The Courts Want To Increase Fees Again – Say No

The Courts Want To Increase Fees Again- Say No.

Last April, landlords had to endure a 150% increase on court fee rises on section 8 claims from £100 to £250, in addition to the increased placed on the Accelerated Possession fee from £175 to £280.  Now the Ministry of Justice has announced plans to increase court fees again, by another £75 per claim, for the second year running.  This being £325 for a Section 8 claim online and £355 for a paper based claim for Section 21.

Only recently we recommended to the Government that the Section 21 process should be an online process like Section 8. The Justin Minister, Shailesh Vara,says increasing court fees will never be popular or welcome, but more money is needed to be invested in the court services.

Here is what our Head of Legal at Landlord Action, Julie Herbert, has to say: “We feel that last year’s court fee rises were not justified, let alone the plan to increase these even further.  From dealing with hundreds of cases at any one time, we are forever chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice of Issues or bailiff appointments.   By the courts’ own admission, cases are getting overlooked, administrative errors are being made and there are simply not enough bailiffs to support the number of cases, leading to long delays. We cannot see the extra fees being paid by landlords since the last increase in April 2014 having any affect with the court administration, so struggle to see how another increase can be justified so soon.”

We employ someone full time at Landlord Action just to call the courts and chase up cases.We will be writing a submission opposing the rises. The consultation by the Ministry of Justice ends on the 27th February, it can be found here. Please assist us in fighting against the rise and file your own submission, there’s still time to defeat this.

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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