Section 8 Court Hearing Soon

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  • Section 8 Court Hearing Soon

    Hi after reading up on the site and asking lots of questions, the court date is nearing for possession and rent arrears, court forms were filled out using PCOL.

    Just want to run some things past the forum for your input.

    Am I allowed to take someone with me (i.e spouse?) - is there a limit on how many people I can bring, I will be self representing so no legal bods.

    Witness Statement Questions:
    1. Mixed view on forum whether this should be sent before court date or take with you to hearing. I have not received any letters/emails requesting I submit documentation before the court date.

    2. I served the S8 notice in person (spouse was with me), can someone confirm the following:

    I need to fill out a N215 Form

    My wife needs to fill out a N215 Form

    We both need to fill out a N215 Form

    By not having an independent witness (i.e spouse may be considered biased) will this count against me?

    Does the witness who served notice with me - need to be present in court?

    3. Any communication that was hand-delivered (but not official notices), do these need to be witnessed (is there a specific form, or just a statement of truth acceptable)?

    4. Bank Statements - Do I need to prove that I have not received the money? (Tenant has not to date disputed amount paid to me - but not expecting T to go down without a fight)

    5. Deposit Protection/Gas Safety Certificates - have seen this mentioned on examples are these needed if tenant is in situ and its a S8 hearing not S21?

    6. Numbering of evidence. I understand to mark it clearly on top right corner, but if there are a number of emails/letters/texts sent, should each have its own exhibit number or can I group a number of documents under a single exhibit reference?

  • #2
    You are allowed what is known as a McKenzie Man(or woman) to accompany you to court to support and help and advise you is the official answer to the first question. Generally courts will allow McKenzie or Lay Reps to address the court on behalf of the claimant or defendant but they do not have any rights of audience except where the claimant or defendant appears in person.

    This differs from a solicitor representing who can appear instead of the party concerned.

    In the cases I have been to in court, no S8 possession has ever required a witness statement. Usually the other side will have filed a defence or admission in which one of the questions is "Have you received the Notice of Seeking Possession" - answering yes to that question negated the question of receipt or not and the question then turns to the legality of the notice (is it correcrly worded for example).

    If there is any question that the service of the notice will be disputed, then you and your wife should go. You or your lay rep/Mckenzie person outlay the case and if asked by the judge you and your wife will say how the notice was served as evidence in person. Just you and your wife and Mckenzie person if applicable go - any more and its overcrowding the case and might cause an adjournment which you dont want. The judge will have about 15 minutes per case - any more because of counterclaims having potential merit, or an overrun of time and its adjourned.

    As to question 3, the statement of truth is applicable. If you did the claim by PCOL - I did have one case where the judge said that the statement of truth was not signed by the claimant and was about to throw the case out until I pointed out there was no facility to sign it under PCOL - it had to be a typewritten name - bear this in mind just in case.

    Take the bank statement in with you - its up to the payer to prove he did pay, not for you to prove he didnt. If he alleges he paid £100 on 25th March 2010 into your bank account, you can then fish out the appropriate statements and prove he didnt - do this for a few occasions and the judge is going to believe the tenant is telling porkies.

    Some judges seem to think that a S8 case cannot be valid unless deposit is protected vis a vis S21. They are wrong. Be aware of this also. The lack of a Gas safety certificate does not negate S8 proceedings, or S21 for that matter.
    Each separate document should have its own reference for the trial bundle commencing A, B C etc. Where there are more than one page to an item, mark it A1, A2, A3. B1 B2 B3 etc. Tip, do exhibit marking in a felt tip pen in red so it stands out.


    That do you?????

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
      In the cases I have been to in court, no S8 possession has ever required a witness statement.

      [...]

      Each separate document should have its own reference for the trial bundle commencing A, B C etc.
      I know you've attended more S8 possessions than I've had hot dinners but I don't follow the above... I thought the whole point of a bundle was that it consisted of a witness statement with attachments - "...I served the defendant with a section 8 notice on 20 February 2010 (I refer to Exhibit A)..." etc - are you saying that you just present a bundle of exhibits without any covering statement linking them together etc?

      Personally I've only done two S8 repossessions (both very smooth and successfull, following sterling advice from this forum); both times I used a bundle with witness statement. On the second occasion it was a PCOL, and I just took it along to court on the day. Although the judge was very complimentary about the bundle and granted the possession order, he did say that I should have submitted it in advance to have given him time to peruse before the hearing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also if you were seeking possession under ground 14 there would be a very strong possibility the case would be relying on witness statements.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks DJB.

          To confirm my S8 relies on grounds 8, 10 and 11.

          The defendent has not filed an online defence and I've not been made aware otherwise (defendent has no legal representation listed on PCOL).

          Defendent has coincidently(that might just be the cynic in me) just lost her job (P45 in the post area) so may be eligible for legal assistance but no excuse in not paying 4months rent.

          Can someone confirm if I need to fill in the N215 form?

          From reading this forum I thought everyone thats gone to court prepares a witness statement? (Is a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle the same thing?)

          If I dont need to prepare a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle for this hearing would I be correct in assuming the following:

          Take along below as these cant be submitted via PCOL:
          AST
          S8 Notice

          Backup Documents:
          Bank Statements
          Copies of Letters/Emails to Defendent
          Witness Statement from Wife (but she will also be present)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
            Can someone confirm if I need to fill in the N215 form?
            Whoever hand delivered/posted the notice should fill in the N215 form. One will do.

            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
            From reading this forum I thought everyone thats gone to court prepares a witness statement? (Is a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle the same thing?)
            1. Yes, its the same thing.

            2. Not everyone uses it. But I swear by it, and won't go near a courtroom without one, having already sent two sets to reach the court at least 48 hours before the hearing.

            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
            If I dont need to prepare a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle for this hearing would I be correct in assuming the following:

            Take along below as these cant be submitted via PCOL:
            AST
            S8 Notice

            Backup Documents:
            Bank Statements
            Copies of Letters/Emails to Defendent
            Witness Statement from Wife (but she will also be present)
            I would strongly advice that you do, particularly as a first timer. The documents you have identified will form part of the exhibits that you list in the Witness Pack. If you want a copy of my template, email me at grumpyoldlandlord@gmail.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks HavensRus,
              I'm using your template already
              I noticed yours has a section for protecting deposit (which I wasnt sure I should include as this is a S8 not a S21 hearing - cant hurt to be fair but as I protected it late, I dont want the Judge to pick up on things that would distract from why the tenant hasnt paid rent).
              As me and wife hand delivered it I will fill out a N215 form (worried T could say I'm lying and didnt infact inform her of the S8 Notice (in hindsight posting and keeping CoP would have been better but i was keen to get this served).

              Does T who is now unemployed have any bearing on hearing?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cipher View Post
                I'm using your template already

                I noticed yours has a section for protecting deposit (which I wasnt sure I should include as this is a S8 not a S21 hearing - cant hurt to be fair but as I protected it late, I dont want the Judge to pick up on things that would distract from why the tenant hasnt paid rent).

                Does T who is now unemployed have any bearing on hearing?
                1. you are welcome
                2. you can delete/add as you see fit - its only a template
                3. no, so long as the mandatory ground is still applicable on date of hearing. T might attend and plead poverty/hardship, but may only get a few more days to find somewhere to move to.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Guys my witness pack is almost ready, my court hearing is at the end of this week. Should I submit the pack in person and get a receipt or send by post.
                  If by post - who do I send to?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    you should have a reference number so I personally would drop it by to the courts in person and give to the office person - she/he should then hand it to the DJ who will be dealing with the case.

                    I must confess I have never dropped the paperwork into court before a hearing but I cannot do any harm.

                    Good advice by DJB as always with numbering your paperwork. I do this and attach to the front a Schedule of Contents so when asked for the S21 for example I can get it immediately without fumbling through reams of paper - poly pockets come in very handy too!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by havensRus View Post
                      Whoever hand delivered/posted the notice should fill in the N215 form. One will do.
                      Got a couple of question regarding the N215 Form.

                      What documents did you serve?
                      Notice seeking possession of a property let on Assured Tenancy (Section 8 as amended by section 151 of the Housing Act 1996)
                      Is that correct?

                      How did you serve the documents? - please tick the appropriate box
                      the one i need to tick is:

                      by personally handing it to or leaving it with (......time left, where document is other than a claim form) (please specify)

                      I'm filling out this form to coincide with me hand delivering a S8 Notice.
                      I didnt leave this with the person but pushed under her front door (should I name tenant and enter a time? (as S8 isnt a claim form is it?)

                      Give the address where service effected, include fax or DX number, e-mail address or other electronic identification
                      Do I just put the address of the property? - do I need to include the tenants email address here?
                      Last edited by Cipher; 06-04-2010, 12:08 PM. Reason: Sent before finishing post

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not sure if I'm only allowed to edit the post once, (edit option no longer visible).

                        Ignore question - how did you serve the document (I needed to tick another more obvious option).

                        Question Regarding Dates:
                        Top of Page:
                        'On what did you serve?' DDMMYYYY
                        'Date of Service is' DDMMYYYY

                        Are the two different - why is the information asked twice?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Definately take the Deposit Certificate, LA didnt take one to court and the senile judge refused possession on the grounds that my partner (the LL) had to prove he was of outstanding character, and also to prove that he didnt owe her more than she owed him! (Taking into account the 3X penalty)
                          (Said senile judge also relisted the hearing for 6 weeks time instead of 14 days, but thats a whole other story!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
                            Got a couple of question regarding the N215 Form.

                            What documents did you serve?
                            Notice seeking possession of a property let on Assured Tenancy (Section 8 as amended by section 151 of the Housing Act 1996)
                            Is that correct?
                            Yes

                            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
                            How did you serve the documents? - please tick the appropriate box
                            the one i need to tick is:

                            by personally handing it to or leaving it with (......time left, where document is other than a claim form) (please specify)

                            I'm filling out this form to coincide with me hand delivering a S8 Notice.
                            I didnt leave this with the person but pushed under her front door (should I name tenant and enter a time? (as S8 isnt a claim form is it?)
                            1. Tick by delivering to or leaving at a permitted place
                            2. N/a for the tick box indicated in 1. above.

                            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
                            Give the address where service effected, include fax or DX number, e-mail address or other electronic identification
                            Do I just put the address of the property? - do I need to include the tenants email address here?
                            1. Property address required.
                            2. No, not email unless you sent a copy by email?!

                            Originally posted by Cipher View Post
                            Not sure if I'm only allowed to edit the post once, (edit option no longer visible).

                            Ignore question - how did you serve the document (I needed to tick another more obvious option).

                            Question Regarding Dates:
                            Top of Page:
                            'On what did you serve?' DDMMYYYY
                            'Date of Service is' DDMMYYYY

                            Are the two different - why is the information asked twice?
                            1. On what day did you serve: date that you hand delivered it.
                            2. Date of service: same date if you delivered before 16:30 hrs. If after that time, put next day date.

                            HTH

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Emma1973 View Post
                              Definately take the Deposit Certificate, LA didnt take one to court and the senile judge refused possession on the grounds that my partner (the LL) had to prove he was of outstanding character, and also to prove that he didnt owe her more than she owed him!
                              What a load of codswallop from a supposedly learned judge. The statute is clear enough, and character has nothing to do with granting possession if the conditions are met. As I say, there's law and there's justice, and the two hardly meet...

                              Cipher - the Deposit certificate is one of the itemised documents in the schedule within the bundle.

                              Comment

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