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londongirl
08-03-2010, 21:36 PM
Good evening everyone, following the advice kindly given on this website, I have served a scetion 8 notice on my tenenat for rent arrears using grounds 8,10,11 we are due in court this week. Today I received a letter from a solicitor who is acting on behalf of my tenant via the legal aid scheme. the tenent is disputing the areears although they are yet to provide proof of payment, they are also claiming that the house itself is in disrepair notably the bath in the second bathroom is not screwed properly to its base.problems with the boiler and a crack to a pane of glass. we have kept the house in good repair and indeed we had painted and changed windows before she moved in. we also have a homecare agreement which I provided her details of so that she could call BG out if she needed an engineer. the tenant has never informed us of any disrepair and most certainly did not state that she was with holding rent because of any repairs needed. Although we have now managed to get the LHA to pay the rent to us direct there is still 11.7 weeks rent outstanding. The tenants solicitor has stated that unless we withdraw our claim for possesion they are going to defend the possesion proceedings and counterclaim for disrepair. The property is a beautiful property and kept in very good condition, if there are any problems they would only be minor and we would have been happy to rectify. I beleive that the tenant is just trying to get us to drop our claim. She has made no attempts to pay her arrears although she wrote to us to say that she had been advised by the housing to try and reduce her arrears, she offered to pay £10 a week towards her arrears, to date we have not received anything form her.

my question is will we still be able to get the property back based on the gounds 8,10,11

thank you for all your advice

Londongirl

davidjohnbutton
08-03-2010, 22:45 PM
The defendant tenant has a very weak case for defending set off of a supposed amount you owe them by way of not doing repairs against 11 week rent outstanding.

It is a common tactic to do this - claim disrepair in the hope of getting the judge to allow it as a couterclaim against rent lawfully due or at least for setting the hearing back several weeks.

My advice, stick to your guns - get these so called repairs sorted now you do officially know about them and get a possession order over these tenants. Show them you mean business.

BTW, there is a protocol before a tenant can withhold rent money for unexecuted repairs, and that involves telling the landlord by proveable means
(i.e. by recorded delivery letter) and then obtaining three estimates and sending these for the landlords consideration and saying that if repairs are not done, the tenant will take the lowest estimate, pay for the repairs and withhold rent to that amount.

Your tenants are trying it on and shamefully to the legal profession, they have a solicitor who is earning his/her fee by assisting them.

I think the CC judge will see it for what it is, a scam, and you will get your possession order and costs.

Let us know outcome please!!!!

westminster
09-03-2010, 00:11 AM
My advice, stick to your guns - get these so called repairs sorted now you do officially know about them and get a possession order over these tenants. Show them you mean business.
I agree. Immediately arrange work to remedy the alleged disrepair and proceed with the application for possession.

Ensure you keep evidence of the attempts to repair (in case the T tries, say, to prevent access). For example, don't just phone to make an appointment - write a follow up letter confirming the appointment, keep a copy, post first class with a free certificate of posting, file copy/certificate together.

Also keep any related evidence, such as a report from the plumber about the boiler - it is possible there may well be nothing wrong with it.

westminster
09-03-2010, 00:13 AM
p.s. see also djb's advice about s.8 hearings

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=194881#post194881

londongirl
09-03-2010, 09:00 AM
Thank you all very much for your advice, I will let you know the outcome

chappers2341
10-03-2010, 15:42 PM
I too would recomend you execute the repairs to bolster your case, but would add that it should not be necessary because, as, DJB says there is a procedeure to be followed before witholding rent and your tenants haven't followed them see below

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets/tenants_doing_repairs

I would then write back to this solicitor stating that a) the repairs the tenants are claiming are minor and that b) the tenants have not ever notified you of them nor followed the layed down procedure and that you are going to procede with the eviction as his clients as of yet have failed to substatiate their claim that the rent arrears are incorrect.

Meanwhile get all your paperwork together ready for your court date , include a copy of the tenancy aggreement and a statement(including dates) of rent paid both by the tenant and HB, also include a copy of any correspondace with your tenants with regards to their arrears, then make three copies to take to court, one to give to the defendant, one for the judge and one for yourself to refer to.

On a slightly different tack at what stage is the tenancy , is it still within the fixed term or is it now SPT?

If SPT or within two months of the end of the fixed term you could issue a section 21 notice and obtain possesion that way in just over a couple of months time.