Evicting a Tenant in AST

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    Evicting a Tenant in AST

    Hello,

    I've just regsitered and am looking for some advice.

    I have a property which is "Fully Managed" by a Lettings Agency. I used to live in the property and know the neighbours very well. The neighbours have been calling me frequently with regards to the latest tenant.

    Complaints of Music, slamming doors, arguing, smoking in the house, drug use etc.

    I asked the neighbours to keep a diary of events, and send them to the letting agent. The neighbours also wrote letters to the letting agent too. In addition I also had a call from the police asking me to "get rid of this tenant!".

    After several written warning asking the tenant to moderate their behavior, and that they were in breach of their contract, I asked the Lettings Agency to proceed with evicition.

    The letting agency paid the court fee £150, and have filed the paperwork which I signed. However I've now received the court date. The lettings agent has advised me that they will not be available to attend court! I'm not impressed, this is the latest in the string of disappointing behavior from the agents! (I'm starting to think it's easier to manage it myself ... they certainly don't earn their 10%).

    So, I need to attend court to expedite this eviction. I need to get myself up to speed with what I need to take, whom I need to get to attend too.

    I've got:
    • Diary of events
    • Letter from neighbour 1
    • Letter from neighbour 2
    • Letter from neighbour 1's employer explaining how the situation is stressing and affecting their performance
    • Copies of letters from Lettings Agency to Tenant
    • Copy of Police email regarding the tenant


    These have all be included on the court submission. What other information do I need to have to hand?

    Should I ask the neighbours to be prepared to attend court too?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    One capital document that you do not mention is the notice served by you/LA to tenant. That would be a section 8 notice if seeking possession on grounds e.g. of antisocial behaviour, or a section 21 notice.
    Has such a notice been served? Are you satisfied that it is valid (correct dates, form, etc)?

    Regarding court and neighbours, I would ask each neighbour to provide a witness statement.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
      One capital document that you do not mention is the notice served by you/LA to tenant. That would be a section 8 notice if seeking possession on grounds e.g. of antisocial behaviour, or a section 21 notice.
      Has such a notice been served? Are you satisfied that it is valid (correct dates, form, etc)?

      Regarding court and neighbours, I would ask each neighbour to provide a witness statement.
      Hi JJLandlord
      thank you for your swift reply.

      I really have no idea if this notice has been served. I have copied returned from the court of two letters sent to the tenant by the LA:
      1) mentions: Should we receive any further complaints, we will have no choice but to issue you with a section 21 notice to vacate.
      2) mentions: Your landlord has instructed us to issue you with a Stop Order as you are in breach of paragraphs 3.11 and 3.12 of your tenancy agreement. If we receive any further complaints this will lead to an application being made to the County Court for possession of the property under ground 14 of section 2 of the Housing Act 1988.

      I have no idea if it is correct, as I've never seen one before. Pretty much trusting my LA to do all this for me! But feel I've just been dropped in deep end to make sure it's all sorted.

      I've got a witness statement from each neighbour, appended to the court paperwork appendices.

      I might contact the police officer too, to get a statement from her.

      Will it automatically go pear shaped if they haven't issued the notice correctly. I'm not sure that the tenant really cares, as she just turns on the waterworks ... the police officer knew her from her last tenancy!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AccidentalLandlord View Post
        I have copied returned from the court of two letters sent to the tenant by the LA:
        1) mentions: Should we receive any further complaints, we will have no choice but to issue you with a section 21 notice to vacate.
        2) mentions: Your landlord has instructed us to issue you with a Stop Order as you are in breach of paragraphs 3.11 and 3.12 of your tenancy agreement. If we receive any further complaints this will lead to an application being made to the County Court for possession of the property under ground 14 of section 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
        Following the second letter you/LA should have served tenant with section 8 notice listing ground 14.

        You should contact your agent to ask them for copies of the notices served (section 21 and/or section 8) along with the proof of service. There is no point starting court proceedings without these documents.

        As ground 14 is a discretionary ground (ie. court may decide to refuse your possession request), it is a good idea to also serve a section 21 notice for which possession has to be granted as long as the notice is valid.

        If you tell us when the tenancy started, how long was the fixed term, and how often is the rent payable (e.g. monthly) we could give you more details about correctly filling these notices (especially section 21).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
          As ground 14 is a discretionary ground (ie. court may decide to refuse your possession request), it is a good idea to also serve a section 21 notice for which possession has to be granted as long as the notice is valid.
          Definitely.

          G14 can be a pig of a job.

          Especially if tenant turns up and starts throwing counter allegations around at the neighbours, or giving a sob story and promising to behave!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jghomer View Post
            Definitely.

            G14 can be a pig of a job.

            Especially if tenant turns up and starts throwing counter allegations around at the neighbours, or giving a sob story and promising to behave!
            Well I'm certainly not looking forward to this.

            I called the LA, and they told me "Since it's a G14, it's discretionary, and thus they don't have to serve notice". I've requested the other neighbours attend court too. I've also emailed the police officer for a log of their involvement, and a statement.

            She's a queen of turning on the waterworks and promising to be better. In the evidence already submitted there's proof that she has had multiple warnings and told to improve.

            I will however be looking around at other LA's since I don't think the current one is doing their job fully.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AccidentalLandlord View Post
              I called the LA, and they told me "Since it's a G14, it's discretionary, and thus they don't have to serve notice".
              Nice one. The "discretionary" part applies to the Court granting possession, not the notice!
              If I were you I'd sack the agent and prepare to go after them for refund/compensation should the possession application be thrown out.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                Nice one. The "discretionary" part applies to the Court granting possession, not the notice!
                If I were you I'd sacked the agent and prepare to go after them for refund/compensation should the possession application be thrown out.
                I agree. What a useless Letting Agent; it sounds like negligence and/or breach of contract for services.
                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


                  #9
                  Thank you all for the help/advice.

                  To be honest, I haven't been happy with the services offered by this LA at all. I've got proof that they haven't stuck to things they said they would do, such as regular tenant inspections. Im pretty sure that they don't credit check tenants either ... as the sparky they sent round while theirs was on hols, later did some work for me and said "My apprentice has CCJ, and is bankrupt and they told him he could have any property he could afford!".

                  This failing in attending court is very annoying too.

                  One further question ...
                  On the court paperwork, my address was completed. Is that correct, or should it have been "my name" c/o "Letting agent address". As the tenant hopefully to be evicted now has my own home address, and if she is an unsavory character, might seek to cause damage to my property.

                  She has already sent me some letters defending her case and with a witness statement, so I know shes' got my address.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well yet another in the list of failings by the LA. Been to court today and the judge, was very nice ... but told me that I'd been let down by my letting agent as I should have served both Section 21 and Section 8 notices. Not impressed, especially after querying it with the LA, so repeatedly told me it wasn't necessary.

                    He's on holiday at present, so I shall be seeking to get my court fees repaid by the LA.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The Court cannot tell you that you had to serve both!
                      Was what you (or Letting Agent) served held to be defective? If so, for what reason?
                      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


                        #12
                        Hi Jeffrey,

                        Thanks for your reply. Earlier on, I asked advice as to what paperwork I needed since my Letting Agent could not attend court on my behalf. The advice I was given was that I should have served Section 8 notice upon the tenant. I contacted my Letting Agent who repeatedly told me that since it was a discretionary matter, I/he didnt need to serve any notice.

                        In court, the Judge (in chambers) suggested that since my paperwork was incomplete, and I should have served notice upon the tenant, he could not pass any judgement. He suggested that Section 21 would be useful in order to ensure that the tenancy ends promptly on it's final date. Section 8, could also be served so that I could potentially re-submit to court for an earlier eviction.

                        I think he was offering advice ... as he felt it also benefited the tenant, as she could then go to the local authority with the eviction section 21 notice to expedite quicker rehoming.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I see. Some LZ members are often a bit 'sniffy' about use of s.8 on only discretionary grounds.
                          But, again, exactly what paperwork was incomplete?
                          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


                            #14
                            Ah thanks.

                            The judge said that since we had sent two warning letters, and then gone straight to court ... without filing notice to the tenant ... it was incomplete. I wasn't in a position to argue with him, since he said he needed proof that notice had been served, which it hadn't.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes, he's right. You obviously failed to serve T with any Notices at all.
                              Did you not know about the Housing Act 1988?
                              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

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