Claims often contain mistakes which need to be rectified before they can be processed. At best, this delays the processing of your case, and at worst, it can result in it being rejected. The aim of providing this information is to prevent this from happening.
- All copies should consist of just one page of ordinary A4 paper (i.e. any text/photos should only be on one side).
- No sheets of paper should be stapled together (this makes it harder for us when taking photocopies). If necessary use paper clips.
The complainant must be the right person/company
"Party" means anyone who has have rights and obligations. The parties in a claim may be different people to those specified in the lease. It is the parties who will acquire rights and obligations in the event of a settlement or decision.
As a general rule whoever is claiming something (e.g. money) is the person who should submit the claim. Sometimes the Tribunal receives claims from people who have had claims lodged against them. Such claims are often rejected because the law stipulates that cases must be initiated by a specific party. This applies, for example, when a tenancy has been concluded and there is a deposit account. If the tenant submits a claim to the HTU because he wants his deposit back, then the claim will normally have to be rejected. According to Section 3-5 of the Norwegian Tenancy Act tenants can only contact the bank to ask for a deposit to be repaid. The law states that it is the landlord who should submit a claim if he believes that he has a claim against a tenant.
If the landlord is not mentioned in the contract because he has purchased the dwelling concerned with a tenancy, he must enclose documents to prove that he is currently the owner and landlord when he submits a claim. The same applies if a new landlord has taken over the lease. However, if one party uses an authorised representative, then that party must still stand as the party. Written authorisation must also be presented to show that the authorised representative has the authority to represent the party in question. Authorised parties can only enter into settlements on behalf of the party if such is specified in their authorised instructions.
The complainant must sign any claims himself. If there are several complainants, then they must all sign the claims in question. An authorised representative can sign a claim on behalf of one or more complainants, but in such cases the claim must also be accompanied by written authorisation from the complainant(s) to the authorised representative, and the complainant(s) will need to have signed the authorised instructions. Lawyers and debt collection companies are legally authorised to represent a party, and they do not therefore need to present any authorised instructions. However, debt collection companies need to present authorised instructions if the debt collector is going to enter into a settlement of behalf of the party concerned.
If the actual claim is written by hand, then it is important that the complainant's writing is legible.
Claim, response and authorisation forms can be found here.
The complainant is responsible for providing information about the respondent's address such that the claim can be notified to the respondent. Such information usually applies to the respondent's current residence, but the address of a place of employment or education could be an alternative. This contact information should be as complete as possible and if necessary also include an e-mail address.
When the Rent Disputes Tribunal receives a claim, a bank giro form is sent out for payment of the HTU's processing fees. These fees must be paid before a claim can be processed. This also applies to lawyers, who are not permitted to pay fees in arrears, something which is common practice in the courts.
Information and documentation
Anyone claiming something is responsible for proving their claim. If they fail to provide adequate proof of their claim then no decisions can be made in their favour.
Claims often contain insufficient information and documentation. Maybe the complainant has just claimed a principal claim without specifying what the claim applies to or which items it contains. Since the HTU has to make decisions about claims on an item by item basis, the Tribunal is dependent on knowing which items the claim consists of (i.e. which amounts constitute outstanding rent, each individual claim for compensation, etc.). Alternatively a claim may have been presented clearly, but the claimant has not specified why he believes he has a claim. In some other cases the complainant may have failed to enclose the documentation necessary for showing that he is entitled to what he is claiming.
When submitting a claim the complainant must, as a minimum, write what he is claiming and why. The individual claim amounts should be specified. Furthermore, the lease which applies to both parties should be enclosed, along with any other documentation relating to the claim. The complainant should explain what he is trying to prove by submitting documentation so that he is not dependent on the Tribunal seeing such. This applies in particular to photos, cf. the separate item below.
Any claims submitted by the complainant should be as clear and as complete as possible so that the HTU does not have to ask the complainant to specify any individual items under the principal claim or explain what he means, etc. The HTU will normally specify a deadline for supplying further information/documentation, but will not usually ask for specific proof. It is the responsibility of the party concerned to provide the evidence he needs for his claim(s).
If the parties resolve a case by entering into a settlement, it is not necessarily important if the case contains inadequate information and documentation. The parties can agree about what they want.
Photos should be dated and show the circumstances in question both before and after any damage has occurred in order to ensure that they are valid as proof in respect of a claim for compensation. They should be accompanied by an explanation about what they are portraying. The best thing would be if the photos are incorporated into the moving in/out protocols which have been signed by both parties.
Please send any photos in accordance with the guidelines specified in Items 1 and 2 below.
- Photographic evidence should be copied onto ordinary A4 paper with an accompanying explanation stating what each photo proves. In this way you will be able to ensure that top quality photos and evidence have been provided.
- All photos and other documentation must be sent to the respondent for information and for any comments. In order to ensure that photos can be sent to the other party, you will need to provide a copy as well. The HTU cannot produce satisfactory copies of photos, so we would ask you to send two copies of any photos. (If there is more than one respondent then the number of photos would need to be increased accordingly.)
- You should only enclose photos which you think will prove the contents of your claim.
Number of copies
You only need to submit one copy of your claim. The same applies to any subsequent letters and documentation which are enclosed in paper format. As regards photos, please see above.