There are generally three things we look at whenever a prospective client calls us about suing in the Small Claims Court regarding a home renovation gone wrong. Is a case winnable; Is it collectable; and is it affordable to retain us.
Is it Winnable
During our initial consultation we will listen to the fact situation you find yourself in and determine if you have a winnable case based on applicable legal principles, your contract and the Ontario Consumer Protection Act. Please note that providing an assessment is an ongoing process and our assessment may change as more information becomes available to us during the course of a proceeding.
Is it Collectable
In addition to determining if a case is winnable we also want to explore what are the chances of recovering on a judgment if a matter proceeds all the way to a trial. If the contractor is a long-established business with many employees and a commercial address then chances of recovery are probably good. If, however, the contract is a single individual, who has not business address, does not own a home and only has a cell phone for a business presence then collecting on any judgment could be poor.
Is it Affordable to Retain Us
The last thing that we look at is if it is affordable to retain us. The Ontario Small Claims Court can hear matters up to $35,000 and can award a successful party up to 15% of the claim amount towards their legal fees. The Alberta Small Claims Court can hear matters up to $50,000. Generally speaking, we can offer provide some type of legal assistance for matters greater than $5,000. For matters under that amount it is generally not cost-effective to retain us.