Possession procedure: between application and hearing?

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    Possession procedure: between application and hearing?

    Hello

    I am going to court next week to obtain possession of my rental property, having issued tenant with a Section 8. I initiated the court process using PCOL so all online. I was then emailed a time and date of hearing and since then have issued no correspondence or heard nothing from the tenant. My question is this - was there some extra paperwork I am meant do have done before the court hearing? sent anything else to the tenant? I am putting all my correspondence/evidence together in a pack to take to the hearing to present to the judge, should I have sent this to the court as well before the hearing?

    Sorry for all the questions, I can't seem to find anything to say what I should have done between filling the papers online and turning up at the court on the day (or nothing, if the case may be?)

    Thank you in advance for any help

    #2
    In a nutshell no.

    The court lists your case for a hearing. T can enter a defence - you will get a copy from the court if T des not send you one directly.

    Depending on whether a defence is (a) entered, and (b) is an actual defence*
    will dictate the hearing. If there is no defence then as long as you can satisfy to the court that ground 8 still applies you should get an order for possession.

    If a defence is filed the directions will be made for disclosure of doc's witness statements etc and a further final hearing set (depending on the nature of the defence more complicated directions may be used btu I think that is unlikely)

    * By this I mean a defence that may defeat the section 8 claim. E.g. if T disputes the level of arrears (eg he says paid cash) so that arrears are below the levels required for ground 8 then (if accepted) the court only has discretionary powers.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your quick advice! I'm not quite clear on one point you made-

      If a defence is filed the directions will be made for disclosure of doc's witness statements etc and a further final hearing set (depending on the nature of the defence more complicated directions may be used btu I think that is unlikely)
      what witness statements would I need?, I have none so far, just proof of postage for the correspondence.

      Thanks

      Comment


        #4
        well it all depends what the defence says. If they say there has been no hot water for ages they have told you and told you and you have not done anything. because you failed to do anything they decided to withhold rent.

        They are not lawfully entitled to withhold rent, but their allegations (if found to be true) may entitle them to compensation. This compensation is being claimed by way of set off - this means that they are using the argument to reduce the amount claimed.

        In the above situation if T was found to owe rent of £1500 (lets say thats 3 months rent) but then the court accepted their defence and awarded (£1000) in damages then the net result is that you are owed £500. This would mean that you have failed to show that ground 8 applies (as only 1 months rent is owed) and therefore the claim for possession is only on grounds 10 and 11 which are discretionary and puts your claim at risk.

        the above scenario is not realistic, but is simply mean to show how this could operate.

        If that was their claim then you would need to disclose documents eg letters etc passing between you and the tenants. You would then need to prepare a witness statement and that would need to deal with (in the above situation) two elements. First you need to set out how the rent is owed, and what is outstanding (simple really refer to tenancy agreement and a schedule of payments received). Second you would need to defend the allegation against you.

        Like I said this would only be relevant if a defence is actually filed.
        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.

        Comment


          #5
          OK, thanks for that.

          Comment


            #6
            Would there be any advantage in me sending in the evidence pack(letters, copy of section 8 etc) early before the day of the court hearing? would the judge actually look at the case before the time of the hearing?

            thanks

            Comment


              #7
              it is possible but unlikely.

              the judge will probably have about 10 similar cases all listed at the same time, he is unlikely to have had time to fully read the court file.

              If you are going to send it in set out clearly in the covering letter what each document is (e.g. "the tenancy agreement is attached as enclosure 1, enclosure 2 is a print out of rents received against rent due....") then actually write enc 1 2 etc on the top of each enclosure.
              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.

              Comment


                #8
                thanks again!

                Comment


                  #9
                  What I normally do is make up a short stapled "pack" with a printout of the accumulated rent arrears, payments and dates history in tabled format, a copy of the agreement, a copy of the relevant notice and any interleaving correspondence.

                  I find that judges appreciate this because it saves them having to look through the paperwork they already have in front of them, and it looks professional - it also destroys any argument that the tenant has of not owing two months rent or more - the last one I attended (as agent with the principal by my side) argued that he did not owe £2100 rent arrears - the judge asked if he owed £700 or more - he agreed he did - so that was it - my schedule was accepted and judgment entered along with possession - the only concession being given was they got the full 6 weeks delay because he "plead her belly" as the old saying goes - in other words, his partner was pregnant and the baby due any day (which we did not know anything about when the paperwork was sent in for the summons - and no medical evidence was sent in to the court to confirm this pregnancy and imminent birth!!!)

                  I also find that its very beneficial to shut up when the other side loses control and tries to speak at the same time as you - and for us to keep quiet no matter what the provocation until other side has finished!!!!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    thanks for that advice. Do you send your pack in before the hearing or just take it along on the day?

                    thanks

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Gordon890 View Post
                      thanks for that advice. Do you send your pack in before the hearing or just take it along on the day?

                      thanks
                      Take it with you on the day. Even if you send it, make sure you have a copy for the court date, as it might not even get to the Judge.

                      In my opinion, I wouldn't send any documents before the court date. The PCOL system is based on you bringing in the documents on the days; I don't think the documents would even be looked at.

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