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Pre Action Protocols

Background:

The objectives of pre-action protocols are to encourage the early exchange of information and communication between the parties and enable parties to avoid litigation by agreeing a settlement of the claim. The protocols explain the conduct the court will normally expect of the parties prior to starting court proceedings including using a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to try to reach an agreement before the commencement of any proceedings. The pre-action protocols each set out specific procedures that must be followed prior to court action and it is important that these are adhered to in order to proceed with a claim through the courts.

At the time of writing, there are three protocols that affect private landlords; the Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction: Pre-action Conduct and Protocols, Pre-action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims (England) and Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims.

The Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction: Pre-action Conduct and Protocols applies to disputes where no pre-action protocol approved by the Master of the Rolls applies. Practice Directions have been the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) for many years. These Rules control the operation of the court system and those who use it. However, the significance and importance of these are that they apply to ALL cases other than those where there are specific protocols. Specific protocols include the Pre-action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims and Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims.

Commencement:

The Practice Direction: Pre-action Conduct and Protocols came into force on 6 April 2009 (part of the 49th Amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules). The protocol for Housing Disrepair came into force on 6th April 2015 and the protocol for Debt Claims came into force on 1st October 2017.

Scope:

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