S8 and S21 issued - court hearing not until new year!

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    S8 and S21 issued - court hearing not until new year!

    Afternoon everyone

    Crashingly depressing:

    Brief - tenant moved in in July with one month advance rent under 6 month AST. Since then tenant has failed to pay any rent and is in arrears - arrears schedule etc with solicitor. S8 notice expired and S21 served in addition.

    We have just heard that hearing for possession is not until new year. Obviously we want the non paying tenant out sooner than that.

    Tenant referencing confirmed tenants employment and confirmed no previous credit adversity before tenant moved in. This is unfortunate for us as tenant is showing no sign at all of moving out.
    • I was looking at putting in a claim on MoneyClaim online - in anybody's experience would starting a claim now put the judge at court in a position to delay possession due to the debt being actively pursued?
    • Is there a faster way to remove a tenant obviously I'm talking legally
    • Can we start bailiff proceedings and again, would that potentially delay a possession order as the court sees the debt being actively pursued?
    • We have maintained no contact with the tenant since advising him of taking solicitor action as described above. Would the experienced landlords out there suggest maintaining a (factual and respectful) communication with the tenant or just not bothering to attempt to contact?
    What do the experienced landlords who have had this debacle go on for themselves suggest if anything?

    It seems unfortunate that landlords need to carry the burden of non paying tenants until such a time as the judge is ready to grant a possession order - this could potentially go on until spring yet we acted on the problem in summer when we noticed no rent payment.

    Any practical suggestions welcome whilst I go and put a cold flannel on my worried brow and reflect on the tenant telling me that the 'rent has been going into another account and it will be sorted' story........

    #2
    I'm not surprised: Courts don't normally evict over Xmas period.

    Re
    Is there a faster way to remove a tenant obviously I'm talking legally..
    Bribery:

    I wouldn't, moral grounds.
    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
      theartfullodger, I've removed my flannel and sat up: Bribery: I'll think about it! Actually I'd consider all options at this rate as I have a LOT of time to think about it.........

      Comment


        #4
        You can't remove the tenant without their agreement without succeeding at the court hearing and then executing the court order with bailiffs.

        Whether you can be awarded the arrears at the court hearing depends on what basis you are seeking repossession. If s21 accelerated basis, you can't ask the court to make any decision on the arrears and will have to try and recover the money separately.

        If you are using the s21 non accelerated route or s8 based on arrears you can ask the court to include that decision as part of the hearing.
        You will need to produce a complete schedule or rent owed and rent paid to the court.

        Hopefully you're proceeding with s8 notice.

        Assuming you are successful at the hearing (and many landlords are not), the tenant will be given 14 days to leave, and when that period has elapsed, you will be able to instruce county court bailiffs to evict. They will have a lead time of their own, which can be several weeks. At the court hearing you can ask the judge to allow you to use High Court enforcement officers, who typically have a shorter lead time (as there are more of them) in order to prevent the tenant getting further into debt (as rent is due until the tenant is removed from the property).

        So this initial delay is the start of a process that will take a while yet.

        If you do compensate the tenant in order to get them to agree to leave, they will simply have to give you the money back when you sue them for the arrears.
        Your best approach might be to agree to write off some or all of the arrears in exchange for vacant possession with the property in good condition.

        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          jpkeates, thank you - that's useful to know and I will be discussing a write off agreement with my partner. Any suggestions on a correct format for tenant to sign acceptance and vacant possession should they be willing to agree?

          Comment


            #6
            Please don't go the bribery route: It's rewarding crooks & cheats.

            Inform tenants verbally that you have copied s8 notices to council housing people so they know of arrears and thus should not rehouse them. And only an honest or no reference.

            That might all mean it takes longer & is more painful this one occasion, but the more that can be done to root out cheats the better. And please ensure they get CCJs so any landlord with half-a-brain who credit checks them gets red flag & they find loans & deals (eg mobile 'phone contract..) impossible or very expensive.

            Better luck next time.
            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


              #7
              Are you waiting for a Possession order or a warrant for possession, as both are different. Which route did you apply to the court for S8 or S21? As seems a little strange that they have come back with a date after new year, as the max. time limit is 42 days for a tenant to be allowed to stay once the order has been granted under S21.

              You can not start the process for bailiffs as you need the claim number of the possession order, if you don't have this or judgement hasn;t been set, the bailiffs will not do anything and you would have wasted £121.

              If the tenant moved in July, then six months from then is Jan.2019 is when the fixed term ended, if you are claiming a breach in the tenancy under Section 8, then the hold up could be that the defendant is challenging the order with a defence. S8 are very hard, as all the tenant needs to do is show that he's now paying you, while under S21 if your paperwork is all in order you would get possession between 14 -42 days.

              Comment


                #8
                I would be suspicious of that reference and inclined to go back to the company for their evidence

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                  I would be suspicious of that reference and inclined to go back to the company for their evidence
                  I had this exact thing happen to me, and I only found out because it was my first time finding tenants and I did the checks myself (as well as paying a company to Verify Tenants) out of curiosity to see if the information they would get would match what I could find out. Sadly it didn’t. I asked them how they got their information, which began a myriad of little lies that dug a deeper hole.

                  I’ve only been a landlord for 18 months and sadly I’ve learnt that it’s hard to find any decent people/companies that you can have complete faith in. I’m sure there are decent Letting Agents out there and decent verifying companies; but I’m yet to find one, unfortunately, and trusting other people has left a very sour taste in my mouth.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Popwood View Post
                    jpkeates, thank you - that's useful to know and I will be discussing a write off agreement with my partner. Any suggestions on a correct format for tenant to sign acceptance and vacant possession should they be willing to agree?
                    There's a sticky thread on the subject of a surrender deed and an example in this forum.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      ash72,
                      • We are waiting for a possession order - S21 non accelerated route
                      • S8 was served and expired on 11 Oct and a claim for possession filed - claiming breach of AST - no rent since rent advance received on 20 May. Tenant claimed verbally that money went into another account - (whatever that means to them!)
                      • S21 was filed 12 Oct.
                      • I re-checked tenant AST and it started 20 May so 20 Nov fixed term ends.
                      • The holdup on delivering paperwork was due to a bad choice of legal firm initially who delayed serving notice so we hired another law firm
                      • All the S8 and S21 paperwork should be in order as it's been drawn up by a law firm
                      RedHitman
                      • I hear you regarding the Tenant Verification process, we submitted a comprehensive level of information to be checked out and the tenant passed the affordability test with "low risk" assessment so we took the tenant on the basis that there was no adverse risk. Bad luck.
                      theartfullodger - CCJs are definitely coming the tenant's way - I'd hate to let this happen to another landlord.

                      jpkeates - I'll have a look at the surrender notice - I know it's stepping into bribery. Unfortunately when you're a landlord and thought you've done your due diligence then a tenant milks the legal system for this long, it makes me very angry at the system.

                      I've had tenants lose their jobs, come into hard circumstances, ask for some flexibility and goodwill and I've always supported the genuine tenant who's come on unfortunate circumstances to give them a chance to rebuild themselves.

                      I can guarantee you this tenant is a rogue, they are quite happy in this situation, and probably even happier now that nothing can happen until the new year because the first available hearing date is at that time.

                      Looks like the court doesn't mind, either. But hey - the low point of being a landlord is you just have to sit back and let the tenant and the court do their thing.

                      Cheers guys. I'll be back with more questions I'm sure.


                      Comment


                        #12
                        • S8 and S21 non accelerated
                        • S8 served and time expired on 11 Oct - breach of AST - no rent received since May no challenge has been indicated to us but we don't know
                        • S21 filed Fri 12 Oct
                        • AST signed 20 May so fixed term ends Nov
                        • We hired another law firm after the original delayed serving notice - all paperwork should be correct
                        • Our referencing agency stated tenant passed affordability check with a low risk
                        • We will be chasing CCJ route as no other landlord should have to go through the same with this tenant
                        Very unhappy with the referencing (unless this is tenant's first foray into rent arrears)
                        Also very unhappy with the courts timelines.

                        LAndlord bad luck story - I guess we just have to sit back and wait until the tenant and the court call the shots. Hands tied.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Firms that charge, perhaps a lot, don't always get their paperwork right or spot errors in yours. You can cchoose to start MCoL small claims now, but it's generally advised against, as more pressure on tenant and earlier CCJ.

                          Part of being a landlord is dealing with such predictable problems: Sorry, tough, many here been there....
                          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


                            #14
                            Re the S21, are you sure you haven't jumped the gun? July to October is only 3 months.
                            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              JK0, I got the date the AST signed wrong it was signed May 20. S21 filed on 12 Oct, we are going with the lawyer advice. Not suggesting that this is the best course of action or that our trust in lawyers is implicit, we don't really have much of an option other than follow the process as advised and wait a long time for things to come to fruition.

                              Meantime tenant not doing anything because they don't legally have to do anything at this time.

                              Comment

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