View Full Version : Court hearing - what might happen
09-11-2005, 20:08 PM
Hello everyone. About 6 weeks ago you all helped me with advice on serving my first ever Section 8 notice - many thanks. The court hearing is week after next and I would be very grateful for your advice/experiences. I have found on the net info about what will happen re procedure but any specialist tips please? What do you call the judge? Also with the benefit of your experience, what tricks might the tenants try to either spin out the time or deny us possession? Basic facts - Family with kids. 12 month AST (to next March). Have paid no rent whatsoever for 4 months. They have made an abusive telephone call (taped) threatening to trash the house. We had to fix a drain for them after issuing the section 8 (first ever complaint about anything, fixed well within 24 hours) and they were abusive again saying that the drains had never worked properly - (not true!). They may just want an eviction notice for a council house but if not they will turn up and are certain to lie. We want to be as prepared as we can be - any and all advice much appreciated!
09-11-2005, 21:23 PM
Call the Judge Sir or Ma'am depending of course on whether male or female.
All you have to prove is that at the time of service of the S8 notice, there were 8 weeks rent arrears and that at the hearing, there are 8 weeks rent arrears or more. You will then get a mandatory possession order based on that alone.
The tenant can plead hardship at the hearing and the judge may delay the eviction date for up to 6 weeks. You should counter that with the tape asking for an immediate possession order - you never know, if the judge is suitably unimpressed by the conduct of your tenant............
The drain is irrelevant for the purposes of possession proceedings in your case.
The basic trick that the tenant might try is to wait whilst the PO is made and then claim they never received the summons - judges are wise to these tricks and soon sort out the genuine from the frivolous!!!!
Good luck with it!
09-11-2005, 21:45 PM
I'd go along with DJB's advice.
Just to add. Make sure you take a copy of the tenancy agreement, Notice served, any letters sent regarding rent arrears and proof of the arrears.
It should (in theory) be relatively straight forward for a Sec 8 Ground 8, but be prepared to explain how you have attempted to chase the arrears and give the tenant a chance to reduce the arrears. If they go into details about the drain etc, don't get drawn into a "he said this, she said that" debate. They haven't gone about it the proper way, make sure you do.
Ask for possession forthwith (14 days), as you believe the tenant has no intention of reducing the arrears whilst still at the property, and don't forget to ask for a money judgment to be entered. This means you dont' need to enter a seperate money claim to enforce payment of the arrears at a later date.
Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.
10-11-2005, 09:20 AM
Thank you so much Davidjohnbutton and RichieP - you just dont know how much I appreciate your advice which I will certainly follow. It is a bit daunting to do this for the first time as I am sure you know but with your help I have got this far and am determined to see it through. Once again thank you for taking the time to help me and I will let you know how I get on.
10-11-2005, 18:14 PM
Another quick question which I would be grateful if you could help me with pls. Since we put the section 8 papers into court 2 things have happened 1) we have discovered tenants were claiming Housing Benefit and not paying us - we stated on the forms that no HB was being paid to our knowledge 2) drains issue during which they alleged lots of stuff about drainage not being fit - all untrue. They were also verbally aggressive to us. As I understand it you can put statements etc into court until 2 working days before hearing. Should we write about both things for the court in advance? We can get a statement about drainage being OK etc - would it be worth sending that? If we dont send all this in and tenants do actually turn up and argue about drainage or HB will our documents be admissable on the day if we have not submitted them in advance? Once again many thanks in advance for your advice.
10-11-2005, 18:25 PM
Keep the drains matter out of it unless the tenants introduce it in their defence either before hearing or at the hearing.
As for housing benefit, you should tell the court this, but preferably get confirmation from the local authority to back up your assertion. Dont forget that HB or Local Housing Allowance can be paid direct to landlord once there are 8 weeks arrears, so that will put a stop to them claiming and pocketing the money!
Evidence submitted on the day (i.e. not in advance) is at the discretion of the judge - if its relevant, they usually admit it, particularly if it was only available a few days before the hearing etc.
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