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View Full Version : How to respond to tenant's defence of Possession Order



anjanapatel
02-08-2010, 11:59 AM
First time landlord.

I let my property to tenant in June 2008 for two years through a letting agent. (tenant finding only). He will not leave now. He has responded to my possession order claim by saying that he did not receive the two recorded delivery S21 notices (confirmed by Post office that both delivered and date). This info was given to the court with the application form NB 5. His other defence is that I allegedely verbally agreed a furhter 3 years renewal which is a lie as I was abroad at the time and can prove in my passport.

The Court has asked him how many days he want from 42 days to leave the property but he does not want to leave.

What is my next step? Do I contact the court and give them more info about no verbal agreement and that I was abroad?

Please help as I am tearing my hair out and really stressed.

davidjohnbutton
02-08-2010, 12:28 PM
You dont say whether this is a S8 or S21 possession though I see that the tenant is denying receipt of S21 notices. If its the former then follow my advice at http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=30652 and include the Record Delivery info into the bundle together with a copy of the receipt for each which you can usually get from www.royalmail.com click on tracking, input the recorded number and print off the signature if provided. That should scotch any problem re receipt by the tenant of the S8 notices even if the signature is not his - they have been received at the address!!!!.

Take your passport with you and travel tickets (but dont include these in your bundle) to the hearing during which you will be able to ask the tenant questions in an informal manner (not like Crown Court!!!!) Ask him when and how you agreed the extension - if it falls within your holiday period and he says it was in person, then problem solved, show the judge your passport and tickets to show you were not in the country. If he says it was by phone - just simply deny it and again show you were out of the country.

The comments above are pertinent to a S8 process, but also relevant to a S21 process where either party has asked for a hearing.

anjanapatel
02-08-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks very much davidjohnbutton. I am very grateful for your response.

Just to add: I did put in my claim copies of recorded delivery slips and trace by Royal Mail of delivery to him.

As I have issued a S 21 notice, will there be a hearing or will the Judge grant possession giving him a maximum of 42 days? In his defence he has left the section blank when asked how many days he requires to leave the property.

He has informed two estate agents who wanted to value the property that he has not found any accommodation so he can't move. He is running an estate Agency (which he set up last year) and has many properties that he can move to on his website. Do I include that at the hearing?

davidjohnbutton
02-08-2010, 13:35 PM
If either of you ask for a hearing, then one will be arranged, otherwise the judge will make a decision based on the papers before him. As you have submitted the recorded delivery proofs with the claim, I cannot see the issue of service of S21 being a problem and the judge may well make a possession order based on that, usually for 14 days hence.

That may not be the end of it though. Even after the judge makes the order for possession, the tenant may still request a hearing and disagree with the order - then again, a hearing will be arranged.

If the tenant does not leave by the time and date ordered, you will have to request a Warrant of Possesion and await a bailiffs appointment.

Even then, the tenant may request an emergency hearing for extension of time which could take place even on the day of eviction (usually these are done over the telephone on a 3 way conversation). The maximum that can be given is 42 days from the original date possession was ordered.

If you do get a hearing, mention all the points you have posted here - it cant do any harm. A tenant who is either very clued up, or who stumbles blindly through the paperwork and simply awaits the bailiff and makes application after application can severely frustrate the possession procedure - so anything you can do to refute their excuses is good.

BTW - hope you proteced any deposit - if you didnt, then since the letting was after April 2007 when the new law came into force, non protection would invalidate your S21 notice.