Serving s.8 Notice- unpaid rent plus breach of obligations

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    Serving s.8 Notice- unpaid rent plus breach of obligations

    My tenant paid a month in advance without a deposit on 11th July, a few weeks later I visited the property and there was a strong smell of cannabis and when I entered the bedroom found a cannabis joint on the floor, the property was dirty, he had re-painted one of the rooms and the kids had scribbled all over the walls.

    He has also had time off work due to stress and he says the council are going to backdate his HB payments, he is now 3 weeks rent over due.

    I issued him with a section 8 notice on grounds 12 and 13 and he signed it in agreeance to the grounds of possession.

    The section 8 has now expired

    My questions are these....

    1 If he has signed the section 8 does this make it a straight forward possession order due to smoking of cannabis in the property?

    2 can he defend his actions if the section 8 has been signed?

    3 how long does it usually take to be heard in court?

    4 how long till possession can be granted?

    Any info would be gratefully appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance

    #2
    The canabis smoking would more likely come under ground 14. With g14 you didn't have to give any notice.

    The tenants signature is not an admission, it is simply your proof that the document was served on the tenant.

    Obviously I do not have a copy of your tenancy agreement, but I can not see how he is likely to have breached his tenancy agreement for ground 12.
    I can see that the tenant may have damaged the propery for ground 13. However, grounds 12 & 13 are both discretionary grounds, and from the brief info you have supplied, I am far from convinced a judge will grant possession. TBH, even if you had included a g14 for cannabis use - it is so common nowadays that I'm not even convinced that that would be deemed serious enough to warrant eviction.

    The wait for a hearing depend on the availability of space in the court system - some area have delays of months, whereas others may only be a few weeks. Realistically, you won't get a hearing within 6 weeks of filing the claim.

    The minimum notice a judge can give is 14 days, but if the tenant doesn't go, you will need to organise court bailiffs. The bailiffs work on an appointment system, so it depends when they can fit you in - being realistic, 2 weeks would be the quickest.

    File online at www.possessionclaim.gov.uk, it is £50 cheaper than doing it on paper.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the response..

      If I add ground 14 onto the section 8 as a later addition would this make it invalid as a legal document as I have already put the cannabis down as ground 12.

      Im guessing that if I put in ground 14 aswell as the other 2 (12 and 13) this would make possession a more likely outcome....

      thanks again for your help

      Comment


        #4
        If you complete your court paperwork on paper, Paragraph 3b of form N119 can be used to add further grounds for possession, I am not sure if the online system has such a facility.

        If your tenancy agreement actually has a clause that forbids cannabis, then g12 will suffice - it just seems an unusual thing to specifically include.

        Ensuring you mention the cannabis, under an appropriate ground, will add to your chances of gaining possession - but imho you are going to need a lot of luck.

        If you fail, you are going to have a tenant with a lot of ill-will towards you, If he gets his rent up to date, would you be better keeping him as a tenant? Perhaps agree to withdraw the s8 if he cleans the walls and puts the paintwork right. Dirtyness isn't really an issue here.

        Comment


          #5
          just to clarify.....there are other reasons on ground 12..not soley the use of drugs.

          thanks again

          Comment


            #6
            In my agreement it states....

            Not to use the property for the purpose of storing, distributing or the taking and/or smoking of cannabis or cannabis resin or any other dangerous drug other than those prescribed by a registered medical practitioner..

            thanks

            Comment


              #7
              I guess you can use the cannabis for g12 and g14 then.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for your help..

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mr2flyer View Post
                  In my agreement it states....

                  Not to use the property for the purpose of storing, distributing or the taking and/or smoking of cannabis or cannabis resin or any other dangerous drug other than those prescribed by a registered medical practitioner..

                  thanks
                  What a strange clause. The term 'any other dangerous drug' surely includes alcohol and paracetamol (and other potentially dangerous non-prescription medications); I think you would struggle to enforce a ban on taking either of those.

                  In any case, is your 'dangerous drug' clause not superfluous if you already have a clause prohibiting illegal activity on the premises?
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Reading the responses it seems that it doesn't really matter what you put in an agreement everything can be challenged and we dont have a leg to stand on......

                    Maybe I should've advertised the property as a drugs den, that way everyones happy...or would i end up in court for that !!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mr2flyer View Post
                      Reading the responses it seems that it doesn't really matter what you put in an agreement everything can be challenged and we dont have a leg to stand on......

                      Maybe I should've advertised the property as a drugs den, that way everyones happy...or would i end up in court for that !!
                      Everything can be challenged - even the law! You do seem to have a case, just you have to realise that the end decision is down to the judge - and he may not agree with you. Smoking cannabis, although illegal, is relatively common, and you will find much research (valid or otherwise) that suggest it is less damaging that alcohol or tobacco. If the cannabis was the only issue, I would be inclined to let it go.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mr2flyer View Post
                        Reading the responses it seems that it doesn't really matter what you put in an agreement everything can be challenged and we dont have a leg to stand on......
                        Not everything can be successfully challenged. If your paperwork is in order, then the court has no choice but to grant a possession order (if you apply via s.21, and fixed term has expired), or if there is more than 2 months' rent owing and unpaid (if you apply via s.8).

                        Next time, take a deposit (in cleared funds before the start of the tenancy), get proper reference checks carried out (it's possible the T has previous drug-related convictions), and get a guarantor if the T is on benefits.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          @WESTMINSTER...

                          Next time, take a deposit (in cleared funds before the start of the tenancy), get proper reference checks carried out (it's possible the T has previous drug-related convictions), and get a guarantor if the T is on benefits.


                          Yes I totally agree....I usually go through an agent but of late have not been too impressed with them to say the least....but cutting corners doesn't pay dividends....I will learn!!...


                          Thanks

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                            Smoking cannabis, although illegal,
                            Smoking Cannabis isn't illegal.
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                              Smoking Cannabis isn't illegal.
                              Agreed, smoking it isn't illegal - however if you smoke it, you have to possess it - and possession is illegal.

                              http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/drug-law/

                              Comment

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