Ontario/Canada. I want to file a small claim against my previous roommate who I met online and with whom I signed a year contract for a two bedroom apartment. After I sublet my room for the last four month of my contract to another tenant, he refused to pay his half of the bills of the last month we were living together. He refused to pay only after I moved out. In addition to another small amount resulted from difference between first and last month rent and our agreement on how much each pay. I can prove he owes me that amount. The claim all together is small ($230) but at this point it is more personal than actually seeking the money.

I'm planing to claim these expenses:

  1. The amount owed ($230)
  2. Cost of filing a claim ($95)
  3. Cost of mailing the claim to plaintiff ($15)
  4. General expenses ($200) that I will incur (travel expenses, half day vacation from work)

Since I'm new to this, what else can I claim? What of the above I cannot claim?

  • I'd imagine if people can sue for emotional distress, you can sue for cost of mailing - at least in the US you can.
    – Michael
    May 8, 2017 at 23:26
  • In the U.S., you could claim 1-3 but not 4. I don't know how it would play out in Ontario. You might also be able to claim any court fees involved in collecting the judgment (e.g. a garnishment fee).
    – ohwilleke
    May 10, 2017 at 2:34
  • if the bills are not due yet but I already paid them. Can I still make the claim?
    – EGN
    May 10, 2017 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Through small claims court you can recover damages in the amount of the money actually owed to you plus the costs to recover that money. Items 1-3 in your list probably fall into that category.

Per point 4: In some jurisdictions, one can also claim reasonable compensation for their time spent pursuing the claim. The dollar-value-per-hour and total amount are typically capped by statue. Check the local statues to see if such expenses are allowable and what the rules and limits are.

but at this point it is more personal than actually seeking the money.

Remember that small claims court is only for recovering real monetary damages. It is not a venue that will entertain remedies beyond the money you are owed.


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