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I went to court yesterday for a section 21 possession order.
The CAB duty solicitor who was acting free for the tenant at the tax payers expense (even though the tenant had already spent two months UC and who lied to the court about never receiving any of the statutory documents etc, etc) realised that the form N5B Claim form for possession of a property located in England had a box not ticked.
The box was below question 11. Is the landlord a private registered provider of social house? The box allows you to tick Yes or No. However, if you tick “No” it does not make sure that any of the future boxes are mandatory and therefore if you do not tick the yes or fill in the next box about documents provided the case will be struck out.
The CAB solicitor then asked the tenant the loaded question “Have you seen this document” whilst holding up the how to rent guide and well!! What do you know the tenant said “NO”
As veteran landlords, who have been here before, we proved to the judge that our systems showed the tenant must have seen the how to rent guide. (This is included in the Tenant Referencing UK application forms) The judge accepted our submission and told the CAB solicitor that he did not want to strike out the case but would accept that if we agreed he would grant the CAB’s request for the maximum 42 days before possession. We agreed as we did not want to go through the whole episode again and agreed with the maximum of 42 days and of course that means another 42 days without a rent payment.
Lesson learnt so my message to all is be very careful of these forms because they do not have mandatory fields and they will try and trip you up and get the case thrown out if you miss a box or a section.
It is further evidence that they are trying to make it impossible to evict a tenant by section 21. They may not change the law to prevent serving a 'no fault' Section 21 eviction, but they are making it so hard to actually achieve it. We recently ran a NLCE CPD course on this subject, the law is very strict on when you must serve the 'prescribed requirements' and if you get it wrong you may never be able to serve a Section 21. Be warned October 1st 2018 is the deadline for remedying any of these matters.
Do not get caught out learn the law with us for more details on up and coming courses contact the NLCE
I have to check the date on the the 'How to rent' Booklet' every day to so i don't serve an old one -or check in case - the government might have produced a new one overnight (as is their wont to do lately)
I have a form that the tenant signs, agreeing that they have received the How to Rent booklet , The EPC , The gas certificate , My bank details, Some have said they don't know where to send the money. 🙂 and anything else that comes to my mind. I learn't that years ago. LRS taught me about surrender forms which i use now and again.
I have one HMO . A tenant stopped paying rent because he said we hadn't given him an EPC and a few other things. He was a tenant before the 'other things' became law .
The CAB told him to go to court because he should have been given these papers. He turned up with a demand for compensation.
After a lengthy session debating (at my per hour cost) whether a HMO tenant needs an EPC or not , the judge dismissed the case.
When will CAB stop getting away with giving wrong legal advice which costs a Landlord more in lost rent and court costs.
There is no doubt that it is getting harder and harder to get all the ducks in a row to successfully get a possession order.
It would be interesting to see some stats on failed possession claims mirrored against the dates of implemented changes that potentially give reason to strike out a possession claim.
I not only get a tenant to sign a doc acknowledging they have received, EPC, PI, How to Rent guide, gas cert at the start of the tenancy I also have it written into the AST.
If I have to serve a S21 I now do it in 2 stages. Stage 1 resend EPC, PI, How to Rent guide, gas cert with a letter stating "please find enclosed replacement documents xxxxxx for your records". Then the following day serve the S21.
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