Section 8 court hearing HHSRS assessment

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    Section 8 court hearing HHSRS assessment

    Hi

    I'm taking my tenant to court on Friday via the section 8 route. I believe everything is in order.

    My query relates to the tenant calling the council's environmental health department for issues I was never informed about.

    The tenant is obviously trying to stay in the property for as long as possible.

    Here is what the council emailed me and my replies:

    Excess Cold – no fixed heating, no hot water supply to the kitchen sink and wash hand basin


    A. heaters were supplied when the tenancy started. We have not been informed otherwise by the tenant.


    A. There is hot water supply to the journey sink and bathroom sink, there is hot water tank supplying both sinks.



    · Damp and Mould – leak from flat above into bathroom light fitting causing electrics to fuse.


    A. We have not been informed about a leak.



    · Entry by intruders – The tenant does not have a key to lock the communal front door.


    A. The communal door is the freeholders, it is not within our jurisdiction to replace a communal door. The tenants actual front door is secure with both a yale and deadlock.

    I followed up my email with a telephone call explaining that I wasn't made aware of any of the issues raised in the email and that I am more than willing to rectify them.

    I also explained that the tenant hasn't answered calls our messages for the last 3 months.


    What implications will this have on the court hearing?

    #2
    Tenant will claim he is witholding rent to force you to do repairs. I suspect judge will find in his favour. Why aren't you using section 21?

    BTW, what is a 'journey' sink?
    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


      #3
      When did you last inspect the flat. Councils tend to expect quarterly inspections.

      Comment


        #4
        I couldn't use a section 21 because the tenant was in arrears and the council said they will pay me all the outstanding money if I signed the tenant up to a new ast. So I'm still in the fixed term.

        Typo, journey sink was supposed to be "kitchen sink"

        The last inspection was around 3 months ago when the new ast was signed.

        I'm happy to do the repairs, I wonder what the judge will say to that? will he throw my claim out, will he postpone the case until the works are done??

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Bach View Post
          I couldn't use a section 21 because the tenant was in arrears and the council said they will pay me all the outstanding money if I signed the tenant up to a new ast. So I'm still in the fixed term.
          Fool me once?

          Originally posted by Bach View Post
          I'm happy to do the repairs, I wonder what the judge will say to that? will he throw my claim out, will he postpone the case until the works are done??
          I suspect the former.

          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


            #6
            Disrepair defence to section 8 arrears is not a case of "there's disrepair, so no possession order possible". The disrepair is a counterclaim for monetary compensation which is then set off against the rent arrears, and if that bring it down to less than the ground 8 amount, the landlord no longer have a mandatory ground for possession.

            If you're talking about a initial hearing which is listed along with 20 other possession case for the same morning, expect an adjournment if there's any arguable defence or counterclaim setoff. So you better be able to convince the judge that you know of no disrepair, the tenant have not made any report of disrepair, and they are just making things up to hold off eviction.

            Serve 24 hours notice in the morning for an inspection on Thursday. Chances are they'll refuse, then you can point that out to the judge. If they do give access, take pictures for your records especially with regards to areas they complained about to environmental health.
            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
              Thanks, I will serve an inspection notice today

              Comment


                #8
                What happens if she doesn't reply to the inspection notice (she'll probably ignore it)

                Comment


                  #9
                  You turn up, ideally with witness, knock loudly, wait a minute, knock loudly bargain, wait again, if no answer let yourself in, loud hello. If asked to leave do so: calm & polite
                  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


                    #10
                    Ok, I'll keep you guys posted

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Oh, I spoke to the environmental health officer today.

                      I showed her the last document from the last inspection, the images of the flat when the tenant first moved in (immaculate) and a screenshot of my attempts at trying to contact the tenant over the past few months.

                      I think the officer backed off a little after seeing the above and asked me to contact her after the hearing on Friday.

                      I don't think a hazard notice has been issued..I would know of if was, right?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Still open to tenant (or his legal adviser..) who may be viewing this thread to raise repair issues: Which will likely bring adjournment/further investigation or case chucked out.

                        See from the experts here...
                        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


                          #13
                          Update:

                          I went to the property today to carry out the inspection, the tenant was in, didn't let me in and also locked the door from inside after I knocked. Unfortunately, the sound of the lock sliding wasn't picked up on the video recording.

                          Either way, at least it shows that I went to the property and couldn't gain access.

                          Fingers crossed for tomorrow

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Update:

                            The judge adjourned the hearing.

                            The judge didn't really get involved with the disrepair issues and lack of access provided by the tenant.

                            Environmental health emailed me today saying the fire brigade had to go to the property as the electrics were not safe. (I have an electrical certificate)

                            Anyway, I tried to inspect the property yesterday, the tenant didn't allow me in (I have a video recording)

                            I explained to the council that I had been trying to contact the tenant for months in order to carry all repairs and that I was not being given access.

                            How shall I proceed?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Get a court order compelling the tenant to give you access for the repairs.
                              You'll probably need a solicitor to assist.
                              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

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