Court result under grounds 17

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    Court result under grounds 17

    Hi Folks, some of you may remember my threat posted a few months ago...

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ead.php?t=4402

    For those who may be interested it went as follows...

    The tenant did not turn up at court and neither did her solicitor. Just me and the judge! I thought it would run like clock work. Wrong! Under grounds 17 that Judge stated that an application form that has been completed with false details by the tenant (even when it has a signed declaration) is NOT considered by definition to be a 'false statement' under these grounds. However the Judge was considerate when hearing oral evidence from me that the tenant was over 2 months in arrears at that time . He then granted the order for possession.

    I was advised by a solicitor prior to making my court application that a falsely completed application WAS considered a 'false statement' and that it was suitable under grounds 17. i have since made further enquiries and another solicitor has suggested to me that the Judge is indeed correct. By defination, a statement is something that is written as a letter and NOT just answers to a questionaire which in effect is what an application form is. Seems silly to me but, hey, i didn't write the stupid law! Anyway i got the property back and I've learn't a lot in the process.

    Any thoughts, experience or clarification on the definition of a 'false statement'? Or any ideas on how we could put things in place to prevent this occurring in future? Maybe we could ask our tenants to write a separate letter covering answers to all the questions that we would want on an application form, that way it would be a 'false statement'??? Any thoughts?????

    #2
    Well for a start I'd be checking the details given on the application form.

    Just because someone writes something down, doesn't make it true.

    Also, get copies of their passport and/or driving license.


    Very,very very rare to get possession of a property back on grounds 9 onwards of Section 8 as these are discretionary grounds only.

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds like he granted possession because the tenant had more or less breached Ground 8, even though that might not have been mentioned on the original application.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Wickerman
        Well I would call that a result!

        Our application form carries a S17 warning for false statements - does this mean that lying on the form is not lying as it is only "ticking boxes"??? Seems like the law is truly an ass!
        When I read the first post my initial reply and suggestions were thwarted by the fact that the Judge had disregarded the warning paragraph.

        The law is not an ass for lawyers. It is a very smart way of making money for the professional participants whose objective is making complexities that prevent a prompt and commonsense resolution of grievances!!!

        I wonder if these points could affect whether a document is a statement or not:-
        1. The heading of the document. e.g Pre-tenancy enquiries - statements by tenant in response to key questions by landlord or if it is a pro-forma letter with the tenant's current address and date upon it.
        2. I/we (insert name's) provide the following informaton in support of my/application to become tenant of (state address)
        3. I have deleted any paragraphs in this letter to which do not apply to me.
        4. Instead of "yes" or "no" just put as statement paragraphs the positive answers from the tenant the landlord needs to be able to grant the tenancy
        5. Final paragraph certifying the above statements are truthful and that any false statement could invalidate the tenancy contract


        Maybe we need a lawyer to explain how to convert the information and answers we need into a valid statement

        Alas ,even if we get through this obstacle, the application for possession on grounds of false statement may be thwarted for other reasons
        Vic - wicked landlord
        Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
        Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
          Well for a start I'd be checking the details given on the application form.

          Just because someone writes something down, doesn't make it true.
          I certainly did check the details and requested references from her bank, current employer and personal friend ( a serving police officer). All references came back showing good character etc. I even made checks with the registery trust for any CCJ. None for the previous address that she provided. The information provided on the application form was only false in the sense that she stated that she had lived at only one address (her parents) for her entire life. She failed mention the SEVEN previous tenancys she'd had over the last four years with private landlords, all of whom she abandoned with rent arrears. How can i find out about them if no one informs me. Her mother eventually caved in to her own guilt when i went digging for info. She's a serial scam artist and i'm sure she'll be starting another tenancy with another private landlord somewhere right now!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Mully View Post
            She failed mention the SEVEN previous tenancys she'd had over the last four years with private landlords, all of whom she abandoned with rent arrears.
            Which is why I consider it almost pointless obtaining landlord references... no tenant is going to let you know about a previous landlord where there problems with the tenancy, and if there were previous tenancies where there was some problem which would give rise to a bad reference, then it is trivially easy (as the OP has discovered) to conceal them - much more so than employment history, for example where it's usually possible to get some independent corroboration of dates.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
              Which is why I consider it almost pointless obtaining landlord references... no tenant is going to let you know about a previous landlord where there problems with the tenancy, and if there were previous tenancies where there was some problem which would give rise to a bad reference, then it is trivially easy (as the OP has discovered) to conceal them - much more so than employment history, for example where it's usually possible to get some independent corroboration of dates.
              You'd be surprised Eric, I have contacted many local authorities in the past for references only to be told that the applicant is ££££ in arrears.

              I have to admit I am always more dubious of small landlords references. We had a couple apply for a property a few years ago. We contacted their landlady who couldn't say enough good things about them. We offered them the house and then a few weeks after they had moved in said landlady rang back to tell us she had lied and the tenants are a nightmare but she just wanted to get rid of them!!! Luckily the tenants vacated soon afterwards and we got the property back without too much hassle.

              Comment


                #8
                I have used G17 as my tenant wrote me a cheque to pay 50% of the deposit, which subsequently was returned unpaid by her bank. I had stupidly given her the keys without waiting for the cheque to clear, and she has never made good this money (in 6 months). I don't know if this is officially a "false statement" but logically it makes sense so I thought I'd try.

                Comment


                  #9
                  sorry to bring this up again but we have a tenant of ours (we are LA) have provided details for their landlord, our referencing co have checked them out - all fine - very good reference.

                  However this morning I received a phone call from a lady who is an ex-client of ours who asked us if we had recently let a property to a Mr and Mrs D - yes I said why - well they rented my last property from me and did a moonlight flit owing nearly 6 months rent - i checked the app form and the property she owns is the last one the tenants have mentioned yet the tenants have put down a different landlords details and this "man" has provided them with a written reference.

                  looking at the above posts it seems like its gonna be very hard to evict them under G17 as they have just "ticked" the boxes and also the "fake" Landlord has also just ticked the boxes on the questionnaire he has been given.

                  Makes you sick really that they can get away with this. I am going to let the owner know this afternoon but really cant do much until they are in arrears (unless they have changed!), might serve them a S21 as a precuationary measure anyway to cover ourselves in case they get in arrears.

                  Any other advice appreciated!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Worrying!

                    So, are you saying that the referenced tenants put down their correct previous address and different (false) landlord contact details?

                    I take it that it is not a standard practice for agents to actually find out who owns the previously let property.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                      So, are you saying that the referenced tenants put down their correct previous address and different (false) landlord contact details?

                      I take it that it is not a standard practice for agents to actually find out who owns the previously let property.
                      Yes thats correct the buggers!

                      No - is this normal? We use a large well known referencing agency who we believe should do a check with the land registry or at least ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement to confirm whom the legal owners are.

                      Comment

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