Local Authority Eviction Question

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    Local Authority Eviction Question

    Hello,

    Can anyone tell me if a Local Authority can evict a tenant (who has a valid contract and im more than happy with him) from a building which was built without planning permission?

    If yes, whats the process?

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    1. When did the tenancy commence?
    2. If it is an AST has the initial fixed period expired?
    3. When was the property acquired by you?
    4. What alterations were required needing Planning Permission?
    5. When were you first notified that there had been a failure to comply with planning requirements?
    6. Did the proposed alterations require Building Regulation approval and was this applied for and granted?


    The local authority can demand the demolition of a building erected without planning consent and so I guess they must have powers to ensure the property is unoccupied when demolition takes place.

    Was any advice included with Local Authority documentation indicating the level of fines you may face if you fail to comply with the notice.

    Dependent on your answers to the above questions it may well be that you will incur liabilities towards a tenant to whom you provided a contract invalidated by failure to to comply with relevant legislation.

    Are you contemplating making an appeal against the Local Authority decision and will the time scale needed to resolve that appeal fit within the framework of the date you could require possession of the property yourself?

    A thought here is that you could consult with the tenant and explain the situation and contemplate helping the tenant find alternative accommodation. If the local authority do not move with an eviction procedure it might then be open for you to do so.

    Perhaps you would be best advised to seek legal help.
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply Worldlife, bare in mind people im only 23 but here are some answers:

      When did the tenancy commence? Ive had several tenants since seeing a "copy" of the enforcement notice they said they sent me!

      If it is an AST has the initial fixed period expired? Its for a year and no its not expired.

      When was the property acquired by you? Its my property/new build

      What alterations were required needing Planning Permission? - none - i didnt apply for planning permission.

      When were you first notified that there had been a failure to comply with planning requirements? - i wasnt - ive only seen a "copy" of the enforcement they said they sent me from my solicitor!

      Something id like to add - they started demolition of the property while the tenant had/has a valid tenancy (it finishes sometime next year - they seen sight of this tenancy which was sent to them by my solicitor but they ignored) he was away on holiday for a few days so they began taking the property apart on the basis nobody was in occupation the day they came!

      Comment


        #4
        If you flout planning permission and building regulations, those laws take precedence over your tenants’ AST, for reasons such as you may have put their lives at risk.

        If your tenants are clued up, they’ll know that they can claim compensation for loss of amenities from you. I would try to placate them ASAP or where necessary help them fund moving costs to a different property.

        Please share with us why you didn’t apply for the correct permissions?

        Even though I am a landlord, I am very glad that there are laws in place to prevent people from concreting over everywhere, building shoddy shacks or blocking neighbours' light.

        Comment


          #5
          What is the size and location of your plot of land? Does the plot have it's own access or is it back development?

          What was the purchase price of the plot of land before development? Was it part of the garden of a larger property or land associated with other buildings?

          What was the purchase price of the development and what is its value now?

          This information will help in advising you of the potential consequences of your flouting the law.
          Last edited by Worldlife; 29-05-2006, 12:54 PM.
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Poppy
            If you flout planning permission and building regulations, those laws take precedence over your tenants’ AST, for reasons such as you may have put their lives at risk.

            If your tenants are clued up, they’ll know that they can claim compensation for loss of amenities from you. I would try to placate them ASAP or where necessary help them fund moving costs to a different property.

            Please share with us why you didn’t apply for the correct permissions?

            Even though I am a landlord, I am very glad that there are laws in place to prevent people from concreting over everywhere, building shoddy shacks or blocking neighbours' light.
            Thanks for the reply Poppy.
            I understand what your saying but surely if someone has a "valid tenancy" a local authority cant make someone homeless? Surely they should write to the tenant explaing the situation to them? I suppose if they dont write to me there not going to write to them!. On one occasion the local authority came to take the building down when the "previous" tenant was in occupation and LEFT because he had a valid tenancy. The time after that when the NEW tenant was in occupation (and away on holiday for a few days - which he is allowed to do) the local authority took down part of the building because when they "smashed the windows" they found nobody was inside (they got no answer from the door entry system) so it was done "on chance" remember now this was after seeing a "valid tenancy" which they ignored.

            I just didnt put in for planning permission, no reason behind it.

            Im glad to there are laws in place, but everyone has to follow them. A local authority cannot just smash something down without serving papers! even when they demolished some of the building they left no paperwork behind (saying it was them) all electrical cables were left exposed - no notice on front door telling me they were there! (NOTHING) it looked like a vandal job when i saw it.

            Comment


              #7
              The size/location of the land is beside a house I also own, I cant remember off hand the size but a planner measured it for me last week and he said what Ive got on the ground isnt "over development" (sorry i cant be more spot on, even though i didnt put in for planning permission everything is spot on - if you know what i mean) The height restriction without planning permission is 4 meters my pitch was 3.9 (which the local authority knew BUT again ignored)

              The plot has its own entrance, its own water supply and its own electrical supply, its own telephone line. This was explained to the local authority but again ignored this as they only turned off the electric at the board and not the main box - so if a "squatter" for example turned on the power at the board on chance the whole place would liven up.

              The land was part of the house but was divided up many years ago - however saying that my garden is the biggest on the road - but when divided the section of garden left for the house (which is in 2 flats) is the SAME as the other houses on the road!

              Comment


                #8
                You keep saying that the local authority is aware of a valid existing tenancy. Do you have alternative evidence to suggest that this takes precedence over the corrective actions that the local authority is carrying out? Otherwise I stand by my statement.

                I get the impression that this has been ongoing for quite some while in the local authority’s view because it would appear that you have missed the opportunity for retrospective permission.

                What have you done to find out what previous notice the local authority has given?

                Do your tenants informally forward mail to your personal address? Is there Royal Mail redirection in place? Is your contact address up to date at the Land Registry? I am just trying to figure out why you weren't aware of local authority notices.

                Yes, there is legislation that permit local authorities to evict owners and tenants - even if they have valid titles and tenancies. What do you think is going to happen in Stratford and the Lee Valley before they start building for the Olympics?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Poppy
                  You keep saying that the local authority is aware of a valid existing tenancy. Do you have alternative evidence to suggest that this takes precedence over the corrective actions that the local authority is carrying out? Otherwise I stand by my statement.

                  I get the impression that this has been ongoing for quite some while in the local authority’s view because it would appear that you have missed the opportunity for retrospective permission.

                  What have you done to find out what previous notice the local authority has given?

                  Do your tenants informally forward mail to your personal address? Is there Royal Mail redirection in place? Is your contact address up to date at the Land Registry? I am just trying to figure out why you weren't aware of local authority notices.

                  Yes, there is legislation that permit local authorities to evict owners and tenants - even if they have valid titles and tenancies. What do you think is going to happen in Stratford and the Lee Valley before they start building for the Olympics?
                  Surely poppy you cant evict someone (indirectly in this case) without telling the person(s) 1st with either a visit or some paperwork?
                  Your quite right Poppy this has been ongoing for a while, while the building was going up someone from the local authority came in and took measurements - both in height and width in BOTH cases he told me i was fine! which meant i didnt need to go for planning permission! This was in 2004 by the way, 2 years on ive had no paper work about enforcement etc! ive only seen a "copy" of what they said they sent me! As for going in for retrospective planning/appealing against the enforcement how could I? i didnt get NO paper work.

                  I wasnt aware of any notices because they didnt send any out and they know that BUT proving that is difficult. They admitted to the solicitor about taking part of the building down and leaving NO paperwork so this is what I'm up against.

                  Poppy if there is legislation to allow a local authority to evict a tenant surely they need to inform the tenant of this is going to happen and allow them x amount of days to sort something out!? not demolish half the building "forcing" him out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Billy Whizz

                    Glad to see that you have assets that will enable your tenant, with the aid of a no win no fee lawyer, to take you to the cleaners for the consequences of your illegal actions.

                    No need for crocodile tears for your tenant. Hope you have a lesson from the authorities that irresponsible behaviour such as yours can result in severe financial losses.
                    Vic - wicked landlord
                    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Worldlife
                      Thanks Billy Whizz

                      Glad to see that you have assets that will enable your tenant, with the aid of a no win no fee lawyer, to take you to the cleaners for the consequences of your illegal actions.

                      No need for crocodile tears for your tenant. Hope you have a lesson from the authorities that irresponsible behaviour such as yours can result in severe financial losses.
                      Not sure how to take that. It seems then local authorities can do what they want then? no need to serve papers, no need to inform a tenant that they will be made homeless (i cant tell them - if they haven’t told me)

                      Crocodile tears! what in the property game? naaaaaa!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        With the threat of losing substantial amounts of money it is not unknown for those affected by adverse planning decisions to come up with ingenious ideas to obstruct valid enforcement action.

                        One of these could be to get a friend or member of the family to occupy the property!! In this case it is unlikely the tenant will sue for compensation but if there were such circumstances and the landlord continued to thwart the authority this could lead on to other investigations.

                        Hopefully, in your particular case, there is information showing the rent being paid to the landlord's account and also that the income has been declared on a tax return. You never know if one brush with the law might lead to another!

                        If the local authority have acted wrongly in this case I feel sure your solicitor would make out a legal case or you could make representations to the Ombudsman. Knowing local authority procedures it would seem extremely unlikely they would commence the drastic step of demolition of a property unless they were 100% satisfied that they had the right to do so. The local authority would not wish to face a valid claim for compensation.
                        Vic - wicked landlord
                        Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                        Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Worldlife
                          With the threat of losing substantial amounts of money it is not unknown for those affected by adverse planning decisions to come up with ingenious ideas to obstruct valid enforcement action.

                          One of these could be to get a friend or member of the family to occupy the property!! In this case it is unlikely the tenant will sue for compensation but if there were such circumstances and the landlord continued to thwart the authority this could lead on to other investigations.

                          Hopefully, in your particular case, there is information showing the rent being paid to the landlord's account and also that the income has been declared on a tax return. You never know if one brush with the law might lead to another!

                          If the local authority have acted wrongly in this case I feel sure your solicitor would make out a legal case or you could make representations to the Ombudsman. Knowing local authority procedures it would seem extremely unlikely they would commence the drastic step of demolition of a property unless they were 100% satisfied that they had the right to do so. The local authority would not wish to face a valid claim for compensation.
                          I understand. Yes there are proof of payments - they have not asked for ANY of this - like before i sent them a tenancy agreement which they "chose" to ignore! and i know they got it/read it. The local authority have acted wrongly because they broke into the property by smashing the windows on the chance that nobody was there (tenant was away for a few days) even if the tenant was away at work he would have come home to a part demolished property - which they left no paperwork explaining what went on and why.

                          I would agree the local authority should be 100% but remember they arrived the 1st time when there were tenants in occupation so had to go away - now they have demolished the property so its not habbitable for the tenant to come back to. HOWEVER they sent a letter to the solicitor asking me to remove the "tenants" belongings - remember now they thought nobody was there - If there not going to take the tenancy seriously before demolition why do it after. This is what im up against

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You said:

                            Ive had several tenants since seeing a "copy" of the enforcement notice they said they sent me!
                            So obviously you knew there was something going on with the property but still took on tenants and didn't bother to clarify everything with the council?

                            If I had a property with planning permission problems I would make sure it's sorted pretty quick, I wouldn't wait for potential letters from the council hoping they've forgotten about it when I don't get anything.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              No doubt the Council also served notices by posting them at or on the property.

                              The Council would not have proceeded with demolition without having valid authority to do so.

                              If you consider that to be otherwise you could take legal action against the authority concerned or make a formal complaint to the Chief Executive. If you remain unsatisfied with the answers then either legal action could be taken or a complaint to the Ombudsman could be made.

                              Seems to me that the person who has suffered most is the tenant. Regardless of the exact mode of eviction the landlord is guilty of frustrating a contract by providing a property that did no having Planning Consent and you have not confirmed whether an application under Building Regulations was made. The Building Regulation ensures that if a building is approved for Planning Purposes it is of safe construction and meets environmental standards for things such a heating and sound insulation.

                              How do we know your tenants were not living in a dangerous structure?
                              Vic - wicked landlord
                              Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                              Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                              Comment

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