Eviction Help

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    Eviction Help

    Hi all, I wonder if you’d be so kind as to help with some advice on my issue.

    Circumstances

    - HA tenant
    - Assured Shorthold Tenancy (reviewed every 5 yrs)
    - Tenancy Started 8 yrs ago (Nov 2011)
    - Rent charged weekly @ £71.96 (£311.82 Monthly)
    - October 2019 HA lodged a claim for possession under Sec 10 & 11
    - Rent areas in October 19 when claim submitted was £2312.40
    - only tenant live by myself

    About me

    - on universal credit when not working and rent paid direct until February this year when it was paid to me
    - February this year my partner had our first child who was born stillborn. This messed my head up as well as hers and our world came crashing down and led to the breakdown of our 6 year relationship, although we are still close and get on and trying our best with each other and want to be together we still need time to heal before that can happen. We don’t blame either for our boy being stillborn just dealing with the loss in different ways
    - July this year lost my mum to Bowel cancer
    - August this year dad went into hospital with a bad back and turned out he had Metastatic tumours on his spinal cord compressing his spinal cord and also fracturing his C3 and L2 vertebrae. Diagnosed with lung cancer and he died in October this year.
    - I am exhausted both mentally and physically and have been signed off here and there for a few weeks by my doctor due to depression, suicidal thoughts etc
    - due to the above I turned to drink as a coping mechanism and that’s why my arrears accrued to such an amount. I know it’s not an excuse not to pay but I mention this to give you full disclosure so you can advise with the full facts

    Situation

    - possession hearing listed for 20th November
    ​​​​​​- November 11th paid £1000 off of arrears leaving approx £1312 in arrears
    - November 25th received a letter from HA stating that full possession had been awarded by the court. I was gobsmacked by this
    - I suffer from dyslexia and interpreted the court date as 26th November and put that in my phone diary so I wasn’t present at the possession hearing on 20th and by default the court had awarded full possession.
    - my date to leave was Wednesday just gone, but am still here

    Possession Order

    - I have been told I can apply to set aside the possession order but in order to do that I need to pass the threshold of 3 types of criteria. 1. Application must be made in good time 2. My reasons for not attending must be exceptional 3. Setting aside the possession order can only be done if the claim particulars were of a discretionary rule of law and not a mandatory section
    - I have been told I pass two of the three criteria, the one I fail on is the exceptional reason for non attendance. Although there is provision under Brazil v Brazil as an authority, I have no medical proof to substantiate my dyslexia diagnosis.
    - I have never been diagnosed with the condition but had it since as far back as I can remember in school when I had special classes for it. To get an official diagnosis you have to pay £600-800 to be assessed by a psychologist. Why the hell would I pay for this out my own money as the piece of paper confirming diagnosis is not something I am going to hand to a prospective employer in an interview, it’s not going to get me a pay rise when I am working. I am basically saying the cost in getting this is not going to benefit me in a positive way. I have coped for over 30 years with my own coping mechanisms.
    - So my success of challenging the possession order is minimal.

    Advice

    - arrears a couple of weeks ago were £1300 odd, plus £320 odd court costs, add last two weeks rent and total as of Friday just gone were confirmed at £1816.xx
    - Shelter have advised me the above that I would fail in setting aside the possession order as I don’t meet the criteria
    - Shelter have advised me that I should wait for my HA to apply for a warrant of eviction now they have an order of possession. When I receive the warrant of eviction notice I should then put in an application to have the warrant set aside. They said that there is no criteria I need to fulfil to set a warrant of eviction aside like I have to a possession order
    - shelter advised I pay off the full amount of arrears including the court costs awarded of £1816.xx
    - Shelter stated (this was also reiterated by a housing lawyer they referred me to at Derby Law Centre) that in all their time and same for the housing lawyer in all their years of experience submitting applications to set aside a warrant of eviction they’ve never known a judge to grant a warrant of eviction when challenged by the tenant WHEN the arrears have been totally cleared in full.
    - they also at the same time and application request that the possession order is varied.
    - they state this has always been the case in their experience when the possession claim lodged is under discretionary sections of housing law and that the arrears are cleared in full.


    i have now started counselling and my drinking is drastically reduced. Until I get my inheritance from probate which doesn’t amount to an awful lot my uncle is prepared to make a payment of £1816.xx this weekend in order to clear the outstanding arrears. This is in the basis that we challenge the eviction warrant. What he doesn’t want to do is pay that to clear the arrears in full and a warrant of eviction is granted and then I need to borrow the same again to secure private housing (deposit and month in advance and fees etc)

    shelter and and the lawyer did say that you cannot guarantee a judge wouldn’t set the warrant aside but said in their experience I should be fine.

    can you advise ?

    thanks in advance

    #2
    As you owe the arrears anyway surely in all common decency you should just pay it then hope the judge takes pity on your circumstance.

    Comment


      #3
      To be honest I was going to include this in my OP but didn’t want to muddy the waters. I will pay it regardless. When my inheritance from my parents passing away comes through I will clear it. I owe it and am not a person who thinks it’s okay to run a debt up and run away without paying.

      my issue at present is that I don’t have access to funds to pay the arrears (hence my uncle helping out) and then if the warrant is not stayed having available funds to secure private housing which when deposit, month in advance and fees are tallied up will come to circa £1500-1800 anyway. My uncle does not have £3600 odd in available funds.

      so based on my situation and the advise given if challenging the warrant of eviction with cleared arrears doesn’t have the real prospects both shelter and a housing lawyer advised me of I would rather use the £1800 from my uncle to secure new housing and when my inheritance comes through will clear the arrears anyway.

      I have always paid paid my rent and bills on time but lost my way this year due to the events mentioned and am still not right but back on the way to my old self

      Comment


        #4
        Your circumstances are very sad but rent has to be priority no matter what, or you will be homeless.
        I'm afraid I'm right out of sympathy having been played by a tenant with endless sob stories for 6 months so:
        Given your limited options you might be better off making a new start in a new property.

        Comment


          #5
          Without wanting to sound an arse, my issues this year are not sob stories. They are a true reflection of a series of events that have had an adverse affect on me mentally that I was unable to deal with and as a result acted in a way that was not the norm for me and I continue to deal with.


          i have always put my rent and my place first and always paid on time. As I said earlier, explaining my situation as to what’s happened is in no way an excuse, I mentioned it as said to give a transparent view of events.

          i am sorry your previous tenant has turned you over, that’s their doing and not mine. I would appreciate your advice on my situation without being emotive and being impartial. Not every tenant is the same as said I will pay the arrears whether I save my abode or lose it.

          Comment


            #6
            " ..i have now started counselling and my drinking is drastically reduced. Until I get my inheritance from probate which doesn’t amount to an awful lot my uncle is prepared to make a payment of £1816.xx this weekend in order to clear the outstanding arrears. This is in the basis that we challenge the eviction warrant. What he doesn’t want to do is pay that to clear the arrears in full and a warrant of eviction is granted and then I need to borrow the same again to secure private housing (deposit and month in advance and fees etc)..."

            Does not sound hopeful for a problem free existance.

            Comment


              #7
              It doesn't make much difference whether you attended court or not, you were in arrears and being addicted to alcohol is not a viable defence.

              I am not sure that in good time will be satisfied if the hearing was 20th November. That's normally a few days.
              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


                #8
                It's a gamble only you can call it. I doubt anyone here can offer you the reassurances you need. Shelter seem to be telling you the odds are good of getting the warrant set aside by paying the arrears in full.

                A housing association tenancy is a good thing to have compared to a private sector tenancy it looks as though the rent is comparatively low. So trying to keep hold of it would be a good thing.

                Is there any possibility of negotiating with the HA not to proceed with the warrant on terms that the arrears are paid off in full? That's the only risk free solution I can think of.

                Maybe try asking in a benefits forum or CAB to make sure you have exhausted all options of benefits and loans etc you could get.

                Comment

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