Defence against Section 21 Notice

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    Defence against Section 21 Notice

    We are in the process of having to evict our tenant for non payment of rent. They are currently over 4 months in arears, and we are using the accelerated position proceedings.
    Our tenant has filed a defence against the procedures, but I have a few questions. Firstly the tenants defence was late – they have signed the form after the 14 day time period had lapsed, and the court didn’t receive the form after 10 days after this date. Will the judge still consider their defence? The court couldn’t give me a clear answer –only that the tenants defence and all paperwork has been passed onto the district judge.
    The tenant has put all sorts of things in the defence, which hopefully will be ignored, including that we havnt given them a payment plan to clear their arears (although not relevant, we have tried to negotiate with the tenant, and would have been open their request, but they ignored all communication with us). However the tenant has requested longer to stay in the property. They have young children, although they are citing financial hardship as a reason to stay (I guess by living rent free a little longer will help them financially). I know it’s not clear cut what constitutes exceptional hardships, but does anyone has experience of whether this would be awarded. We have told the court the tenant is in rent arears which is causing us financial hardship and in the tenants defence they have effectively admitted their rent arears.

    #2
    Non payment of rent is section 8 territory. In your shoes I'd also issue s8's (several..) and start MCOL small-claim so they get CCJ quicker.

    As long as your s21 is valid you should be OK. Tenant may be able to get more time, but will still be evicted. Does your s21 pass this lot??
    https://markprichard.co.uk/content/d...ecker-tool.pdf
    - only 24 pages of checks ...
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      If all your paperwork is in order, and the only defence are what you stated, you should get possession given. The court can grant a delay of up to a few weeks in any order of possession taking effect, but that would be its only discretion. If the tenant has challenged whether your s21 notice was valid, you may end up in a hearing though which may cause quite a bit of delay.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you - our notice passed the test and is valid!

        We have issued a section 8 notice but decided to only take action on the section 21 notice. We felt this would be the fasted route to re-gaining possetion, given our tenant would propably get legal aid and would put in a defence to at least get more time. We have been very careful in checking everything when issuing the section 21 notice, and the tenant has not desputed the depsit being protected, or prescribed information served.

        Can we start a money claim online now? Given we wont know the full amount of rent owed? I am happy to chase them for a lower amount - ie what they own now as I dont think we will actually get any money out of them. I think they will try to disapear when out of the property so it will be hard to issue a money claim once they have been evicted.

        Comment


          #5
          The tenant has claimed they do not have a tenancy agreement, only a verbal agreement to stay in the property, as when the intital fixed term ended they automatically moved to rolling contract, so they did not need to sign another new agreement.

          Comment


            #6
            You were required to include a copy of the most recent written tenancy agreement when making an accelerated possession claim. Assuming you did that, you're fine.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              Yes, we did include the agreement. I know want they have writtern in their defence is not a valid defence, just there is always a bit a doubt in the back of my mind!
              The tenants have been really hard work - it has been a lesson learnt! We acutally had a lot a sympathy for them as they play the hard done by card very well, Seeing their defence its clear they are just the type of people who will try what they can. They were often a few days / aweek late in rent payments, moved their dog in without permission first, and a few other things - all of which we were happy to work with them, but then they stopped paying any rent. Of course none of this is relevant to the case - we just want our property back and good reliable tenants in.

              Comment


                #8
                May be time to review your tenant selection process too.

                Comment

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