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View Full Version : Possession Claim WON!!! Change of locks???



Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 13:53 PM
Hi guys

Just to up date you all and ask for more advice. I've just had my claim for possession order granted FORTHWITH!!!

As tenant didn't show for court and hasn't been at the property for over 3 weeks can I now assume that the property has been abandoned? My major concern now is that I am being told that 'undesirables' (drug dealers and the likes) have got keys to the property and so I am extremely concerned about the safety/security of the place!!!

I want to go and change the locks desperately!!! Am I safe to do this now???

Rapid responses to this query would be really appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Kind Regards

J

davidjohnbutton
15-03-2007, 14:21 PM
Your PO has been granted with immediate effect. You are now safely free to go along to the property and if it is indeed empty*, change the locks and secure it.

If there is anyone in there who is opposed to your entry, you will have to leave and get the bailiffs in which will incur more delay and another fee.

* by empty, I mean in such a state of furnish or lack of that no-one could live there even though there may be bits and pieces left behind.

DianeB
15-03-2007, 14:26 PM
Joanne, so glad it went your way. Hope you get the answer you want from this forum. Did you say that the house was completely empty now - in which case I would certainly change the locks. The last thing you want now is undesirables trashing your place. How about a quick call first to your local police station - there is usually a neigbourhood watch officer who may be able to give some advice.

Another idea I wondered about is would your ex-tenant have told the council that they have moved out to stop receiving council tax? Just a thought which could help prove he's gone!

DianeB
15-03-2007, 14:28 PM
Sorry, must be a slow typer today. I see Davidjohnbutton has just given you some good advice!

rewop46
15-03-2007, 14:52 PM
Joanne, well done.

I've just read your posts on your "thieving tenant" and the catalogues in your name. No wonder you reacted to my post on applications for VISA cards by the tenant. It's my biggest fear that I'll get a tenant who does this for a living; remember the film "Pacific Heights". Frightening.:eek:

See my post on "User names".

rewop

lorenzo
15-03-2007, 15:03 PM
Joanne, well done. I've never gone the court route in 16 years, I wouldn't know how to. I deal with it in another way. I can't give you advice on this question, it would be deemed inappropriate here. Sorry

I've just read your posts on your "thieving tenant" and the catalogues in your name. No wonder you reacted to my post on applications for VISA cards by the tenant. It's a good thing tenants are not to clever. My biggest fear is getting one who is; remember the film "Pacific Heights". Frightening.:eek:

See my post on "User names".

rewop
What a t0sser.

rewop46
15-03-2007, 15:12 PM
Thank you:p

You didn't use your spell checker did you?

Lorenzo, you are correct. I have changed it to be more appropriate.
Apologies for my writing like a "t0sser".

rewop

Poppy35
15-03-2007, 16:21 PM
well done Joanne. dont go to the house alone will you? take some big burly minders with you at least!!!

Worldlife
15-03-2007, 17:14 PM
Congratulations on your success.

As belt and braces you could display a dated note stating that the locks have been changed for security purposes . Any person requiring entry who no longer has a current key should contact the landlord within fourteen days.

Failure to contact the landlord after the locks have been changed could then be regarded as conclusive evidence of abandonment of the tenancy.

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 18:36 PM
Your PO has been granted with immediate effect. You are now safely free to go along to the property and if it is indeed empty*, change the locks and secure it.

If there is anyone in there who is opposed to your entry, you will have to leave and get the bailiffs in which will incur more delay and another fee.

* by empty, I mean in such a state of furnish or lack of that no-one could live there even though there may be bits and pieces left behind.


Thanks for your reply david. Went to the property and got the tenants ex-wife to be present before getting my locksmith to gain me entry. I had let the property with beds, a sofa and freezer and a few other bits and what other stuff remained belonged to the wife. There were none of his clothes in the wardrobe and no food in the cupboards or freezer so as far as I'm concerned it was abandoned!

An electric fire (a nice one) had gone missing but the ex-wife has just phoned to say she has spoken with him and he will return the fire. Property was in a slightly better state than I expected to find it so I am counting my blessings tonight! :)

J

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 18:49 PM
Joanne, so glad it went your way. Hope you get the answer you want from this forum. Did you say that the house was completely empty now - in which case I would certainly change the locks. The last thing you want now is undesirables trashing your place. How about a quick call first to your local police station - there is usually a neigbourhood watch officer who may be able to give some advice.

Another idea I wondered about is would your ex-tenant have told the council that they have moved out to stop receiving council tax? Just a thought which could help prove he's gone!


Diane I would have been very concerned if the house had been empty because I let the property part furnished! LOL

I didn't bother with a call to the police because they know less about housing law etc than I do! Last time they had to come out concerning this teanant they actually told me to just 'throw him out and change the locks'. Had I been ignorant enough to take their advice it would've been me in front of the judge today!!! Illegal eviction and all that... :rolleyes:

I doubt he would've informed council but it's on the top of my list for tomorrow!

& guess what.... my tenant (or rather EX tenant) will be getting a court order to settle the whole of this month's rent! & costs! Ha ha ha!!!

J

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 18:55 PM
Joanne, well done.

I've just read your posts on your "thieving tenant" and the catalogues in your name. No wonder you reacted to my post on applications for VISA cards by the tenant. It's my biggest fear that I'll get a tenant who does this for a living; remember the film "Pacific Heights". Frightening.

See my post on "User names".

rewop


Saw your post re user names. Thanks rewop. I havn't seen the film Pacific Heights. Is it worth me taking the time to watch?

Picked a pile of post up from the property whilst I was there and although loads of it was addressed to me, guess what??? None of it was actually mine. Second job on my list for tomoz is to hand it over to the police to put with all the other post they have! Great work if you can get it!!! :mad:

J

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 19:00 PM
well done Joanne. dont go to the house alone will you? take some big burly minders with you at least!!!


Poppy don't worry! I didn't go alone. I took my bessie mate and arranged for the ex-wife and the locksmith to meet me there. Was so glad to have the place back! It must've been one of the shortest tenancies / quickest evictions on record. Tenant checked in on 4th Novemeber and chucked out on 15th March!!! :D

Power to the Powell! & to be complimented by the judge was icing on the cake.... LOL

J

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 19:06 PM
Congratulations on your success.

As belt and braces you could display a dated note stating that the locks have been changed for security purposes . Any person requiring entry who no longer has a current key should contact the landlord within fourteen days.

Failure to contact the landlord after the locks have been changed could then be regarded as conclusive evidence of abandonment of the tenancy.


Thanks for the advice Worldlife but locks already changed and with possession paperwork en route I won't be wasting any more ink writing notes for this character! No intention of giving him the chance to get his hands on the new keys when it's just cost me £105 to get the bloody locks changed!

No disrespect intended worldlife (not to you anyway). ;)

Kind Regards

J

Worldlife
15-03-2007, 21:50 PM
Thanks for the advice Worldlife but locks already changed and with possession paperwork en route I won't be wasting any more ink writing notes for this character! No intention of giving him the chance to get his hands on the new keys when it's just cost me £105 to get the bloody locks changed!

No disrespect intended worldlife (not to you anyway). ;)

Kind Regards

J

Don't forget that having a Possession Order from the Court does not give you the right to evict the tenant illegally!!!!!!

If the tenant returned and could not get in because you had changed the locks there could be a charge of illegal eviction.

By placing a notice as suggested you have a clear defence against illegal eviction.

The penalties for illegal eviction well exceed the piddling costs of a few locks.

If a request were made for a key (maybe unlikely?) then this would be an opportunity to point out that the tenant will be liable for rent arrears right up until the time vacant possession is given. In accepting any new key you should stress the tenant accepts liability and for Court costs in making your claim for arrears.

BTW you are not writing notes for the benefit of the tenant - you are writing a note left on the property to persons who may include the tenant so as to leave a paper trail to demonstrate there can be no claim of illegal eviction.

I'm sure you can see the point Joanne

Joannepowell
15-03-2007, 22:01 PM
I can certainly see your point worldlife and the point is taken. However, given all the facts surrounding this case I would just love for this guy to even try taking me to court for illegal eviction.... i have no contact telephone number for this character and to be honest the locality in question would have me think very carefully before placing anything on the door that indicates that the property is not occupied!

You have to remember that the property is part furnished and so it is my goods that are likely to disappear or be damaged in the event of a break-in. The tenant has my telephone number if he would like to inform me he hasn't vacated and wants to request a set of keys.

He is also still in contact with his wife and so could get a message to me through her if he so wished.

J

Bel
15-03-2007, 23:46 PM
Don't forget that having a Possession Order from the Court does not give you the right to evict the tenant illegally!!!!!!

If the tenant returned and could not get in because you had changed the locks there could be a charge of illegal eviction.



Surely if there is no tenant inside the building, then the possession order means the LL now has possession, and the tenant no longer has a right to return??

Please clarify if I have got this wrong.

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 00:11 AM
Surely if there is no tenant inside the building, then the possession order means the LL now has possession, and the tenant no longer has a right to return??

Please clarify if I have got this wrong.


Good question Bel. One I'd be keen to know the answer to. I don't know whether the judge was trying to tip me off or not but he definately stated that I had possession of the property FORTHWITH. He stressed that point a couple of times but did say that in the event that the tenant was in occupation then I would have to instruct the bailiffs which would probably take me another two to three weeks to sort.

I did ask the judge an outright question re being able to change the locks but he said "i can not advise you on that" - but he didn't say NO!

As far as I'm concerned the tenant has abandoned the property (no clothes or food there, no washer, nothing at all in the freezer, no fire (cos apparently he's taken that to his current abode to keep himself warm but will bring it back Tuesday when he's got money for a taxi according to the ex wife who has spoken to him tonight).

There was lots of post behind the door addressed in my name but not belonging to me (catalogue statements and the like) and the latest in the saga is that on Monday he asked his wife to activate a store card of mine that was delivered to the address early in February!!! In fact, he's now asked her twice!!! What a shame I put a stop on the card and amended my address details.... :p Wonder where he'll get his taxi money from now???

Anyway, I don't intend losing too much sleep on the idiot tonight!

J

Worldlife
16-03-2007, 04:53 AM
Surely if there is no tenant inside the building, then the possession order means the LL now has possession, and the tenant no longer has a right to return??

Please clarify if I have got this wrong.

The tenant could claim he or she was on holiday so the fact that the tenant is not actually in the property may not be relevant.

If the tenant ignores a Possession Order then the landlord has to go back to Court and arrange for a bailiff to effect the Possession.

I recall that some time ago Paul_f suggested you could nip in and change the locks if you had a Possession Order and saw the tenant leave the premises ...but there was some debate on that advice.

Hopefully Joanne has got the risk factors right and she will soon be in a position to relet the property. :)

justaboutsane
16-03-2007, 07:37 AM
I am sure Paul-F has pointed out on many occasions that once you have been granted possession even if the tenant nips to the shops you can change the locks on them! All you need to do is provide them access to collect their belongings!

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 09:00 AM
Worldlife - we actually saw then tenant walking in the OPPOSITE direction of the court (just five mins away from the court) at 11am when we were in a car travelling to the court ourselves. So some holiday (the estate he was heading towards isn't exactly sun, sea and sand. More Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll if you know what I mean).

I think he had probably had a liaison with the wife (who was meeting us at the court for the hearing)! Why do tenants presume us landlords are actually brain dead? Mind you - I must've been having some sort of episode when I let this prat sign up for my property!

The tenant should be thanking me for the debt management assistance I am providing him with! Afterall, he will no longer be liable for the 'occupation fee' that will be stated in the court order! One less debt for tenant, one gaint step for landlord!

Justaboutsane - thanks for your contribution. I'm gonna see if I can do a bit more research on this today. If I dig anything up I will keep members informed.

Kind Regards as always

J



PS. We even told the judge we had seen him on our way to the court. I wonder if that is why is kept stressing I had possession forthwith? Ie. knowing the tenant wasn't at home ????

jeffrey
16-03-2007, 10:25 AM
Saw your post re user names. Thanks rewop. I havn't seen the film Pacific Heights. Is it worth me taking the time to watch?

Picked a pile of post up from the property whilst I was there and although loads of it was addressed to me, guess what??? None of it was actually mine. Second job on my list for tomoz is to hand it over to the police to put with all the other post they have! Great work if you can get it!!! :mad:

J

Film: yes, definitely. ALL potential new landlords should be statutorily obliged to view it, but tenants should be prohibited permanently from it.

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 10:30 AM
Gonna have to see if i can locate the film. Maybe e-bay would be the place to start (so long as Worldlife not lurking there). :D

DianeB
16-03-2007, 11:20 AM
Diane I would have been very concerned if the house had been empty because I let the property part furnished! LOL


J


Nice one Joanne:D

That does raise a question though. Because you rent part furnished, does it create a much bigger income for you and does the bigger income outweigh the possible costs of repair/checks/loss etc?

Just wondering purely out of interest.
Regards
AKA Diane

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 11:36 AM
Nice one Joanne

That does raise a question though. Because you rent part furnished, does it create a much bigger income for you and does the bigger income outweigh the possible costs of repair/checks/loss etc?

Just wondering purely out of interest.
Regards
AKA Diane


In answer to your question Diane, because we develop properties and then tend to mortgage to the increased value we like to 'dress' the properties for valuation purposes and so letting the property part furnished saves us having to store the stuff elsewhere. Obviously, the rent is slightly higher than it would be unfurnished and given I have an exceptional ability to source quality products at bargain basement prices I usually find that the increased rent actually goes some way to covering the cost of the items.

I find that prospective tenants are usually either just starting out or have recently separated from a partner and don't have much in the way of possessions and so the property becomes more attractive to them. In the event that a tenant has their own belongings I volunteer to remove what they don't need but the rent remains the same. I have also had tenants then go on to buy goods of their own and when that happens they just contact me to remove the duplicated item. Again the rent remains the same.

I'm usually working on another property (or about acquire one) on most occasions and so just use the goods on the new venture which prevents me having to worry about storage. I also have three cellars which come in useful. The one item I do not provide is a washing machine as these can be notorious for going wrong!

Any electrical items I supply are checked annually during my electrical inspections and to be honest are so cheap these days that there is little lost in having to replace them should the need arise.

Also, in the past I have had tenants leave items they no longer require and often continue to use the items in the same property or remove to another property.

In fact, one tenant was vacating owing £530 rent and negotiated with me on some fantastic office furniture he didn't have room for at his new partner's home. He still owes me £400 but I got this great furniture which was just too good to leave in a rental and so now proudly occupies my home office!!!

So in answer to your original question - it works for me!!! :D

J

justaboutsane
16-03-2007, 11:44 AM
Joanne.. re the DVD thing.. go to www.find-dvd.co.uk I use it all the time! I use it as a yard stick when I am bidding for stuff on ebay too!

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 11:56 AM
Joanne.. re the DVD thing.. go to www.find-dvd.co.uk (http://www.find-dvd.co.uk) I use it all the time! I use it as a yard stick when I am bidding for stuff on ebay too!


Too late! Time waits for no man (with the possible exception for tenants) and I've already ordered one off e-bay. £6.99 inc p&p! Getting all excited now so hope it arrives quickly!!! Sad or what.... :o

J

PS. I'll probably resell it on e-bay once I've watched it!

westy
16-03-2007, 13:44 PM
hi joanne,
just wondered how long you were in court for?

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 14:09 PM
About 10 minutes westy! But it felt like a lifetime! :eek:

westy
16-03-2007, 14:17 PM
Thanks
I am going on on 18th April and wondered how long I would be in there. My Tenant hasn't paid since November. We offered her to leave before going to court and we would let her off with the rent owing but she hasn't acknowledged us so court it is. What paperwork did you have to take with you?
Regards

Westy

DianeB
16-03-2007, 14:18 PM
In answer to your question Diane, because we develop properties and then tend to mortgage to the increased value we like to 'dress' the properties for valuation purposes and so letting the property part furnished saves us having to store the stuff elsewhere. Obviously, the rent is slightly higher than it would be unfurnished and given I have an exceptional ability to source quality products at bargain basement prices I usually find that the increased rent actually goes some way to covering the cost of the items.

I find that prospective tenants are usually either just starting out or have recently separated from a partner and don't have much in the way of possessions and so the property becomes more attractive to them. In the event that a tenant has their own belongings I volunteer to remove what they don't need but the rent remains the same. I have also had tenants then go on to buy goods of their own and when that happens they just contact me to remove the duplicated item. Again the rent remains the same.

I'm usually working on another property (or about acquire one) on most occasions and so just use the goods on the new venture which prevents me having to worry about storage. I also have three cellars which come in useful. The one item I do not provide is a washing machine as these can be notorious for going wrong!

Any electrical items I supply are checked annually during my electrical inspections and to be honest are so cheap these days that there is little lost in having to replace them should the need arise.

Also, in the past I have had tenants leave items they no longer require and often continue to use the items in the same property or remove to another property.

In fact, one tenant was vacating owing £530 rent and negotiated with me on some fantastic office furniture he didn't have room for at his new partner's home. He still owes me £400 but I got this great furniture which was just too good to leave in a rental and so now proudly occupies my home office!!!

So in answer to your original question - it works for me!!! :D

J

Sorry I didn't get back sooner - been to see Aged P's.

Thanks for your reply, I can understand why you do rent part furnished - it obviously does work for you.

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 14:48 PM
Thanks
I am going on on 18th April and wondered how long I would be in there. My Tenant hasn't paid since November. We offered her to leave before going to court and we would let her off with the rent owing but she hasn't acknowledged us so court it is. What paperwork did you have to take with you?
Regards

Westy

Take everything you have westy.

I was actually complimented by the judge for the presentation/administration of my case.

Are you planning on representing yourself? If so, have you sent a copy of the 'particulars of claim' to your tenant? If not, do it now! I hand deliver one copy of everything and also send another copy by recorded delivery. That way the tenant could never get away with saying they havn't received any documentation. Just be sure to get a witness to observe your hand deliveries and make a note of time and date etc.

You also have to make sure that the tenant has copies of anything you plan to use at court.

Your best way forward is to start writing your witness statement (which also has to go to the tenant and the court within a certain time frame before the hearing - 2 clear days before in Oldham).

During your statement you need to refer to all the evidence you intend to use (tenancy agreement, letters, rent statements, bank statements, telephone calls, invoices basically everything). The court will like it if everything is very clearly numbered for easy reference. I used a pocketed display book and put all my exhibits in that in date order then just numbered the pages. I put a contents page in the first pocket. I even went so far as to create tags on each pocket with the page number on so that the number could be easily seen to assist the judge.

I made one for the judge and one for myself and then just sent copies of everything in an envelope to the tenant (wasn't going to make anything easy for him). Any personal details (like e-mail addresses, bank account numbers etc that I didn't want the tenant to be privvy too I just did an extra photocopy and blacked anything out I didn't want him to see and then photocopied the blacked out one again (to ensure that the details couldn't be seen under the black ink).

I also took along my master file with everything it in just in case the court lost my bundle (that's what your evidence file is). I did not want to risk the case being adjourned so knew that if I had my master file and two copies of my witness statement I could let the judge use my file (which was also tagged with page numbers) and I could just refer to my master file (which also contained all the original documents in case any document was challenged as being fabricated).

Another good bit of advice is to index material going out to your tenant from the start of tenancy (even good tenants who are never likely to end up in court). The reason I do this is so that if the 'worm turns' I already have documents with appendix numbers which makes filing a lot easier too. I also state the exact nature of any enclosures on letters to my tenants (along with the appendix numbers).

I think the above is probably the best advice I can give you as a person not trained in legal matters.

If you would like me to send a copy of my contents page and witness statement (with tenant name disguised) then just pm me and I'll see what I can do.

Best of luck in the meantime.

J

westy
16-03-2007, 15:01 PM
thanks joanne
I've emailed you privately
Westy

Joannepowell
16-03-2007, 15:54 PM
thanks joanne
I've emailed you privately
Westy


Request completed. Copies en route!

J

westy
18-04-2007, 22:15 PM
Hi Joanne
Just a quick note to let you know i won my possession claim today and the judge was impressed with my paperwork, which i modelled on the info you sent me. It's just a waiting game now to see if she leaves after the 14 days,otherwise it's the bailiffs

thanks again for your help