Section 21 and Court action

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    Section 21 and Court action

    My tenants have 3 businesses, 4 vehicles and keep 3 horses but were playing a game with the rent where they were constantly in arrears but just managing to stay just under 2 months in arrears. I've also had loads of complaints from neighbours. I served a Section 21 notice because I want them out asap. (I didn't realise I could also serve an S8 at the same time or I would have done this as well). As soon as the S21 was served they immediately stopped all rent payments; they've not acknowledged the S21 or any other correspondence and they won't answer the phone. Their 2 months under the S21 are up on 17 May and I expect them to stay there, not paying rent, until a bailiff physically appears on the doorstep. The tenancy is in the name of both the husband and wife. Their adult daughter lives with them. The husband has been bankrupt/had IVA before. They now owe about £3,100 in unpaid rent.

    When I went to see a solicitor about getting a possession order if (when) they don't move out on the 17th, the solicitor said that the accelerated procedure wasn't all that accelerated in reality. He advised me to get a court hearing and go to court instead, he said if I went to court I could get awarded costs and rent arrears etc. However, everything I've read tells me that I can't do this if I've only served a Section 21. If you serve an S21, is it possible that after the 2 months you can choose not to use the accelerated procedure but instead apply for a court hearing and claim costs and unpaid rent?

    Also, I asked my solicitor about high court enforcement instead of a bailiff to get them out quicker but he said no, you don't want to go down that route. But he didn't say why. I know it's expensive but is there any other reason?
    There are things we know we know. There are things we know we don't know. And there are things we don't know we don't know.....

    #2
    The reason not to get high court enforcement is that if tenant hasn't a pot to p*ss in, how will they reimburse you the cost of the bailiff. Same goes for the rent arrears & solicitor costs, I would have thought.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      I think they do though. When they stopped paying rent they bought yet another van and had the names and phone numbers of their 3 businesses printed on the side. At one point they had 5 vehicles - 3 cars and 2 of those trucks for transporting horses - not horse boxes but those big lorries. They'd miss a month's rent & I'd drive past and they would have a new horse-lorry outside plus the existing one which was sat there with a SORN declaration on it. They could also afford to build a stable (without permission) on the property. They were told they could build one if they got their rent arrears up to date first but they ignored the arrears and went ahead and built the stable. I'd hope that in a situation like this, the bailiffs would be able to at least seize some of their vehicles. I really want to get a CCJ against these people because I think they're taking the p*ss!
      There are things we know we know. There are things we know we don't know. And there are things we don't know we don't know.....

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        #4
        Businesses unlikely in his name, vehicles prob leased, horses worth dog food.
        You can still get CCJ eventually, but money unlikely.

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          #5
          Section 21 will guarantee you possession when served correctly whereas Section 8 can be problematic if there is 'disrepair' argued at the property and a hearing may end in the judge adjourning for 'reports' and this will prolong the problem.

          Keep calm and get ready to apply for the court order on 17 th May to remove the tenants as soon as the notice period has expired. That court order could take another month and once you have that the bailiff may take another few weeks to deal with the case.



          Freedom at the point of zero............

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            #6
            As it sounds as though they'll be staying to the bitter end in this case not giving a reference won't delay matters: I'd really (politely..) decline any reference for these chancers...


            His 3 businesses: What details can you get from Companies house?? Directors names, addresses, charges noted.. Bet there's something there of interest...

            Good luck! Patience, diligence, keep your head...
            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


              #7
              I would serve a Sec 8 now.
              The 14 day notice period is only just after your Sec 21 expiry date.

              You would then have the choice of whether to use the Sec 21 accelerated/non accelerated(get an order for rent unpaid as well as possession), or the Sec 8 for rent unpaid and possession.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Nothing stoping you serving a section 8 so I would serve it anyway. However I would keep that in reserve and go for a section 21. A sec 8 can be prolonged by a T in the know but a correct sec 21 has to conclude in definate time frames outside the control of the T as it cannot be defended.

                I would also hit the T with a MCOL for the outstanding rent up to now make sure you have all the arrears well documented. Its better to do this now because you know the T address so all the MCOL notices get served. This will eventually lead to a ccj and if you are very very lucky you might get some cash. Once you get a judgement via MCOL you can upgrade it to a high court writ and then use HCEO to persue T easier if he is still at you property more difficult if he has left no fowarding address.

                eanwhile the section 21 will run its course and you WILL get possession.
                Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just a few questions:

                  1. Did the AST prohibit any business use?
                  2. Why have you let to a bankrupt person when it has probably not been discharged?
                  3. Did you undertake the thorough referencing of your tenants prior to allowing a tenancy?
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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                    #10
                    Clearly not but no use crying over split milk your main priority will be to get your property back. Sounds like he is a professional defaulter and owes dozens of people. You are just another on the list and certainly wont be the last.
                    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Tenants have now done a flit...!

                      It does sound crazy in retrospect that we let to someone with a former bankruptcy. He was upfront about this. He'd had a business in the UK which had failed but he'd gone abroad and got himself back on his feet and established a new business and was now wanting to move back to the UK. We asked for a relatively high deposit which he paid; and he presumably had enough disposable income to not only keep horses but to ship them from mainland Europe to the UK. We decided on balance to give him a chance.

                      Also, we figured (wrongly!) that someone in his position couldn't afford to mess up. He needed not just a residential property but also land on which to keep 3 horses. You don't find many rental properties that fit that bill. If a tenant is lucky enough to get one and than gets evicted he's got little chance of getting another - especially if he's a former bankrupt who's been given a chance by a landlord only to get evicted for non-payment! Presumably though, someone has let another property to these people. I don't know how. Certainly, I would never give them a reference. I am going to use a tracing service to find them (shouldn't be too difficult as they have 3 shops in the local area) and get a CCJ. I don't realistically expect to get any money back but a CCJ will make it more difficult for them to continue their activities.
                      There are things we know we know. There are things we know we don't know. And there are things we don't know we don't know.....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Bankrupt & still has 3 horses? I'd not have touched him.
                        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
                          One of the benefits of using High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) over County Court Bailiffs (CCBs) is time. Generally, the CCBs are very busy and can take between 6 - 14 weeks before they can act (you may wish to check the lead time with your local CC), whereas HCEOs can act as soon as a High Court Writ of Possession is granted and sealed (takes approx 1.5 weeks).

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