and is supported by a Customer Help Desk.

I don’t want to claim online, where can I obtain a claim form?

Your local County Court can supply Form N1 free of charge or you can obtain one online here. Form N1a offer guidance on completing the claim form and is available on the same link.

How should I complete the form?

Guidance is available from form N1A available here.

We also have an example of a completed form available here.

Should I keep a copy of the claim form?

Yes. You should keep a copy of all documents.

Do I have to type the information on the form?

It is best to do so, but you can write in black ink. If you obtain the form as described above from the courtservice website, you can complete the form online before printing it.

Can I claim interest on the debt?

Yes. Section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 specifically allows you to claim interest at the rate of 8% per annum. If your contract provides for a different rate of interest, that is normally the rate to seek.

Do I have to pay a fee to the Court?

Yes. This is known as an issue fee. The amount of the fee is calculated on a sliding scale and a copy of the scale can be obtained from the leaflet EX50.

How should I pay the issue fee?

Send a cheque together with the completed form. The cheque should be made payable to “HM Courts & Tribunals Service”. If using money claim online, you will be able to pay by credit or debit card.

Where do I send the form?

Where the claim is for money only, the claim form should be sent to County Court Money Claims Centre, PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY.

How will the summons be served on the tenant?

The Court will send the summons to the tenant by post. The Court will send you a note confirming that proceedings have been issued.

Applying for Judgment

If the tenant does not file a defence with the Court within 14 days of the service of the summons – you may apply to the Court for Judgment following the instructions you were given at the time of issuing the claim form. If using Money Claim Online, follow the instructions given.

After Judgement

You may need to obtain payment from the tenant by using some form of enforcement procedure. The leaflet ‘I Have a Judgment but the Defendant Hasn’t Paid – What Do I Do?‘ will offer some  assistance.

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