Deposit Dispute - adjudicator or court

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  • Deposit Dispute - adjudicator or court


    I'm for an advice as to what time is the best to sue for rent arrears from our T, who won't pay but won't leave (he texted twice that he won't leave till eviction order is issued)?

    We went down S21 route, already received papers from the court, and if he hasn't requested a hearing within 14 days (the last day is 14/09), we'll ask the court to issue an eviction order.

    Presently, he owes us £1500 in rent only, plus £175 court fee. If we claim arrears, of course we won't include the cost for possible damages, or the latest arrears, either. But at least now we know his address (our flat, sorry, his home).

    If we leave it till he moves out, we may never trace him. Not everyone has positive results with tracing agents, despite agent's optimism. Plus, we know only his name, his work address, his position and salary (naive, never been burnt before). He wouldn't give his bank details. So, I don't think tracing agents have a lot to go on, anyway.

    What would you advise? Can we apply for court order to pay up now, when eviction process is still ongoing? (moneyclaimonline, right?) In case we can do it now, can we only claim for the rent owed till the day of application to the court or also £x for each successive week after (latest date when T has to vacate the property) as well, the same as in S8? Is it N1 form that we should use?

    Also, he threatened to damage the property (he said that he damaged a cooker and washer and is going to smear No2 on the carpet), but we don't have an access to check its state. Will it get us a faster warrant of possession date, if he doesn't leave before?

    Thank you for advice.

  • #2
    No point applying now, as you don't know what the total owed would be - if he doesn't leave when the court orders, you will have an indeterminate wait until the bailiffs evict. Even if you launch the claim now at his current address - he will be long gone by the time it comes to enforcement, so you are going to have to find the address anyway.

    Tracing companies like findermonkey have very good success levels - and will charge around £50 no-find-no-fee. Give it a couple of months for the tenant to lay a new trail then commence your moneyclaim.


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply.
      Do I understand it correctly that I will need T's current residence address for both: initial claim to obtain order to pay and claim for attachment of earnings order? I thought that for the latter I only need his employer's details.

      Also, somebody advised that T's previous address (our flat) is accepted by the courts. Is it correct?

      Whether we find his new address or not, can T claim that he hasn't received a letter from the court and, thus, make a decision invalid?

      Thank you.


      • #4
        If you give his last known address (your flat) that is good service for the court.
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


        • #5
          The last known address will be accepted providing you can show you have made valid attempts to find the current address. However, once you try to enforce, the tenant can apply to the court o have the decision set-aside because he knew nothing about it. Even though the CPR allows 'last known address' I have read recently that courts are often very willing to do this to the defendants benefit.

          If you do find his current address, just ensure you get a free certificate of posting from the post office for everyhing you send. I know from my own experience that courts tend to consider regular 1st class post to be reliable.


          • #6
            Thank you for your replies. Very kind of you.

            The last question, if I may. We know T's work address (and know that he currently works there, has done for years). We talked to a solicitor (who is NOT specializing in Housing Law), and she told us that we/court can serve the T at his work address. Is defendant's work address accepted by the court? Or do we specifically have to get court's permission to serve there? Just don't want to go the long route of wait two months-tracing agent-serve at old address.

            Thank you.


            • #7
              Yes, you can serve at works address, but you have to apply for permission from the court first.


              • #8
                Thank you so much.


                • #9
                  bailiffs and police presence


                  T refuses to move out after eviction order has been issued. We'll need to invite bailiffs to enforce eviction of our T, and police presence will be preferable (history of violence towards LL, may refuse to leave). How can I do it? Through the courts? Do I have to pay in addition to £110 fee? Please advise, have never done it before.

                  Thank you.


                  • #10
                    You are very unlikely to get a police officer to attend the eviction appointment but ask anyway - phone your local force and given them the date/time and request attendance to prevent/deal with a breach of the peace. No fee is payable to the police or the court for police attendance.
                    Unfortunately the bailiff will, if he meets resistance will most likely withdraw and another appointment will have to be made. You can use force as the warrant in itself allows you to, but thats unwise because people can get hurt if its not handled properly.
                    In the event that the bailiff withdraws, the evictee can be jailed for contempt of court and when this happens, then of course the eviction can be done whilst he/she is in jail but this is the last chance step - most - even the thickest - will realise that the writing is on the wall andthey will ultimately have to leave. Most residential repossessions are peaceful - the evicteee is either gone beforehand or goes on the day when the local council walk up behind the bailiff with the keys to their new council house - mind you, not all are lucky - I recently evicted a mother with 3 children (2 teenagers) who had been pocketing HB and she ended up in a hostel for 3 months before the council found her a nice house - she is now paying off her £3900 debt at a fiver a month - she wanted to pay it at £1 a month but I pointed out in court that it would take her 325 years to pay - so the judge has now given her 65 years instead!!!!!!


                    • #11

                      With "..history of violence towards LL" and hopefully Police records of that, crime reference numbers etc, would Police be more amenable to attend??

                      Irina I think the pattern is surprisingly often tenant will leave a day or so before bailiff day... but you never know... Best of luck!!

                      Herewith, for what it's worth, Shelter's advice to Tenants in these circumstance...
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                      • #12
                        Thank you for your replies. Two more questions. If a T lost the keys, do we have to give him a spare set, if it's not written in Tenancy Agreement? The thing is now, when eviction order is issued and will soon expire, all of a sudden T came to our house and demanded the spare set of keys. He is a "professional", an expert in Housing Law, who moved into a flat and hasn't paid since and shuns all communication or tells outright lies, all by text messages. So, he couldn't possibly expect any help by suddenly turning up on our doorstep (the fist time we've seen him in months). Most probably, no keys are lost, it's just an excuse to change the locks before bailiffs, so that we would not be able to open the door with our keys. We refused to talk to him. Can he now claim illegal eviction (or anything else) because he can't get into the flat and we wouldn't help him?

                        Another question specifically to show to my husband. After eviction date expires, can we enter the flat, if he doesn't inform us in writing when he moves out? If it looks like he has left, can we change the locks, relet, etc. or it'll be counted as an illegal eviction and we have to go through the bailiffs?

                        Thank you in advance.Sorry for not being more concise.


                        • #13
                          Offer to change the barrels at his expense, you may suddenly find his keys turn up.

                          Certainly do not give him possession of your set. Unfortunately, until the bailiff turfs him out, you must allow him entry to the property.
                          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


                          • #14
                            While some will disagree, and is not always practical, I think it is a good idea to have registered keys, or change locks, a lock, or rotate locks after a change of tenancy. After an eviction it is almost essential.

                            As keys and locks are a landlords repair, you have to respond in a reasonable time. A sensible tenancy makes specific reference to keys and say a recharge for lost keys call outs etc.
                            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


                            • #15
                              Tenant locks himelf out, tenant pays for locksmith to get himself back in. Landlord has no obligation to even have a spare set of keys, let alone provide a set to the tenant.


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