Possession claim - court hearing

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  • Possession claim - court hearing

    Have managed to submit a possession claim via PCOL on grounds 8, 10 and 11 for repossession of a flat for non-payment of rent. The site has given me a court date of 10 March.

    I filled in all the options on the site as best I could, but there's no way to attach any form of evidence about the claim.

    I was thinking I would need:

    - copy of tenancy agreement
    - table showing payments due, payments made and total arrears at time of hearing (with dates etc)
    - bank statements showing what payments had been received
    - copies of correspondence between me and tenant (one way traffic!)
    - Asking for the rent to be calculated on a daily basis from the date of the hearing

    Can I just take all this stuff to court on the day, or do I need to send it in to them some time beforehand?

    Also, should I take anything else along? Is the hearing fairly formal (should I wear a suit etc)?

    Thanks a lot for your advice.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ben1867 View Post
    ...Also, should I take anything else along? Is the hearing fairly formal (should I wear a suit etc)?

    Thanks a lot for your advice.
    Sorry, not done PCOL so can't answer that bit, but DEFINITELY look smart. The judge will expect a degree of respect, and so dressing appropriately is essential. It is possible that your tenant will not, which would only serve your cause.

    Yes, it is very stupid, but that's just how it is.

    Comment


    • #3
      Also keep your answers as short as poss (yes/no when poss) take all info with you to court. I also type out a basic sumery to have in front of me for easy ref if asked a question listing

      1 TENANTS NAME

      2 AST START DATE

      3 AST END DATE

      4 RENT DUE DATE AND AMOUNT (IF DIFFERENT TO START DATE)

      5 FULL ADDRESS OF PROPERTY

      6 FULL DETAILS OF GROUNDS SEEKING PO(dont forget to send copy to tenant when serving section 8)

      7 TOTAL RENT PAID BY TENANT UP TO SET DATE OF HEARING (NEAREST RENT DAY)

      8 TOTAL OF CORRECT RENT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID UP TO SAME DAY

      9TOTAL ARREARS AMOUNT (I ALSO HAVE A CLEAR SPREAD SHEET OF ALL PAYMENTS PAID AND DATES WHICH I SEND TO THE COURT WHEN APPLYING FOR A HEARING)

      I have found so far (4 times now)this works for me and i dont have to start digging around for info if asked a question.

      Also there is a good chance that as soon as the tenant if he is there starts talking he will dig a deeper and deeper hole for himself when he trys to explain why he hasnt rent due rent.

      I havent done it on line before so dont know how it works. But normally you send a copy of ast, arrears, proof of postage when served, fee, and section 8 plus the correct N form (cant remember which one)

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      • #4
        But that's just it... online there's no way to attach all that stuff to the claim, and no instructions as to how / when / what to send to the court.

        Can I just bring it all along on the day (plus copies for the judge), or do I need to send it in to the court a minimum time before the hearing?

        Comment


        • #5
          Phone the court and ask other than that i dont know

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ben1867 View Post
            But that's just it... online there's no way to attach all that stuff to the claim, and no instructions as to how / when / what to send to the court.

            Can I just bring it all along on the day (plus copies for the judge), or do I need to send it in to the court a minimum time before the hearing?
            I'd find it very hard to believe that the court wouldn't want it all submitted in advance. But I haven't done PCOL either.

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            • #7
              Good advice - phone the court and ask the court staff. If they start saying "we cannot give legal advice", remind them that you are not asking for LEGAL advice but PROCEDURAL advice.

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              • #8
                Tried for ages but can't get through. I'll get hold of them eventually and let you know...

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                • #9
                  Ben, If you do get through please let us know here. I am also in the process of starting a case on PCOL.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I did get through to the court, but the advice wasn't very helpful - nobody seemed to know anything. There's no "instructions for landlords" anywhere on the internet as far as I can make out.

                    Feels like the whole thing is designed to catch me out and allow the tenant to remain in the flat free forever on a technicality.

                    Anyway, the lady I spoke to said just bring it along on the day - tenancy agreement, copies of notices, up to date summary of arrears and what you are claiming for.

                    In a way this does make sense, as I doubt the judges etc have time to wade through everything before the hearing anyway. They already have the forms generated by the website - what I bring along will be supporting info. She said the tenant must have a copy - but in effect he already has, as of course I've served all the notices and sent all the correspondence I want to use as evidence to him already.

                    I still don't feel comfortable about this though.

                    Two more questions:

                    - tenant now claims he wants to pay up on the day and get a suspended eviction order. Is this possible / what does it mean?
                    - The s21 notice I also served will have run out, so whatever happens surely he has to go. Will the judge take this into account or is s21 the stuff of a totally separate hearing?

                    Thanks for your help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ben1867 View Post
                      Tenant now claims he wants to pay up on the day and get a suspended eviction order. Is this possible / what does it mean?
                      This is dicing-with-death stuff. You could accept it but ONLY if T produces a Bank Draft in your favour (covering rent, interst for late payment, Court costs, and your legal fees)- not a cheque, not a BACS, not cash [money laundering problems?], not a promise/excuse/guarantee. Personally, I wouldn't accept it otherwise.
                      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
                        Regrettably if your tenant pays you enough on the day to get his arrears below two months then the grant of a possession order is no longer mandatory. You only then have grounds 10 and 11 about persistent late payment and irregular payment to fall back on and here the judge can use his discression as to whether a possission order is granted and judges tend to favour tenants.
                        Your section 21 order is quite separate and has no effect on your section 8 action. Provided the paperwork is in order and the correct notice has been given, the grant of the possession order is mandatory. (Regrettably some judges don't seem to realise this). Hence you have correctly issued a section 21 notice as a back up to your section 8 action.

                        P.P.
                        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Remember that paying by cheque (which is what defaulters usually try, at the door of the Court) is not "paying". Only cleared funds will do.
                          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
                            I expect he will try and pay by cheque or some other such nonsense, as he is very good at causing delays etc. I definitely won't accept that as payment as he's had more than enough time to arrange for funds to clear before the hearing if that's what he intends to do.

                            Given the s21 will have run out, if the s8 action doesn't get me the possession order, what should I do? Can you start proceedings for that immediately the notice period runs out?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, you can start proceedings straight away with the s21. I would use the accelerated possession route.

                              Just out of interest, when serving your s8, how detailed were your explanations of why you were relying on each ground? Relying on Ground 8 and Ground 11, mine were simliar to the following:

                              Ground 8 - Rent is due at £x per calendar month. To date the rent is £x in arrears which is equivalent to 5 months of unpaid rent.

                              Ground 11 - During the period of the tenancies, the tenant has failed to pay rent on time, if at all, at least 7 times. Specifically, in the current 6 month fixed tenancy, the tenant to date, has made failed to pay at all. It is currently 3 months into the tenancy.

                              I'm concerned that i have not been detailed enough, although the tenant has been provided with statements showing details of the arrears. Reckon this will be acceptable to the judge?
                              Last edited by swinefever; 27-02-2008, 14:49 PM. Reason: Grammatical error.

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