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Limitation – how long do you have to make a claim?

Posted on Friday, 19th April 2013 by

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When considering whether to bring a claim against an opponent in court it is vital to keep in mind the time period within which a claim can be made.  These time periods are governed by the Limitation Act 1980 (“the Act”) meaning action against an opponent must be issued at court within the relevant time period.

The Act makes provisions in respect of different types of claim.  The examples given in this blog are not exhaustive and it is important for a client to take advice as soon as possible to see when the limitation period for their potential claim expires.


The Act provides for a limitation period of:


  • Six years for actions in respect of simple contracts and of tort;
  • Three years for actions in respect of most personal injury claims (unless the client is a child or disabled or the claim is at sea or in the air).


It also provides for two different limitation periods for mortgage debts:


  • Twelve years for an action to recover a sum secured by a mortgage or other charge on property; and


  • Six years for an action to recover arrears of interest in respect of any sum of money secured by a mortgage or charge.


If the limitation period is missed, the claim is statute barred and if proceedings are issued, the opponents can use the expiry of limitation as a defence to the claim.  An application can be made to the Court for the claim to be issued out of time, however the circumstances when this is allowed are limited and the Judge must be persuaded there is a good reason why court proceedings were not issued in time.


The examples in this blog show how complicated the legislation surrounding limitation periods is.  If you think you are entitled to make a claim against someone, we are happy to discuss the limitation period with you to ensure your claim is made within the legislated time period.


To find out if you are eligible to make a claim, contact us for a no obligation discussion on 0800 999 8880.

Frances Jacobs is one of our Solicitors in Leicester, who are all experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.


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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Paul Stubbs - Litigation
Paul Stubbs - Litigation
paul.s@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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