View Full Version : Possession hearing- what happens if Tenant appears?
09-02-2009, 08:39 AM
I'm shortly expecting a court date to have tenants evicted for rent arrears (four months).
The tenants seem to be playing hardball (as if not getting any rent for four months isn't bad enough) telling me that I have been harrassing them which is untrue.
If they turn up at court what is the most likely cause?
09-02-2009, 13:22 PM
If you have done your S8 notice correctly, and they still have arrears of 2 months plus at the date of possession, a possession order is more or less undefendable and is mandatory.
Claims of harassment might well be seen to be frivolous. If the tenants have reported such harassment and you have been given warnings by the police and/or local authority, then it might be a different story. Some tenants think it is an offence of harassment for a landlord to merely ask for the rent!!!!!!
Judges are very experienced at this sort of thing and can generally tell when a party is trying it on.
Make sure your paperwork is in apple-pie order and you have a clear and concise spreadsheet showing the payment history since tenancy inception or going back 2 years and you know both the arrears to date of hearing and the daily rate you want between submission of papers to court and eventual possession day.
09-02-2009, 13:49 PM
A relative of mine went to court and tenants has obtained legal aid and had a solicitor etc with them. Be aware that this may happen. I was lucky when I last went - tenants did not show up! Don't know the full details of what happened to my relative but I do know that they did not get possession...
09-02-2009, 14:03 PM
David - The section 8 notice was served by Landlord Action.
Tenants have not reported anything 'officially', its just hearsay. I don't think they'll try and defend the non-payment of rent, I just get a feeling they'll turn up and say they were harassed.
What should I have prepared? I have made a day to day diary of events and when I have made contact with them.
09-02-2009, 15:57 PM
Personally I would not bother with a diary etc etc - have they pleaded a case for harassment?
If it is not set out in their defence then the judge should(!) not consider it.
If the judge does look at it then I would say its a last ditch attempt to delay the eviction. The allegation is denied, there is no formal pleading of the argument and how are you expected to respond. Ground 8 has been made out and a possession order is mandatory - any allegation of harassment etc cannot delay possession. If they belive they have a claim then they need to set out their allegations in writing and allow you to fully respond.
For the hearing have a copy of the section 8 notice to hand, together with evidence of service (if applicable). As stated above do a spreadsheet of the rent due, the arrears and an interest calculation (if you have an entitlement to interest under the lease)
That should be all you need - stick to the issues contained in the claim and defence
09-02-2009, 16:41 PM
So am I right in thinking that if they are making any sort of alligation then they need to inform the court before the hearing date so it can be put in their defence?
I've had no contact from them or anyone acting on their behalf. The only reason I thought they may cause trouble is because they said I was harrassing them when I phoned about their rent arrears.
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