Court hearing tomorrow - what to expect ?

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    Court hearing tomorrow - what to expect ?

    Having served a Section 8 on my tenant in mid November and applied for a court hearing through PCOL, I have my day in court tomorrow.

    The tenant has in the meantime up and left the property (thank God) though I am still proceeding with the hearing to formally draw things to a close so I can try to re-let and to hopefully get an order for the arrears to be paid and a CCJ issued.

    I've done a summary of the notable events (detailing the various commitments to pay etc..), taken copies of the AST, the Section 8, witness letter, rent account and correspondence with the tenant. What else may the court want to have sight of at the hearing ? I very much doubt the tenants will turn up, given the way they have vacated the property and haven't been in touch, whilst they haven't filed a defence online either (not that they really have a defence other than an inability to tell the truth).

    I have no idea what to expect at the hearing as I've never been in court before for anything, so any advice would be appreciated. I am representing myself (no solicitor is involved).


    Originally posted by U187146 View Post
    I've done a summary of the notable events (detailing the various commitments to pay etc..), taken copies of the AST, the Section 8, witness letter, rent account and correspondence with the tenant. What else may the court want to have sight of at the hearing ?
    Unless it's any different for PCOL, you're supposed to file a witness statement (which would be your summary, couched in legalese and court protocol etc), and that has 'exhibits' cited and attached - those would be the other documents you refer to. You should send several copies to the court several days before the hearing; the defendant also gets a copy.

    A bit late in the day for that as the hearing's tomorrow - I don't know what the implications are if you don't do it.


      There was nothing that said this was required when going through the online PCOL process and no way of submitting additional documentation.

      The PCOL process appears to automatically produce and store the N5, N119/120 and a payment history schedule (though this is now a month out of date given the date I filed the details). This gives the key facts which I assume is sufficient for the court, otherwise surely there would be more questions when filing using PCOL.

      Given PCOL is a 'self service' tool I would be very surprised if there was an obligation to send additional information prior to the hearing date without being advised to do so, though I guess I'll find out tomorrow.


        As a litigant in person you are still entitled to some costs.

        I can't remember what these are, and although you are unlikely ever to receive them they do get added to the amount on the ccj. The higher the ccj amount the more attention will get paid to it should the tenants ever apply for credit.

        I regularly do credit checks on people who apply for small loans from me. Had one this week who stated that she lived at Address #1 for 3 years and Address #2 for 6 years. I already knew that was a lie as I knew her landlord and helped her with the possession order at Address #3 in late 2007, and with the Attachment of Earnings currently lodged against her. I still did the credit check out of interest and it revealed the £1,700 ccj, plus another 4 undisclosed addresses in the last 4 years. She didn't get a loan!
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.


          It should be a straightforward exercise tomorrow.

          The court will want to see the tenancy agreement, evidence of what payments have been made, and missed, and what is owed as at tomorrows date.

          Do an interest schedule (if your tenancy agreement allows for it) so that you can get those sums added to the judgment debt.

          Let the court know the tenants have left and ask for an order for possession forthwith simply to confirm the position.

          In terms of costs rule 48.6 allows a court to order payment of your costs at the rate of two thirds of the costs you would have incurred with a solicitor. Prepare a schedule of what work you had to do on the case (including preperation of the schedule, and for attending tomorrow) set the time out in minutes, in units of 6 minutes. the hourly rate that applies will depend on the approved rates for your area - let me know where the hearing is taking place and I will let you know. Bear in mind it is at the courts discretion and this is the maximum they allow - they may award you less. You should also list disbursements, such as court fees at the full rate.
          PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.


            Thanks Paul.

            To be honest I have no idea what time I've spent and I hadn't realised I could add "my" costs, as well as actual costs (e.g., the £100 for the court hearing, replacement of damaged property etc.). I guess I could estimate for Section 8 work, PCOL and court hearing and related prep - probably at least 8 hours time, possibly longer if I included travel back and forth to property and court.

            I allowed for a fixed late payment charge for each missed payment, rather than interest.

            The hearing is at the county court in Bedford.

            To be honest getting the arrears and direct costs paid would be a result from my perspective.

            Do I refer to the deposit in the calculation of outstanding arrears (to show the net amount owed) or would the court look to claim the total arrears and deal with the deposit separately ?


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