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islandgirl
21-11-2005, 21:07 PM
We went to court today for our section 8 possession hearing (no rent paid for 4 months...) Tenants did not show up. Judge literally said 14 days possession, made an order for the money to be paid and that was it! Very quick, very efficient and very nice. But that was not all. When we got home there was an envelope in our post box containing keys and a note from the tenants saying that they had moved out. Perfect. Of course there is still the matter of the money owed which we are unlikely to get back (though we will try as hard as possible) but at least they are out of our property. Needless to say there is one bottle of wine less in the fridge this evening! Many thanks to everyone who helped us - we could not have done it without you. Cheers! :)

dazalock
21-11-2005, 21:35 PM
Great! :D Glad it all worked out for you and that the posters here have helped you get it all sorted, and thanks for coming on the boards and telling us how you got on.

As a lesson for other posters, I wonder if you could tell us what you would do differently (if anything) to avoid the situation in the future?

Many Regards

RichieP
21-11-2005, 21:46 PM
Well done. I bet that's a weight off your shoulders.

islandgirl
22-11-2005, 17:16 PM
Thanks for your good wishes. Yes RichieP it certainly is an enormous weight off our shoulders both emotionally and financially - we can now turn the house round and hopefully relet! The damage (though considerable) was not as bad as we expected either, given that the tenant had threatened to trash the house.
We also did not think they would go and were convinced that it would be baliffs next and another £90...We even went into the court office and picked up the next form to use when they did not clear out in 14 days!
Dazalock, I cannot stress enough how much help I have had here. Not just practical info but moral support. Problem is I am now addicted to this board! I would love to help anyone else with a problem in anyway I can and if I had to say what I would do differently it would be:
1) Check out the tenants more thoroughly. We got good references and spoke to the people but it was not enough. We will use Tenantverify next time!
2) As soon as tenants go 8 weeks behind on rent contact the local council. They will stop the tenant's housing benefit if they are getting it and pay it direct. Our tenants were working when they came in and said they were not claiming HB. We thought the old system still applied where the landlord had to fill in something before the tenant could get HB - as we had not had a form we assumed he was not getting it. I did ring in the end but missed out on a few week's benefit because I left it too late.
3) Take 3 copies of the claim form N5 and particlars of claim N119 into court when you take them 14 days after you serve the secion 8. We rang the court office before we went in but they did not mention they needed 3 copies! They make copying very expensive at the court office so you do not ask them to do it there!
Not perhaps directly related but I will also ensure next time that I tell the electricity / water companies and council tax office that the new tenant has moved in and will not rely on him/her to do it.
What I did right...
a) Put everything in writing. File notes of conversations etc
b) Write to the tenant about his arrears
c) Take a full inventory and digital pictures of the house before the tenancy commences and get the tenant to sign it
d) ask for advice here
e) do it yourself - even someone who knows nothing about the details of tenancy law (ie me 10 weeks ago) can serve the papers and get a judgement in court without the help of a solicitor (in a straightforward case of course!)
I hope this may help someone else - I have learnt so much over the past few weeks. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me!