Notice to Quit served - I need help please.

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    Notice to Quit served - I need help please.

    Let me try to explain in brief. After 16 years wait we were able to get transfered to a two bed room council flat. We were in the new flat for 2 years and 7 months before the notice was served on us. The grounds were not principal home and subleting the whole of the property. The problem is my wife is away dueto family problem with kids and I live in the flat. We pay rent and council tax from our own account, so no benefit has been involved. I also travel to mywife and my work requires me to travel with in the country and abroad for work.If my wife is not in the flat while I am traveling I give keys to friends close to the flat and they look after my flat. To Report maintenance and provide access to the council and inform them as to where we were etc. In April 2012 for two consecutive days a council officer visited and met my friend in the flat. My friend told them I am abroad with my wife and during the visit there were other people who were there for three days with my friend. I called the council officer from where ever I was and he said he can't talk to me as I am not in the European union area. He suggested I should go to his office to talk to him. I droped my project and arrived in london in a week time.I found a notice to quit in my flat. The notice end date was in mid May 2012. I did not submit the keys and did not get any thing from the court yet....
    Can you heeeelllp!!!!

    #2
    Hi

    Your post is a bit difficult to read,No paragraphs !

    Is this a Council property and council tenancy ?
    Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

    Comment


      #3
      From my interpretation of your confusing post, sounds like you have a council property, which you have sublet, possibly against council regulations, and they have issued notice because of this.

      If you have not moved out or returned the keys, and the notice end date has already passed, it is likley the council are applying for possession order from the courts to formally evict you. This may take a few more weeks, but assuming the notice you have received is a Section 21, then it gives the LL guaranteed possession, so you can expect baillifs to be knocking in the not too distant future.

      If I have interpreted your circumstances incorrectly, please give more information.

      Comment


        #4
        If OP has been a council tenant for 2+ years, he's likely a secure tenant.

        Shelter has details on the eviction of secure tenants:
        http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...ouncil_tenants

        Comment


          #5
          Sounds like the council think you have been illegally subletting.

          Crooks, cheats and undesirables subletting for profit is a major problem, stopping decent deserving people get the homes they deserve.

          If you have evidence you haven't been subletting then right to the council with copies thereof.

          Cheers!
          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...

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for your response and sorry for the incomplete and confusing note.
            Yes, the tenancy was secure and a council tenant. But it was not sublet.
            The tenancy breach was subleting and not main home or principale home. It does not specify section??
            thanks

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by seme View Post
              Thanks for your response and sorry for the incomplete and confusing note.
              Yes, the tenancy was secure and a council tenant. But it was not sublet.
              The tenancy breach was subleting and not main home or principle home. It does not specify section??
              thanks
              From what you posted so far

              Council think you are Sub letting and you risk loosing the flat,you need to prove in court then your Not sub letting !

              When you say you and your wife have been away,how long have you both been way for ?
              Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

              Comment


                #8
                Okak, I will try to prove my self in court. But how? I will ask my friend who was looking after the flat to testify that he was not renting and he had his own place not far from my flat. Also, I can show all bills and rent have been paid by direct debit from mu account and all items in the flat belongs to me not to my friend etc is that enough or what else?
                My wife has been away for about a year and I have been back to my flat three times during the year.
                Thanks for your continues interest in helping

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by seme View Post
                  Okak, I will try to prove my self in court. But how? I will ask my friend who was looking after the flat to testify that he was not renting and he had his own place not far from my flat. Also, I can show all bills and rent have been paid by direct debit from mu account and all items in the flat belongs to me not to my friend etc is that enough or what else?
                  My wife has been away for about a year and I have been back to my flat three times during the year.
                  Thanks for your continues interest in helping

                  During the periods you where away

                  How much where the Gas and Electric bills/Usage for the period you where away ?
                  Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We were in the new flat for 2 years and 7 months before the notice was served on us. The grounds were not principal home and subleting the whole of the property. The problem is my wife is away dueto family problem with kids and I live in the flat. We pay rent and council tax from our own account, so no benefit has been involved. I also travel to mywife and my work requires me to travel with in the country and abroad for work.If my wife is not in the flat while I am traveling I give keys to friends close to the flat and they look after my flat. To Report maintenance and provide access to the council and inform them as to where we were etc. In April 2012 for two consecutive days a council officer visited and met my friend in the flat. My friend told them I am abroad with my wife and during the visit there were other people who were there for three days with my friend. I called the council officer from where ever I was and he said he can't talk to me as I am not in the European union area.
                    doesn't quite line up entirely with...

                    Originally posted by seme View Post
                    Okak, I will try to prove my self in court. But how? I will ask my friend who was looking after the flat to testify that he was not renting and he had his own place not far from my flat. Also, I can show all bills and rent have been paid by direct debit from mu account and all items in the flat belongs to me not to my friend etc is that enough or what else?
                    My wife has been away for about a year and I have been back to my flat three times during the year.
                    Thanks for your continues interest in helping
                    Only back in the flat 3 times during a year?? Doesn't sound like you've been living there...

                    Seems to me that, from the way you have described things, you weren't living in the property but other people were instead. Have I misunderstood something perhaps??

                    You do already appreciate I am sure the seriousness of your position. Other people have gone to jail – 16 weeks in the case below – in similar circumstances...
                    see..
                    http://www.westminster.gov.uk/press-...inst-subletti/

                    A London council has won a breakthrough case against unlawful council tenant subletting,
                    Following a sentencing hearing in Westminster Magistrates Court today, Westminster Council has won its first case over unlawful subletting of a council property under the Fraud Act 2006.
                    Mr Herminio Nascimento, 42, a former Council tenant of a two bedroom property on the Westbourne Park Estate, has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for subletting a council house property whilst living with his partner in a property they jointly own in Crawley, Sussex.
                    The council has been awarded £7,100 in legal costs for the case.
                    It is estimated that 160,000 tenants unlawfully sub-let their homes at a cost of £5bn a year to the taxpayer.
                    Westminster is calling upon the Government to incentivise and not penalise local authorities for tackling the issue by granting them greater powers to prevent ongoing exploitation of the system.
                    Cllr Lindsay Hall, Chairman of Westminster Council’s Housing Benefit Fraud Group, said:
                    “We will not stand for those who think they can exploit and cheat a vital support system that is in place to protect and house our most vulnerable residents.
                    “Currently, Westminster has over 1,000 families waiting to be moved to a larger property and meanwhile a minority of tenants think they can get away with earning a fast buck by renting out much needed homes.
                    “This is just a small victory for the council but much more needs to be done to allow local authorities to take action against what should be a criminal offence.”
                    Speaking at the sentencing today, District Judge Snow said;
                    “Council housing in the UK is under great pressure and this is particularly true for housing in central London. It is important that councils, Westminster in particular, can allocate property where most needed.
                    “You sublet your council property for profit. When confronted, you lied about it and you lied, you lied and you lied.
                    “I am duty bound to deter both you and anyone else tempted to sublet council property.”
                    Well done Westminster council btw!! Considering the extremely dubious practices Westminster have had in the past (Lady Porter. Homes for votes etc..) then my praising Westminster council surprises even me, but, credit where credit is due...

                    You no doubt have the evidence to prove you were living there, nobody else was, and everything was above board & legitimate,you have no other home or property in UK or anywhere else.. aye... Which council is it issuing a notice to quit please?? Different councils have differing procedures in these matters.

                    Cheers!

                    PS Hopefully we all understand that making a profit from letting property is, in some cases but not all, reprehensible, wicked and can lead you to stand in front of a judge .... ;-) !!
                    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...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks again for your comments.
                      While it is important to learn from other similar cases, it is as important to consider every case in its own merit. Because a small difference in each case may have a great impact on the eyes of the law. For example:
                      To prove living in the property as a main and principal home - do you have to live in the property all the time? If you travel abroad or with in a country for work or to visit a family for an extended period of time (some thing that you can not avoid) and you have always an intention of coming back and you can prove it. Also, if you lost your job and you are working for youself and you have to travel to work and come back to your flat - are you not living in your flat? Are you saying I need to stay in the flat and claim until I find employment etc.
                      Remember, you are not using public funds to cover any of your costs during this period and you have no any other property of your own.
                      The issue of subleting, lodger and looking after the property while the lawful secure tenant is away is also an area that needs a careful attention too. In my case, Yes a friend was coming may be a couple of times a week to check and it gradually became an everyday occurance. Therefore, As much as I am required to prove my innocence the law requires the council to produce evidence too. How would they prove that I had a tenant? How would they prove that I rented it and I was getting benefit out of it (which I did not). In fact it cost me a lot of money to keep this flat while I am away.
                      The gas bill and electric bill is a direct debit of an estimated amount which will be calculated at the end of the year and where the exact amount would be known.
                      I appreciate your concern and please keep it up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Apologies,I quite understand.

                        Is it Hunter House??
                        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...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't wish to appear rude, but if your wife has not been in the property at all in the last 12 months, and you have only been there 3 times, then do you really need this property? Social Housing is there for those with a need, and it seems a little unfortunate that there are people sleeping on the streets when there is a virtually vacant property.

                          I am sure the courts will find the right answer - but it is difficult to say what the outcome will be as we do not know the full facts nor the evidence that the council will present in court. You can but tell the truth and cross your fingers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It would appear that the Council have already put together their case and you need to respond to it.

                            If you're wife is away caring for a relative then you need to provide this information. Where she is staying, why she needs to be there and roughly how long she is going to remain there. If there is no date / time for her return then you may find that, under the law, this flat is no longer considered her principle residence.

                            If you're away for business purposes then you need to demonstrate this with company records. Regardless of whether you're self-employed or work for someone else any legitimate business will be able to provide this. Being away on business does not mean you have left your principle residence.

                            The bills being on direct debit and in your name is a plus. You'll need to gather all you utilities bills (council tax, gas, electric, phone, internet etc...) from the past year and show that they have been paid by you - bank statements.

                            The issue of 'sub-leting' is going to be tricky. The fact is that the Council Officer visited the flat on two random occassions and found a third party in the property. This may be a coincidence but - from an independant view - it's a bit of a long shot that these two independant people decided to go to the property at the same time on two different occasions.

                            You will need to provide your friends details and also evidence that they maintain their own residence (bills, tenancy agreement, mortgage etc..). Further more you'll need to explain why it is necessary for them to visit the flat every day when originally it was only a couple of times a week.
                            There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                            If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                            Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                              I don't wish to appear rude, but if your wife has not been in the property at all in the last 12 months, and you have only been there 3 times, then do you really need this property ? Social Housing is there for those with a need, and it seems a little unfortunate that there are people sleeping on the streets when there is a virtually vacant property.
                              Originally posted by seme View Post
                              Remember, you are not using public funds to cover any of your costs during this period
                              But the flat is for those in need,Social housing,people on low income

                              http://england.shelter.org.uk/campai...social_housing

                              http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...ouncil_housing

                              Originally posted by seme View Post
                              In my case, Yes a friend was coming may be a couple of times a week to check and it gradually became an everyday occurrence. .

                              If you and you wife where away all the time,how did you know it became an everyday occurrence.

                              Was your friend living there All this time !

                              Originally posted by 45002 View Post
                              During the periods you where away

                              How much where the Gas and Electric bills/Usage for the period you where away ?
                              Originally posted by seme View Post
                              The gas bill and electric bill is a direct debit of an estimated amount which will be calculated at the end of the year and where the exact amount would be known.
                              .

                              ?
                              Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

                              Comment

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