Power of Attorney Problem

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Power of Attorney Problem

    I have a properly witnessed Power of Attorney giving me full control of some properties, save that I am specifically not permitted to take out any loan against the properties, nor sell them. The owner is in Africa where the only communication is by e-mail/skype from her occasional visits to a nearby town's internet cafe.

    A tenant is currently owes over four months rent, and PCOL was used once two months was unpaid.

    Hearing was listed and I duly attended with the original PoA, plus a copy for the court file.

    I previously attended an eviction hearing two years ago, and the judge at this hearing accepted me as representing the owner, taking a copy for the court file after looking at the original.

    However, on this occasion the judge said that he would not accept me representing the owner using a Power of Attorney - she either had to instruct a lawyer, or attend herself.

    He was minded to strike out the case, but as the defendant didn't attend decided to adjourn to mid-July.

    I've never heard of this, so is he right about the PoA? Any suggestions?
    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.

    #2
    Anyone holding Power of Attorney (X) can generally do whatever the Principal (Y) ('donor') could do. If Y could represent self, X can too.
    BUT there are time limits for 1971 Act Powers- usually one year- after which X needs to prove its continuing validity by Stat. Dec.
    Maybe the action two years ago was within a year of Y granting the Power to you.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Section 10 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 says that a power of attorney in the form set out in the Act confers on the attorney "authority to do on behalf of the donor anything which he can lawfully do by an attorney", but does not spell out what an attorney can lawfully do. Googling produced this document: http://www.friendsprovident.co.uk/doclib/cts10.pdf. See page 5 where there is a list of things that attorneys cannot do. Included in the list is "Appearing in court, in the donor’s place, as a witness".

      If you are a litigant in person you not only represent yourself, but also appear as a witness for yourself. Accordingly it would seem that the judge is correct that you cannot appear for the landlord. Further, whilst the rules may be relaxed in the county court, I think the rule is that either a litigant in person conducts his own case or he instructs a lawyer - to allow anything else undermines the protection the law affords to litigants by only allowing suitably qualified persons to conduct advocacy in the courts.

      Whether the proceedings were properly begun is a different question. The answer may turn on whether you are conducting litigation or simply initiating it for the owner.

      Comment


        #4
        Surely all you have to do is instruct a solicitor to go to the adjourned hearing and ask him/her to request the court to add on those costs to be awarded against the tenant???????

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you all for your most informative replies. I now see the logic behind the judge acting as he did.

          Shame he didn't feel like acting pragmatically as other have: the tenant has had is benefit suspended for some time now, doesn't seem bothered about it, and is just sitting pretty waiting for the inevitable.

          I attended court yesterday on one of the possession hearing days and had a word with the duty solicitor. She will be happy to assist (for a fee, of course).
          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.

          Comment

          Latest Activity

          Collapse

          • Reply to Landlord refuses to sign inventory
            by jpkeates
            A 15 year old washing machine has almost zero value (and will have less when you move out).
            The landlord can only legitimately claim for their loss if you bin it.

            A mid range washing machine is about £350 (and they haven't changed much in price recently), and imagining one would...
            18-09-2020, 14:14 PM
          • Landlord refuses to sign inventory
            by Bumblebee3000
            We've recently rented a house that from the very start seemed badly taken care of - there were various problems like a mouldy washing machine/curtains, broken curtain rails, etc. When we arrived to meet the inventory clerk, we signed a 2-page document of handwritten inventory notes (we broadly agreed...
            17-09-2020, 20:13 PM
          • Reply to Part furnished
            by theartfullodger
            Trust you've reported the thefts to police
            18-09-2020, 14:07 PM
          • Part furnished
            by Chester Perry
            Our property was let part furnished however upon leaving the Ex. tenant took it upon himself to relieve us of the white goods and wooden blinds.

            The dishwasher, washing machine, 2 x fridge freezers and wooden blinds throughout were actually ones purchased when the property was our main...
            18-09-2020, 13:34 PM
          • Reply to Landlord refuses to sign inventory
            by Bumblebee3000
            This is very helpful, MdeB, thank you. I will try to relax about the inventory now. In regards to the mould - the landlord has a letter from the curtain cleaning company stating that the mould has been "killed" during the cleaning. I actually spoke with the curtain cleaner when he was here...
            18-09-2020, 14:07 PM
          • Reply to Deposit Negotitations with Landlord
            by jpkeates
            The process seems to have changed recently.
            The landlord claims from the deposit and that claim should have a summary of what they are claiming and why.
            You dispute that and then you both have one chance to explain your side of the story.
            But you do that with only access to what the...
            18-09-2020, 13:57 PM
          • Deposit Negotitations with Landlord
            by Maymiss
            I am moving out of my rented home shortly, i have caused some damage which I notified the landlord of when it happened and they have recently visited to discuss the cost of repairs, which we have agreed. The landlord is now asking that I pay this money to them directly. It is not possible for the work...
            03-08-2020, 11:47 AM
          • Reply to Section 21 issued with new tenancy
            by jpkeates
            Every notice escalated to court is recorded and the figures published quarterly, so breaking out the s21 notices from the s8 shouldn't be complicated.

            Two of the links are to House of Commons research papers, to be fair!...
            18-09-2020, 13:51 PM
          • Section 21 issued with new tenancy
            by fmST1
            When a new tenant moves into a property, I get them to sign a section 21 so that if whatever reason things don’t work out, the necessary paperwork is already in place.
            I’ve never had a need to exercise this yet, but would it work?...
            11-09-2020, 08:43 AM
          • Reply to Part furnished
            by jpkeates
            It depends on your local market.
            Mine seems expect a fridge freezer and washing machine as an "unfurnished" property.

            Blinds not curtains and it varies - usually whats been left behind (have had to add some blind safety hook things in the past).

            Check ads for...
            18-09-2020, 13:48 PM
          Working...
          X