L representing self at second possession hearing

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    L representing self at second possession hearing

    Hello,

    I was granted a court order in February for immediate possession of my property and rent arrears but it was subsequently set aside because the court documents were returned to sender (by me, when I took possession and found a heap of unopened post).

    I now have a new hearing on Tuesday at which I will be representing myself because I can't afford to take a solicitor again. My solicitor filed a lengthy witness statement last week to the court and to both tenants by post and email. Since then one of my tenants has called my solicitor to say she will be attending the hearing. However, I have not received her defense so don't know how to prepare for it. Last time neither tenant showed up so I don't know what to expect. What will the format of the hearing be if she does turn up? Do we take turns to present our cases and then the judge ask questions?

    The other tenant replied to the email to say she can't open attachments as she accesses the internet by phone. My solicitor replied that it had also been sent to the 2 addresses we have on record for her (the one I traced her to and the one the other tenant's mum thought she lived at). She replied that she lives at neither address and would post the new address as 'email is not secure'. That was on Wednesday and the new address hasn't arrived. Surprise, surprise..

    I'm worried that the judge will adjourn the hearing and I will have taken yet another day off work and paid for a trip from London to Sheffield for nothing. Is there anything I can do now to make this less likely? Although I have my flat back, I am owed over £3500 and I believe at least one of the tenants is in full time employment.

    #2
    I am afraid you will have to take it as it comes as you are going into court without knowing if there is going to be a defence presented or some procedural irregularity alleged.

    As to court procedure - be guided by the judge. When you first go into the room, introduce yourself as x the landlord, sit down and wait till the judge speaks as he/she may be reading up the paperwork.

    Ensure you have proofs of service by mail of relevant papeerwork and an up to date rent arrears schedule and methinks you will be alright and you will get your PO and rent judgment. Hopefully the judge will see this as a delaying tactic on the tenants part. Press the point home that you and your solicitor have done their best to arrange service on both parties and they should have full paperwork well before the hearing.

    Over this weekend, get together a little bundle of paperwork containing the following:-

    1. The rent agreement
    2. The S8 notice and S21 if there is one.
    3. Any letters sent to and fro.
    4. Schedule of arrears.

    List these documents on a cover sheet as A, B, B1, C,C1,C2 etc. (the C/C1/C2 to show that there is a document with 3 pages for example)
    On the cover sheet, show in the upper part "In the xxx County Court - Case No. 123456 - between A Claimant and B Defendants" and then the list of documents underneath that. Mark the documents to correspond with the list so you can quickly find any item. Prepare at least in your case 5 of these bundles all the same. 1 for you, 1 for judge, 1 for each defendant and 1 for any solicitor known to be attending. Hand them out just before you sit down to the judge and defendants/solicitors. The documents should really be sent beforehand, but I have found that as along as they are there on the day judges dont worry about that point. Take all the originals with you as well.

    Dont forget to ask for costs - the court fee and travelling and subsistence/parking and loss of earnings.

    Good luck - let us know how you get on.

    Comment


      #3
      thanks for this. I already submitted the contract, section 8 notice, rent schedule and many more exhibits with the witness statement so it's only the email that I received since sending this out that the court hasn't seen. I shall print out copies and take with me and hope for the best. Will I be expected to cross examine the defendents if they turn up?!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by limefizz View Post
        Will I be expected to cross examine the defendents if they turn up?!
        No, you speak to the judge.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          How did you get on in court today ?

          Comment


            #6
            I won! It was all a bit of an anti-climax in the end. One of my tenants submitted a defense at the last moment but as neither of them turned up the judge didn't even mention it.

            So now I have my court order again but the chances of enforcing it are pretty slim as one tenant is unemployed now and the other says she is about to declare herself bankrupt. Should I try and go for attachment of earnings before she does, or sit on the court order for a couple of years in the hope that the other sorts herself out with a job?

            Comment


              #7
              Ever heard of the term "Man of Straw"? It used to describe a person who has no assets and no income that you can take and sell or sieze (Noting that Social Security payments are not attachable or siezable).

              If one of the parties has stated an intention to make herself bankrupt, then theres not much point wasting further money in attaching wages since as soon as she is declared bankrupt, your debt along with others is effectively wiped out.

              So you may be best sitting on the judgment for a few years and keeping tabs on the second debtor in the hope that things may get better for him/her and then pounce within the six years you have for enforcing a judgment without asking the court for leave to enforce (applies to Warrants of Execution but judges sometimes apply the period to other methods of enforcement as well).

              Dont let it take over your life however - you could write it all off against tax as irrecoverable and tghereby get tax relief on a bad debt. The danger otherwise is you could throw more money at it without success.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                you could write it all off against tax as irrecoverable and tghereby get tax relief on a bad debt..
                Hi, When filling in my tax return this year I recorded a loss from this property due all the lost rent so I won't have to pay tax on it. Is that the same thing?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes Limefizz, it is the same thing by a different choice of words

                  Comment


                    #10
                    attachment of earnings

                    Hi,

                    Well I finally got my attachment of earnings. Despite the tenant being in a full-time, decently paid job she only has to pay back £20 a month. It will take 16 years for her to pay me back and apparently inflation and interest aren't taken into account. Hardly seems worth the trouble.

                    Jemima
                    http://www.englishoncall.co.uk

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by limefizz View Post
                      Hi,

                      Well I finally got my attachment of earnings. Despite the tenant being in a full-time, decently paid job she only has to pay back £20 a month. It will take 16 years for her to pay me back and apparently inflation and interest aren't taken into account. Hardly seems worth the trouble.

                      Jemima
                      http://www.englishoncall.co.uk
                      It often never is! Although often people will claim they are going to declare themselves bankrupt and never actually do!
                      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by limefizz View Post
                        Well I finally got my attachment of earnings. Despite the tenant being in a full-time, decently paid job she only has to pay back £20 a month. It will take 16 years for her to pay me back and apparently inflation and interest aren't taken into account. Hardly seems worth the trouble.
                        Call their bluff and serve a statutory demand. See this link.

                        (and please remove the advertising from under your name).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You cannot (if i am right) serve a Statutory Demand and follow it through to Bankruptcy if there is in place an instalment plan or arrangement which is being adhered to and which is incorporated within a court order. This is because the money is not due immediately. but rather by piecemeal and it is only once those instalments stop that you can enforce further.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                            You cannot (if i am right) serve a Statutory Demand and follow it through to Bankruptcy if there is in place an instalment plan or arrangement which is being adhered to and which is incorporated within a court order. This is because the money is not due immediately. but rather by piecemeal and it is only once those instalments stop that you can enforce further.
                            Hmm. Could OP then, in theory, apply to stop the attachment of earnings?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would imagine not since the OP originated the application for AE. Also, I would imagine that the law on estoppel would also prevent the OP from reneging on the AE in order to apply for a Bankruptcy order by prior service of a SD on the basis that the OP should know the limitations applied to a AE in which the court protects a certain amount of the income in order for the debtor and his family to live.

                              Comment

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