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Irina
01-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Hello,

I'm for an advice as to what time is the best to sue for rent arrears from our T, who won't pay but won't leave (he texted twice that he won't leave till eviction order is issued)?

We went down S21 route, already received papers from the court, and if he hasn't requested a hearing within 14 days (the last day is 14/09), we'll ask the court to issue an eviction order.

Presently, he owes us £1500 in rent only, plus £175 court fee. If we claim arrears, of course we won't include the cost for possible damages, or the latest arrears, either. But at least now we know his address (our flat, sorry, his home).

If we leave it till he moves out, we may never trace him. Not everyone has positive results with tracing agents, despite agent's optimism. Plus, we know only his name, his work address, his position and salary (naive, never been burnt before). He wouldn't give his bank details. So, I don't think tracing agents have a lot to go on, anyway.

What would you advise? Can we apply for court order to pay up now, when eviction process is still ongoing? (moneyclaimonline, right?) In case we can do it now, can we only claim for the rent owed till the day of application to the court or also £x for each successive week after (latest date when T has to vacate the property) as well, the same as in S8? Is it N1 form that we should use?

Also, he threatened to damage the property (he said that he damaged a cooker and washer and is going to smear No2 on the carpet), but we don't have an access to check its state. Will it get us a faster warrant of possession date, if he doesn't leave before?

Thank you for advice.

Snorkerz
01-10-2011, 10:17 AM
No point applying now, as you don't know what the total owed would be - if he doesn't leave when the court orders, you will have an indeterminate wait until the bailiffs evict. Even if you launch the claim now at his current address - he will be long gone by the time it comes to enforcement, so you are going to have to find the address anyway.

Tracing companies like findermonkey have very good success levels - and will charge around £50 no-find-no-fee. Give it a couple of months for the tenant to lay a new trail then commence your moneyclaim.

Irina
01-10-2011, 14:18 PM
Thank you for your reply.
Do I understand it correctly that I will need T's current residence address for both: initial claim to obtain order to pay and claim for attachment of earnings order? I thought that for the latter I only need his employer's details.

Also, somebody advised that T's previous address (our flat) is accepted by the courts. Is it correct?

Whether we find his new address or not, can T claim that he hasn't received a letter from the court and, thus, make a decision invalid?

Thank you.

jta
01-10-2011, 14:56 PM
If you give his last known address (your flat) that is good service for the court.

Snorkerz
01-10-2011, 16:15 PM
The last known address will be accepted providing you can show you have made valid attempts to find the current address. However, once you try to enforce, the tenant can apply to the court o have the decision set-aside because he knew nothing about it. Even though the CPR allows 'last known address' I have read recently that courts are often very willing to do this to the defendants benefit.

If you do find his current address, just ensure you get a free certificate of posting from the post office for everyhing you send. I know from my own experience that courts tend to consider regular 1st class post to be reliable.

Irina
01-10-2011, 17:07 PM
Thank you for your replies. Very kind of you.

The last question, if I may. We know T's work address (and know that he currently works there, has done for years). We talked to a solicitor (who is NOT specializing in Housing Law), and she told us that we/court can serve the T at his work address. Is defendant's work address accepted by the court? Or do we specifically have to get court's permission to serve there? Just don't want to go the long route of wait two months-tracing agent-serve at old address.

Thank you.

Snorkerz
01-10-2011, 17:54 PM
Yes, you can serve at works address, but you have to apply for permission from the court first.

Irina
01-10-2011, 19:13 PM
Thank you so much.

Irina
29-10-2011, 08:40 AM
Hello.

T refuses to move out after eviction order has been issued. We'll need to invite bailiffs to enforce eviction of our T, and police presence will be preferable (history of violence towards LL, may refuse to leave). How can I do it? Through the courts? Do I have to pay in addition to £110 fee? Please advise, have never done it before.

Thank you.

davidjohnbutton
29-10-2011, 09:06 AM
You are very unlikely to get a police officer to attend the eviction appointment but ask anyway - phone your local force and given them the date/time and request attendance to prevent/deal with a breach of the peace. No fee is payable to the police or the court for police attendance.
Unfortunately the bailiff will, if he meets resistance will most likely withdraw and another appointment will have to be made. You can use force as the warrant in itself allows you to, but thats unwise because people can get hurt if its not handled properly.
In the event that the bailiff withdraws, the evictee can be jailed for contempt of court and when this happens, then of course the eviction can be done whilst he/she is in jail but this is the last chance step - most - even the thickest - will realise that the writing is on the wall andthey will ultimately have to leave. Most residential repossessions are peaceful - the evicteee is either gone beforehand or goes on the day when the local council walk up behind the bailiff with the keys to their new council house - mind you, not all are lucky - I recently evicted a mother with 3 children (2 teenagers) who had been pocketing HB and she ended up in a hostel for 3 months before the council found her a nice house - she is now paying off her £3900 debt at a fiver a month - she wanted to pay it at £1 a month but I pointed out in court that it would take her 325 years to pay - so the judge has now given her 65 years instead!!!!!!

theartfullodger
29-10-2011, 09:24 AM
David:

With "..history of violence towards LL" and hopefully Police records of that, crime reference numbers etc, would Police be more amenable to attend??

Irina I think the pattern is surprisingly often tenant will leave a day or so before bailiff day... but you never know... Best of luck!!

Herewith, for what it's worth, Shelter's advice to Tenants in these circumstance...
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/stopping_the_bailiffs

Irina
29-10-2011, 10:43 AM
Thank you for your replies. Two more questions. If a T lost the keys, do we have to give him a spare set, if it's not written in Tenancy Agreement? The thing is now, when eviction order is issued and will soon expire, all of a sudden T came to our house and demanded the spare set of keys. He is a "professional", an expert in Housing Law, who moved into a flat and hasn't paid since and shuns all communication or tells outright lies, all by text messages. So, he couldn't possibly expect any help by suddenly turning up on our doorstep (the fist time we've seen him in months). Most probably, no keys are lost, it's just an excuse to change the locks before bailiffs, so that we would not be able to open the door with our keys. We refused to talk to him. Can he now claim illegal eviction (or anything else) because he can't get into the flat and we wouldn't help him?

Another question specifically to show to my husband. After eviction date expires, can we enter the flat, if he doesn't inform us in writing when he moves out? If it looks like he has left, can we change the locks, relet, etc. or it'll be counted as an illegal eviction and we have to go through the bailiffs?

Thank you in advance.Sorry for not being more concise.

jta
29-10-2011, 11:01 AM
Offer to change the barrels at his expense, you may suddenly find his keys turn up.

Certainly do not give him possession of your set. Unfortunately, until the bailiff turfs him out, you must allow him entry to the property.

leaseholdanswers
29-10-2011, 11:45 AM
While some will disagree, and is not always practical, I think it is a good idea to have registered keys, or change locks, a lock, or rotate locks after a change of tenancy. After an eviction it is almost essential.

As keys and locks are a landlords repair, you have to respond in a reasonable time. A sensible tenancy makes specific reference to keys and say a recharge for lost keys call outs etc.

Snorkerz
29-10-2011, 12:01 PM
Tenant locks himelf out, tenant pays for locksmith to get himself back in. Landlord has no obligation to even have a spare set of keys, let alone provide a set to the tenant.

Irina
07-11-2011, 16:29 PM
We submitted N325 and asked to talk to a supervising bailiff. Don't know if he was a supervising one, but when we requested police presence during execution, he said that they're allowed to use reasonable force (take his arm and lead him out), and if T still won't move, they call a police straightway. In fact, they call them before they enter the property and put them on hold, and if T turns out to be problem, they ask police to come. He assured us that T will be out that day, no matter what.

Now, it's directly the opposite to what has been posted on this forum. Could you confirm that bailiff has provided inacurate information (to put it mildly)?

Thank you.

westminster
07-11-2011, 16:35 PM
Moderator: please merge with OP's previous thread
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?42381-bailiffs-and-police-presence

westminster
07-11-2011, 16:38 PM
Now, it's directly the opposite to what has been posted on this forum. Could you confirm that bailiff has provided inacurate information (to put it mildly)?

A bailiff can use reasonable force. Where have you read the opposite?

Irina
07-11-2011, 18:14 PM
If anyone could confirm or deny other points made, i.e.

- T will be out the same day, no matter what (bailiff) vs. bailiff trying to get T out; if he refuses, B. leaves and makes another appointment (forum).

- Bailiff calls police straigtway, if T refuses to leave (bailiff) vs. police has to be arranged another day (forum).

Thank you.

davidjohnbutton
07-11-2011, 23:53 PM
If your tenant resists the eviction by threatening or actual violence - the bailiff will make a risk assessment and will decide whether or not to proceed on that day with a forced eviction or to leave it another day when other resources (additional bailiffs/police officers) are able to attend.
The Warrant of Possession authorises force and if you and your henchmen are present and authorise yourself and them to use force then you might overcome resistence but if it results in a breach of the peace, the lot of you might be arrested if police attend as a result. Best to try and get a police officer to come along with you or the bailiff from the start as the PO can then call up help - you might then get the tenant evicted on the first appointment. Bear in mind the bailiff will not want to hang about and that most evictions are peaceful and either involve the tenant already having left or them being in the process, so you take possesion - sign the bailiffs warrant and you stay in the property whilst the tenant moves out and then secure it. If the tenant re-enters or locks you out after you have been given possession, its then a police matter.
(Tip - as soon as you get in house - remove keys from doors or disable/remove at least 1 lock to prevent tenant locking you out)
I have done loads of evictions and I have yet to have one where I or henchmen have had to forcibly remove. Its best to go in with mild but firm attitude rather than bull in china shop like - I find that gets me on a lot better than being ignorant of the stress an eviction causes the tenant. Expect to be shouted at, sworn at, threatened - but keep calm and keep cool.

Irina
08-11-2011, 09:25 AM
Thank you, David. I thought that evicting T the same day is not always true.

T has changed the locks (a few days before eviction order deadline said he lost the keys), so we will definitely bring a locksmith who will drill the locks to open the door.

Can we ask the bailiffs to invite a police officer or is it our responsibility?

davidjohnbutton
08-11-2011, 10:36 AM
It is your responsibility to organise police attendance. You must tell the bailiff supervisor if you expect resistance.

Irina
08-11-2011, 17:13 PM
Good evening.

We applied for Warrant of Possession, and we thought, when the execution date is set, to apply for court order to recover arrears. Bailiff said it would take about a month till execution. Will we have enough time to get the decision? Can T claim that he moved out earlier and didn't know about the order?

Thank you.

westminster
08-11-2011, 17:45 PM
Moderator: please merge with OP's previous thread
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?41757-small-court-for-rent-arrears-now-with-address-known-or-later-when-T-can-t-be-found

westminster
08-11-2011, 17:52 PM
According to your other threads, T will soon be evicted by court bailiffs.

A county court claim for unpaid rent etc will take in the region of six months from start to finish, depending on how busy your local court is. I would serve the claim now, to the rental property address.

Irina
08-11-2011, 19:44 PM
Thank you. I didn't realize that it takes so long. I know the T is given only two weeks to contest a claim. And if he doesn't, we get judgement by default. Sounds like weeks to me, not months. I presume, attachment of earnings order and both hearings are included in this period. But what shall we do after the T moves out and won't leave a forwarding address? Then this address will become invalid.

Also, can we calculate the arrears till the date of execution of WOP or write it the same way as we would on S8?

Irina
09-11-2011, 15:48 PM
Good evening.

Today we received a letter from our T, saying that he moved out.

He demanded return of his deposit (protected with DPS+prescribed info), although he is several times his deposit in arrears (we can't check the state of the flat at the moment as he changed the lock and didn't return the keys; waiting for bailiffs&WOP enforcement, all paid for).

He said he will request a repayment of a deposit from DPS. Shall we go with DPS adjudication or rather refuse and take it to court, together with claim for rent arrears?

We can show all bank statements, but he was supposed to pay weekly and was given a rent book. He still chose to pay into our bank account, when he did, and refused to meet us even once, so we can't show a filled in rent book. Plus, there's no way to unequivocally prove that we didn't receive payment any other way (I'm sure he'll say that we did). Shall we go with DPS dispute? I know that only a small percentage of LLs get to keep the deposit. Anyone had an experience of claiming deposit back with DPS, based on rent arrears?

Thank you.

thesaint
09-11-2011, 15:58 PM
If you are in no hurry, then put in a single claim with the DPS yourself for the deposit.

Do you have anything in your tenancy agreement to say that rent arrears will be paid out of the deposit before it is returned?

Irina
09-11-2011, 18:11 PM
Yes, we do have such clause in Tenancy Agreement. My fear is DPS, as biased as it is, will give the deposit back to T, and this would be an extreme injustice. Has anyone gone through Deposit dispute with DPS? Can you trust them to be impartial?

Moderator2
10-11-2011, 07:38 AM
Irina, please stop creating new threads in relation to the same tenant issues. If you have new questions use this thread, people will still answer and will be able to see all relevant information in one place.

westminster
10-11-2011, 11:40 AM
Thank you. I didn't realize that it takes so long. I know the T is given only two weeks to contest a claim. And if he doesn't, we get judgement by default. Sounds like weeks to me, not months.
You cannot assume that the T will not defend the claim, nor can you assume that, if you obtain a default judgment, the T will not apply to have it set aside. Court procedure is extremely slow, that much is guaranteed.


But what shall we do after the T moves out and won't leave a forwarding address? Then this address will become invalid.
The claim will still have been correctly served.

westminster
10-11-2011, 11:53 AM
We can show all bank statements, but he was supposed to pay weekly and was given a rent book. He still chose to pay into our bank account, when he did, and refused to meet us even once, so we can't show a filled in rent book.
You also can't show it because it's not in your possession.


Plus, there's no way to unequivocally prove that we didn't receive payment any other way (I'm sure he'll say that we did).
The onus is on the T to prove that he did pay the rent, not for you to prove that he didn't (as you say, there is no way to prove it), but you do need to compile a schedule showing payments received/not received, so that it is crystal clear how much rent is owing for specific periods.

However, see below...


Shall we go with DPS dispute? I know that only a small percentage of LLs get to keep the deposit. Anyone had an experience of claiming deposit back with DPS, based on rent arrears?

The deposit schemes' dispute services do tend to favour the T's side; the schemes' official guidance on unpaid rent claims is rather ludicrous, and expects LLs to prove non-receipt, so I would opt out of the DPS' adjudication service (ADR), and claim everything in the county court (and inform the DPS you are doing this). The DPS will then 'freeze' the account and hold the deposit pending the outcome of the claim. Assuming you win the claim, you must ensure that the court order specifically instructs the DPS to release the deposit to you.

Irina
11-11-2011, 18:45 PM
Thank you so much. Can't believe I received answers to the many quesitons I asked.

westminster
11-11-2011, 19:23 PM
Thank you so much. Can't believe I received answers to the many quesitons I asked.
Feel free to ask more Qs, but keep it on this thread - when it moves off the first page of the forum, you can find it by going to your profile and clicking on threads you've started.

Irina
17-11-2011, 17:08 PM
Good evening. Situation is as above. The questions are about technicalities.

How do we ask permission to serve at work address? Is there a form for it?
Who and where do we address the letter/form?(Small Court? County Court?).
Do we submit it before or together with N1 form?

Are there any other documents to submit during initial stage?

Can we start claim now, with about two weeks before bailiffs have exectuted WOP and include rent till WOP execution date?

Thank you.

westminster
17-11-2011, 18:53 PM
Good evening. Situation is as above. The questions are about technicalities.

How do we ask permission to serve at work address? Is there a form for it?
As previously advised, you can serve the claim at the rental property address before the eviction date. It will be correctly served if it is the T's residential address at the time of service.


Who and where do we address the letter/form?(Small Court? County Court?).
If you nevertheless feel that you must serve the claim at the T's work address, you can serve it in person without the permission of the court. First, get the claim issued by the court, but tell them you're going to serve it yourself, then pay a Process Server (Google for one) to do it (don't attempt to DIY service in person).

There is no 'small court'. It's the county court (and claims of £5,000 are allocated to the small claims track); go to the county court nearest to you.


Do we submit it before or together with N1 form?
If you nevertheless feel that you must serve the claim by post at the T's work address, ask the court if there's a form to apply under CPR Rule 6.15 (http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/procedure-rules/civil/contents/parts/part06.htm#IDAYI1HC). If they look blank, just write to the court asking for an order allowing you to serve by post at the defendant's work address. You will need to submit evidence to support the application. See this link (http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/procedure-rules/civil/contents/practice_directions/pd_part06a.htm#IDA1HU1).

It's best to get the permission before you serve the claim, but you can actually apply for permission afterwards, as you can see from the last link.


Can we start claim now, with about two weeks before bailiffs have exectuted WOP and include rent till WOP execution date?
Yes, I think so, if rent is owing and unpaid for the period in question.

Irina
17-11-2011, 22:30 PM
Thank you for the links. I don't understand everything there (technicalities, again), but will try my best.

I know that defendant works where he does, and I can address the letter to him (c/o Mr. Defendant). But what evidence I can provide that he will be given the letter and whether I need to give any in this case, I'm not sure.

I won't be able to serve N1 to the defendant's current address because he might have moved out, according to neighbours. If this is the case, he can easily ask to set judgement (to pay up) aside because he knew nothing about it, and provide a new Tenancy Agreement as an evidence. Knowing him, he will most certainly do it.

Thank you for letting me know about Process Server. I will remember that in case I need it in future. In current situation, I live in Bristol, while defendant works in Bath (he commuted every day to Bath for work, I can only guess why). Which is a good excuse for me not to serve him in person. He was verbally and once physically aggressive. I wouldn't feel comfortable coming anywhere near this man.