13

I have a court case against my landlord for disrepair. At the end of last year I had enough of waiting for him to respond to all the issues we have in the property, and I've sent him a letter of claim. After that he came to inspect the property (with his father posing as a building expert) and he was very arrogant, threatened me with eviction and skyrocketing rent if he does any repairs. He talked down to me and in general his visit was extremely unpleasant.

I recorded it all on my iPhone voice recorder and made a transcript of this conversation, but I didn't tell him that I'm recording it as I know that the only way to show his true colours is to do it without his knowledge (example: he phoned my solicitor after she contacted him to tell him, that we will commence legal proceedings against him and said to her, that he is an innocent victim here, that I was very happy with everything until 6 months ago and he didn't know about any problems in the property, which is a lie as I have tons of evidence to prove otherwise).

So my question is: can I ask for admission of this recording in a court, as I believe it is highly relevant and probative?

2
  • 15
    You say "he phoned my solicitor after she contacted him to tell him, that we will commence legal proceedings against him". So, you have a solicitor. While it's beneficial for others to have this question here, this is really something which you should be discussing with your solicitor, rather than relying on advice/information from people on the internet. – Makyen Mar 25 at 2:35
  • 5
    Just to comment on: "highly relevant and probative" - remember to focus on what your case is actually about. You are looking to prove (a) that the property was in disrepair during the last 8 years, (b) that your landlord was aware of the disrepair during that time, and (c) that the landlord did not carry out the repairs. Things like "he was arrogant", "threatened eviction" and wanting to put the rent up may be helpful to establish his overall attitude, but none of them are evidence of the key issues. Let your solicitor decide how useful it is. – JBentley Mar 25 at 10:10
29

Yes, you can ask permission from the court. From this page (by a firm of solicitors):

Recording a conversation in secret is not a criminal offence and is not prohibited. As long as the recording is for personal use you don’t need to obtain consent or let the other person know.

[...]

A private recording can be submitted as evidence, but with some conditions:

  • A recording may be relied on in evidence if the court gives permission

  • An application for permission should be made on form C2

  • The recording should be made available to other parties before any hearing to consider its admissibility.

So yes you can probably use it, but you can't play Perry Mason and suddenly produce it in the middle of the court hearing. Talk to your solicitor.

1
  • Case details can’t matter. Will the recorder make up its own mind about right or wrong? Making recordings in court is usually illegal, in any jurisdiction. Producing earlier recordings as evidence depends on your jurisdiction. Here in the UK, it will first depend on whose property either of you stood on… This is complicated by Paul Johnson’s “… personal use….” which generally would include your family album… not a law-suit. For facile examples, consider how UK law treats drugs or pornography. “Personal use” there means not sharing; most clearly, not for personal gain. – Robbie Goodwin Mar 25 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.