If you are going to start court proceedings against your landlord or your agent for a breach of Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, then you must use the N208 form to issue proceedings. The N208 form must be used because these types of claims are made using the Part 8 procedure.
N208 and Part 8 procedure
Part 8 procedure is used when there is a straightforward case. For unprotected deposits, in theory, it’s a simple question of “was the deposit protected correctly within 30 days of its payment?”, therefore there is no need for a complicated court process.
Practical issues you may face when making a claim against your landlord or agent
In reality, if a landlord or letting agent can muddy the waters and make claims for rent arrears, damages or anything else they can think of, a judge may very well move the case to Part 7, which allows for counterclaims from landlords.
What are the risks
From experience, Court proceedings can get very complicated, and this matter will not be heard in Small Claims Court. It is highly advisable to speak to us or to use a solicitor, as there is a risk that even if you win your case, you can end up owing more money to the other party for their legal representation fees than you won from the Court award. This is only possible in certain circumstances, but a landlord or agent may understand you are representing yourself and attempt to outmanoeuvre you by getting the claim switched to Part 7 or by creative use of Part 36 offers, which have cost implications.
It is also important to ensure you have followed the Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Conduct. A judge is likely to penalise you if you have not followed PAP, as this is your proof that you have attempted to settle the matter before resorting to Court proceedings.
What to do if you are thinking of starting a Court claim?
The number one piece of advice we can give is, speak to us first.
If you are a solicitor or a solicitor in training you should be able to navigate a part 8 S.213 Housing Act 2004 breach case using the N208 form, with the help of your educational resources.
If you do not have legal experience, it is possible that you have underestimated the complexity of cases heard on the multi-track. Please call on 020 3476 6648 to speak to a trained tenant advisor, or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org.