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Cipher
29-03-2010, 19:49 PM
Hi after reading up on the site and asking lots of questions, the court date is nearing for possession and rent arrears, court forms were filled out using PCOL.

Just want to run some things past the forum for your input.

Am I allowed to take someone with me (i.e spouse?) - is there a limit on how many people I can bring, I will be self representing so no legal bods.

Witness Statement Questions:
1. Mixed view on forum whether this should be sent before court date or take with you to hearing. I have not received any letters/emails requesting I submit documentation before the court date.

2. I served the S8 notice in person (spouse was with me), can someone confirm the following:

I need to fill out a N215 Form

My wife needs to fill out a N215 Form

We both need to fill out a N215 Form

By not having an independent witness (i.e spouse may be considered biased) will this count against me?

Does the witness who served notice with me - need to be present in court?

3. Any communication that was hand-delivered (but not official notices), do these need to be witnessed (is there a specific form, or just a statement of truth acceptable)?

4. Bank Statements - Do I need to prove that I have not received the money? (Tenant has not to date disputed amount paid to me - but not expecting T to go down without a fight)

5. Deposit Protection/Gas Safety Certificates - have seen this mentioned on examples are these needed if tenant is in situ and its a S8 hearing not S21?

6. Numbering of evidence. I understand to mark it clearly on top right corner, but if there are a number of emails/letters/texts sent, should each have its own exhibit number or can I group a number of documents under a single exhibit reference?

davidjohnbutton
30-03-2010, 01:29 AM
You are allowed what is known as a McKenzie Man(or woman) to accompany you to court to support and help and advise you is the official answer to the first question. Generally courts will allow McKenzie or Lay Reps to address the court on behalf of the claimant or defendant but they do not have any rights of audience except where the claimant or defendant appears in person.

This differs from a solicitor representing who can appear instead of the party concerned.

In the cases I have been to in court, no S8 possession has ever required a witness statement. Usually the other side will have filed a defence or admission in which one of the questions is "Have you received the Notice of Seeking Possession" - answering yes to that question negated the question of receipt or not and the question then turns to the legality of the notice (is it correcrly worded for example).

If there is any question that the service of the notice will be disputed, then you and your wife should go. You or your lay rep/Mckenzie person outlay the case and if asked by the judge you and your wife will say how the notice was served as evidence in person. Just you and your wife and Mckenzie person if applicable go - any more and its overcrowding the case and might cause an adjournment which you dont want. The judge will have about 15 minutes per case - any more because of counterclaims having potential merit, or an overrun of time and its adjourned.

As to question 3, the statement of truth is applicable. If you did the claim by PCOL - I did have one case where the judge said that the statement of truth was not signed by the claimant and was about to throw the case out until I pointed out there was no facility to sign it under PCOL - it had to be a typewritten name - bear this in mind just in case.

Take the bank statement in with you - its up to the payer to prove he did pay, not for you to prove he didnt. If he alleges he paid £100 on 25th March 2010 into your bank account, you can then fish out the appropriate statements and prove he didnt - do this for a few occasions and the judge is going to believe the tenant is telling porkies.

Some judges seem to think that a S8 case cannot be valid unless deposit is protected vis a vis S21. They are wrong. Be aware of this also. The lack of a Gas safety certificate does not negate S8 proceedings, or S21 for that matter.
Each separate document should have its own reference for the trial bundle commencing A, B C etc. Where there are more than one page to an item, mark it A1, A2, A3. B1 B2 B3 etc. Tip, do exhibit marking in a felt tip pen in red so it stands out.


That do you?????

Ericthelobster
30-03-2010, 06:48 AM
In the cases I have been to in court, no S8 possession has ever required a witness statement.

[...]

Each separate document should have its own reference for the trial bundle commencing A, B C etc.I know you've attended more S8 possessions than I've had hot dinners but I don't follow the above... I thought the whole point of a bundle was that it consisted of a witness statement with attachments - "...I served the defendant with a section 8 notice on 20 February 2010 (I refer to Exhibit A)..." etc - are you saying that you just present a bundle of exhibits without any covering statement linking them together etc?

Personally I've only done two S8 repossessions (both very smooth and successfull, following sterling advice from this forum); both times I used a bundle with witness statement. On the second occasion it was a PCOL, and I just took it along to court on the day. Although the judge was very complimentary about the bundle and granted the possession order, he did say that I should have submitted it in advance to have given him time to peruse before the hearing.

johnboy
30-03-2010, 07:36 AM
Also if you were seeking possession under ground 14 there would be a very strong possibility the case would be relying on witness statements.

Cipher
30-03-2010, 11:05 AM
Thanks DJB.

To confirm my S8 relies on grounds 8, 10 and 11.

The defendent has not filed an online defence and I've not been made aware otherwise (defendent has no legal representation listed on PCOL).

Defendent has coincidently(that might just be the cynic in me) just lost her job (P45 in the post area) so may be eligible for legal assistance but no excuse in not paying 4months rent.

Can someone confirm if I need to fill in the N215 form?

From reading this forum I thought everyone thats gone to court prepares a witness statement? (Is a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle the same thing?)

If I dont need to prepare a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle for this hearing would I be correct in assuming the following:

Take along below as these cant be submitted via PCOL:
AST
S8 Notice

Backup Documents:
Bank Statements
Copies of Letters/Emails to Defendent
Witness Statement from Wife (but she will also be present)

havensRus
30-03-2010, 13:29 PM
Can someone confirm if I need to fill in the N215 form?

Whoever hand delivered/posted the notice should fill in the N215 form. One will do.



From reading this forum I thought everyone thats gone to court prepares a witness statement? (Is a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle the same thing?)

1. Yes, its the same thing.

2. Not everyone uses it. But I swear by it, and won't go near a courtroom without one, having already sent two sets to reach the court at least 48 hours before the hearing.



If I dont need to prepare a Witness Statement/Trial Bundle for this hearing would I be correct in assuming the following:

Take along below as these cant be submitted via PCOL:
AST
S8 Notice

Backup Documents:
Bank Statements
Copies of Letters/Emails to Defendent
Witness Statement from Wife (but she will also be present)

I would strongly advice that you do, particularly as a first timer. The documents you have identified will form part of the exhibits that you list in the Witness Pack. If you want a copy of my template, email me at grumpyoldlandlord@gmail.com

Cipher
30-03-2010, 13:52 PM
Thanks HavensRus,
I'm using your template already :)
I noticed yours has a section for protecting deposit (which I wasnt sure I should include as this is a S8 not a S21 hearing - cant hurt to be fair but as I protected it late, I dont want the Judge to pick up on things that would distract from why the tenant hasnt paid rent).
As me and wife hand delivered it I will fill out a N215 form (worried T could say I'm lying and didnt infact inform her of the S8 Notice (in hindsight posting and keeping CoP would have been better but i was keen to get this served).

Does T who is now unemployed have any bearing on hearing?

havensRus
30-03-2010, 14:13 PM
I'm using your template already :)

I noticed yours has a section for protecting deposit (which I wasnt sure I should include as this is a S8 not a S21 hearing - cant hurt to be fair but as I protected it late, I dont want the Judge to pick up on things that would distract from why the tenant hasnt paid rent).

Does T who is now unemployed have any bearing on hearing?
1. you are welcome
2. you can delete/add as you see fit - its only a template
3. no, so long as the mandatory ground is still applicable on date of hearing. T might attend and plead poverty/hardship, but may only get a few more days to find somewhere to move to.

Cipher
05-04-2010, 12:08 PM
Guys my witness pack is almost ready, my court hearing is at the end of this week. Should I submit the pack in person and get a receipt or send by post.
If by post - who do I send to?

Poppy35
05-04-2010, 20:46 PM
you should have a reference number so I personally would drop it by to the courts in person and give to the office person - she/he should then hand it to the DJ who will be dealing with the case.

I must confess I have never dropped the paperwork into court before a hearing but I cannot do any harm.

Good advice by DJB as always with numbering your paperwork. I do this and attach to the front a Schedule of Contents so when asked for the S21 for example I can get it immediately without fumbling through reams of paper - poly pockets come in very handy too!

Cipher
06-04-2010, 12:02 PM
Whoever hand delivered/posted the notice should fill in the N215 form. One will do.

Got a couple of question regarding the N215 Form.

What documents did you serve?
Notice seeking possession of a property let on Assured Tenancy (Section 8 as amended by section 151 of the Housing Act 1996)
Is that correct?

How did you serve the documents? - please tick the appropriate box
the one i need to tick is:

by personally handing it to or leaving it with (......time left, where document is other than a claim form) (please specify)

I'm filling out this form to coincide with me hand delivering a S8 Notice.
I didnt leave this with the person but pushed under her front door (should I name tenant and enter a time? (as S8 isnt a claim form is it?)

Give the address where service effected, include fax or DX number, e-mail address or other electronic identification
Do I just put the address of the property? - do I need to include the tenants email address here?

Cipher
06-04-2010, 13:09 PM
Not sure if I'm only allowed to edit the post once, (edit option no longer visible).

Ignore question - how did you serve the document (I needed to tick another more obvious option).

Question Regarding Dates:
Top of Page:
'On what did you serve?' DDMMYYYY
'Date of Service is' DDMMYYYY

Are the two different - why is the information asked twice?

Emma1973
06-04-2010, 17:12 PM
Definately take the Deposit Certificate, LA didnt take one to court and the senile judge refused possession on the grounds that my partner (the LL) had to prove he was of outstanding character, and also to prove that he didnt owe her more than she owed him! (Taking into account the 3X penalty) :rolleyes:
(Said senile judge also relisted the hearing for 6 weeks time instead of 14 days, but thats a whole other story!)

havensRus
06-04-2010, 17:33 PM
Got a couple of question regarding the N215 Form.

What documents did you serve?
Notice seeking possession of a property let on Assured Tenancy (Section 8 as amended by section 151 of the Housing Act 1996)
Is that correct?

Yes



How did you serve the documents? - please tick the appropriate box
the one i need to tick is:

by personally handing it to or leaving it with (......time left, where document is other than a claim form) (please specify)

I'm filling out this form to coincide with me hand delivering a S8 Notice.
I didnt leave this with the person but pushed under her front door (should I name tenant and enter a time? (as S8 isnt a claim form is it?)

1. Tick by delivering to or leaving at a permitted place
2. N/a for the tick box indicated in 1. above.



Give the address where service effected, include fax or DX number, e-mail address or other electronic identification
Do I just put the address of the property? - do I need to include the tenants email address here?
1. Property address required.
2. No, not email unless you sent a copy by email?!


Not sure if I'm only allowed to edit the post once, (edit option no longer visible).

Ignore question - how did you serve the document (I needed to tick another more obvious option).

Question Regarding Dates:
Top of Page:
'On what did you serve?' DDMMYYYY
'Date of Service is' DDMMYYYY

Are the two different - why is the information asked twice?
1. On what day did you serve: date that you hand delivered it.
2. Date of service: same date if you delivered before 16:30 hrs. If after that time, put next day date.

HTH

havensRus
06-04-2010, 17:38 PM
Definately take the Deposit Certificate, LA didnt take one to court and the senile judge refused possession on the grounds that my partner (the LL) had to prove he was of outstanding character, and also to prove that he didnt owe her more than she owed him!

What a load of codswallop from a supposedly learned judge. The statute is clear enough, and character has nothing to do with granting possession if the conditions are met. As I say, there's law and there's justice, and the two hardly meet...

Cipher - the Deposit certificate is one of the itemised documents in the schedule within the bundle.

Cipher
08-04-2010, 09:57 AM
Thanks guys for all your help...less than 24 hours before being in court just want to ensure I'm going about this the right way.

Witness Statement completed,
Handed in to court (got a stamp put on a duplicate copy but they wouldn’t issue a receipt - submission also displays on PCOL).
Posted copy to T (grudgingly) - kept proof of postage and will take with me tomorrow.
Made 3 extra copies of Witness statement in case judge/T have not received

Witness statement comprises of:

AST
Payment History
Bank Statements
Email Communications
S8 Notice and S8 Certificate of Service

In addition to Witness Statement taking the following:

Deposit Cert
Gas Safety Cert
S21 (miraculously the T signed as having received)
Copies of Texts sent/received (in case of reported abuse/harassment)
Trying in vain to get calls made to T via phone bill but locked out of web account.

Also made a note of two terms (DJB has mentioned in a different post) if things dont go to plan.

ask the judge to make a suspended possession order
ask for the hearing to be vacated and the matter adjourned for 12 months with liberty to restore

Anything else I need to take with me/prepare for?

When referring to the Judge (lots of people refer to Sir/Madam) is 'your honour' incorrect?

davidjohnbutton
08-04-2010, 15:52 PM
Dont honour or worship the judge - just Sir or Maam will do.

Vacating a hearing is acutally cancelling it - you dont want the hearing vacated, you want it adjourned (if as you say you need to ask for this) with liberty to restore if by chance the tenant coughs up at the last moment to avoid a mandatory possession.

I had a case earlier this year where a stolen cheque (from tenant's father) was sent a couple of days before the hearing giving insufficient time to see its fate - the judge gave a PO on the basis that the cheque was not cleared funds and unpaid rent was 2 months plus. So you be careful to accept only coin of the realm if its last minute payment!!!!!!

Cipher
12-04-2010, 10:49 AM
Guys 'I Won'

So a big thank you to you all for your advice and support.

T didnt show for court (I was made to wait an hour for T to turn up then convinced them T a no show) was in and out of hearing in 6 minutes but the Judge seemed really intimidating (personal perception perhaps).

PCOL entry not been updated (not sure if it does tbh), Judge said I should receive something in the post (I'm almost cynical about this).

Mandatory Possession has been granted under Ground 8 on Section 8.

T has been given 14days to leave the premises.

I know T is going to ride this out as long as possible and I will have to call Bailiffs.

Can someone provide me with some advice on how to redeem outstanding money now the possession order has been granted.

Should I wait for her to move to another property and use a tracing agent or take action now whilst I know the location of T?

+ The only information I have at present is her name and NI number (is there anything useful a debt collection agency can do with this information - i.e black list her for future credit etc?)

markp451
15-04-2010, 13:02 PM
If you want a copy of my template, email me at grumpyoldlandlord@gmail.com


Hi all
Can I have a copy of the template ??


Mark