Court bailiffs - How long does it take?

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  • Court bailiffs - How long does it take?

    If you have read my earlier thread, I am in the middle of evicting troublesome lodgers (an HB couple) from one of my rooms. The judge gave them until 7th October to leave but, as expected, they are still here. I arranged the court bailiffs to come and evict them but was told it could/would take 2 to 3 weeks. I personally could not persuade them to leave.

    Reading some other posts, it took one landlord 2 months for their bailiffs to do the job. Others have said it takes some time. Winning the court case was wonderful but it now seems a hollow victory because it ain't over yet.

    My question: How long does it usually take? Under what circumstances can this process be accelerated, if possible? These people live in my house with me as lodgers, not separate tenants so would this make a difference. They have been aggressive and threatening towards myself and my other good lodger, not to mention racially abusive to us both and thieving things. How would the 'system' view this situation - or would it be treated the same as the rest?

  • #2
    After receiving great advice from this forum, what i did was speak to the Bailiffs office and explained the situation, they were helpful and said they would not process my form but instead wait and give me a call if there was a cancellation - it was a bit of a gamble but i didn't want to wait for the ridiculous amount of time they were offering - i believe it was nearly 2 months! i was lucky there was a cancellation and i got my tenants out a lot quicker.

    However, in your situation, if they are lodgers, why do you need bailiffs - can't you just give them a reasonable time frame to leave and if they don't, change the locks?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MaryQK View Post
      However, in your situation, if they are lodgers, why do you need bailiffs - can't you just give them a reasonable time frame to leave and if they don't, change the locks?
      Yes, you are within your rights to wait for them to go out, change the locks then given them written details of collection/disposal of their goods. The only advantage of waiting for the bailiff is that you can ask the police to be present if you think they might damage your property or assault you on their way out. The police will not physically assist you to remove them, howver.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AustralianGuy View Post
        The judge gave them until 7th October to leave
        You say you have a court order.
        These are lodgers, not tenants, and with no AST.

        Your lodgers can be arrested for failing to comply to a court order.

        Correct me if i am wrong.

        One thing people CANNOT do, is ignor a court order.

        Therefore inform the police that you have a court order, and your lodgers are refusing to obey a court order.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bailiffs/police

          Thank you for the invaluable advice. As soon as I get the chance I will call the local police and get them round.

          Continuing with the story, I called the solicitor yesterday and he said the bailiffs will be able to evict the lodgers within 7 to 14 days. I explained the seriousness of the situation and that is the supposed time frame for them to arrive. I can wait that long because I know they will do a good job and I will not be put at risk. Maybe I could wait and see if there is a delay of over that time and then call the police? The lodgers seem to be aware of my plans and have remained very quiet tucked away in their room.

          As per the very helpful advice, I have now changed the lock. I was worried about doing that in case they ran riot but I now doubt they have the guts to do that - especially when I told them earlier about the bailiffs. My theory is that even if only one of them gets locked out, they will have to play 'tag team', in other words only one can ever leave the house at a time. This will make the bailiffs' job much easier and their lives harder.

          My plan will be to wait for the bailiffs and if they don't turn up before the 14-day period, then I will call for police presense. However, they can refuse to budge regardless, but at least I have the bailiffs to fall back on.

          Good plan so far? Please forgive my lack of experience in all this - but I'm learning fast!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AustralianGuy View Post
            Thank you for the invaluable advice. As soon as I get the chance I will call the local police and get them round.

            Continuing with the story, I called the solicitor yesterday and he said the bailiffs will be able to evict the lodgers within 7 to 14 days. I explained the seriousness of the situation and that is the supposed time frame for them to arrive. I can wait that long because I know they will do a good job and I will not be put at risk. Maybe I could wait and see if there is a delay of over that time and then call the police? The lodgers seem to be aware of my plans and have remained very quiet tucked away in their room.

            As per the very helpful advice, I have now changed the lock. I was worried about doing that in case they ran riot but I now doubt they have the guts to do that - especially when I told them earlier about the bailiffs. My theory is that even if only one of them gets locked out, they will have to play 'tag team', in other words only one can ever leave the house at a time. This will make the bailiffs' job much easier and their lives harder.

            My plan will be to wait for the bailiffs and if they don't turn up before the 14-day period, then I will call for police presense. However, they can refuse to budge regardless, but at least I have the bailiffs to fall back on.

            Good plan so far? Please forgive my lack of experience in all this - but I'm learning fast!
            Just a thought,

            As you are dealing with lodgers and not tenants. Can't you just hire some private bailiffs’?
            Legally you don't even need the court order.

            So you should be able to put a note on the lodger's door, giving him a week to leave the property or you will get him evicted by bailiff’s and change locks. The bailiff's in your case would only be there for your safety and not a legal requirement. If there is some trouble you can always call the police.

            One of the lawyers should be able to answer if private bailiff’s can be used in this situation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Caution - reprisals

              From personal experience watch out for reprisals - if they are cowards it will happen when you are out or when its dark.

              Prior to my horror tenant abandoning the flat, my car was vandalised on my driveway, weeks after she did the runner, our car vandalised again. Police called both times, could do nothing as no witnesses. Police said timing was uncanny, after the verbal physical threats from tenant and her no hoper boyfriend.

              The good thing for car cost and domestic life, I had to clear the garage so got reduced rate on car insurance as car always locked away when not used.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi I hope you get it all sorted out soon!!!!
                I spoke to our solicitor today and was told that we should recieve a new court date within 7days, great we thought, until we found out that the court ballifffs are running 6-8 weeks behind!!!!!
                We are in the process now of getting the HB paid directly to us but not sure if this is going to upset the tennant enough for them to do some damage to the property. Heh ho the hard lessons we learn hey.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good news.

                  Thanks everyone, your advice once again has been invaluable. The good news is that the lodgers both left. I took the advice given and changed the front door lock the day after the court order leave date. I also locked away the kitchen and washing goods and when this did not deter them, changing the lock did. They peeked around the hallway and must have figured what I was doing to the lock. It meant only one of them could leave the house at any one time. They left the following morning apparently bound for London.

                  Despite the room being in a mess, at least they were gone - and they never asked for their deposit back.

                  In another twist, I discovered they were junkies (although I had my suspicions) and a few days later the police arrived to arrest the guy for failing to attend court for something else. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) the lodgers never gave me a forwarding address.

                  Next time I will be more careful who I rent to!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Retribution from evicted tenants/lodgers

                    Thanks to AndyT for your advice. I forgot to include a comment on that in my earlier post.

                    By co-incidence, the female of the couple of lodgers actually returned about 7pm last night. I heard someone creeping across the gravel outside the front door. I looked out and saw her collecting the bags of stuff I put out the door from cleaning out their room. She then returned for the rest half an hour later. Not sure where her live-in boyfriend was because I know the police were after him.

                    This afternoon when I returned home from work I noticed the front door lock had been forced, obviously with a claw hammer or crow-bar. Worried, I hurried inside through the back door but they did not get in. It is a double lock so even if the barrel is forced out, the door catch operates independently. Of course I called the police and am waiting for them to arrive now but just as in AndyT's case, what can/will they do? I'm positive it was the lodgers and if it was, they can only be after retribution.

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