Small claims pro­ce­dure

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

I am un­happy with the re­pair work a builder has done to my house. He hasn’t fixed the is­sue and he re­fuses to put it right. Do I have any rights in this sit­u­a­tion?

IF your builder is un­will­ing to com­pen­sate you, you may be able to make a claim against them us­ing the small claims pro­ce­dure. The aim of this pro­ce­dure is to pro­vide an in­ex­pen­sive, fast and easy way for con­sumers to re­solve dis­putes with­out a solic­i­tor. The max­i­mum amount you can claim for un­der the small claims pro­ce­dure is €2,000. The small claims pro­ce­dure is pro­vided through lo­cal Dis­trict Court of­fices.

If you have pur­chased goods or ser­vices for pri­vate use from some­one sell­ing them in the course of busi­ness, you can make a claim us­ing the small claims pro­ce­dure. You can make claims for bad work­man­ship, mi­nor dam­age to prop­erty, faulty goods and for the non-return of rent de­posits for cer­tain kinds of rented prop­er­ties, for ex­am­ple, a hol­i­day home. Busi­nesses can also use this pro­ce­dure to make claims against other busi­nesses about con­tracts for goods or ser­vices pur­chased.

To make a claim, you need to com­plete the ap­pli­ca­tion form and sub­mit it and a fee of €25 to the Small Claims Reg­is­trar. You can do this on­line at the Courts Ser­vice On­line web­site, csol.ie. Al­ter­na­tively, you can down­load the ap­pli­ca­tion form from courts. ie or get a copy from the Small Claims Reg­is­trar at the Dis­trict Court of­fice. Make sure you in­clude the cor­rect name and ad­dress of the com­pany or per­son you are claim­ing against. You can dou­ble-check this in­for­ma­tion on the Com­pa­nies Reg­is­tra­tion Of­fice web­site at cro.ie.

The Reg­is­trar sends a copy of your ap­pli­ca­tion to the per­son you are mak­ing the claim against. If the other per­son does not re­ply within 15 days of re­ceiv­ing your ap­pli­ca­tion, your claim will be au­to­mat­i­cally treated as undis­puted. Then the court will make an or­der in your favour for the amount claimed, and di­rect that it be paid within a spe­cific pe­riod of time. If your claim is dis­puted, the Reg­is­trar will give you a copy of the rea­sons why the other per­son is dis­put­ing your claim. The Reg­is­trar will try to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment to the dis­pute.

If no set­tle­ment can be reached, the mat­ter is set for a court hear­ing in the Dis­trict Court. Know Your Rights has been com­piled by County Wick­low Cit­i­zens In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice, Bless­ing­ton Li­brary, Town Cen­tre, which pro­vides a free and con­fi­den­tial ser­vice to the pub­lic. Open Tues­day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Wed­nes­day from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Call 086 0481881. An out­reach ser­vice is pro­vided in Balt­in­glass by the Car­low Cit­i­zens In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice. In­for­ma­tion also avail­able on­line at cit­i­zensin­for­ma­tion.ie.

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