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Money Claim Online- a Landlord's Guide

Money Claim Online (MCOL) is a service offered by the Ministry of Justice which enables claimants to make a claim for money or property up to the value of £100,000 in a County Court. The service is free to use and is designed to make it easier for individuals to make a claim without the need for a lawyer. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provides a secure online portal for claimants to submit their claim and track its progress.

Making a claim through Money Claim Online (MCOL) can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you start the process, it is important to understand the pre-action protocol that you must follow. This will ensure that your claim is valid and that you are following the correct procedure.

The pre-action protocol is a set of steps that you must take before you make a claim through MCOL.

This is designed to give you and the defendant every opportunity to resolve the dispute without going to court. The steps are as follows:

1. Gather evidence: Start by gathering evidence to support your claim. This could include emails, invoices, contracts and other documents that support your case.

2. Write a letter: Write a letter to the defendant outlining your position and the evidence you have gathered. This should be sent by recorded delivery and provide sufficient information for the defendant to understand your position.

3. Wait for a response: Give the defendant a reasonable amount of time to respond to your letter. This should be at least 14 days.

4. Negotiate: If the defendant responds to your letter, try to negotiate a settlement. This could involve both parties making concessions in order to reach an agreement.

5. Consider alternative dispute resolution: If negotiations fail, then you could consider alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration.

6. Issue the claim: If all other options have been exhausted, then you can issue the claim through MCOL.

It is important to note that the court expects you to comply with the pre-action protocol before making a claim. Failure to do so could impact (and in some cases invalidate) your claim.

If you are unsure whether you have fulfilled the pre-action requirements, it is best to seek legal advice. Court staff are not able to give legal advice and will not be able to advise on whether or not you have complied.

By following the pre-action protocol, you will be giving yourself and the defendant the best chance of resolving the dispute without having to go to court. This can save both parties time and money in the long run.

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