Landlord Has The Last Laugh

Landlord Has The Last Laugh.

We regularly come across cases where tenants have fallen on hard times and rather than communicate with their landlord for fear of losing their home, they instead choose to avoid paying the rent until the landlord reaches breaking point and the end result is eviction.

This is why we always try to encourage landlords that come to us asking for help with problem tenants, particularly cases with rental arrears, to try and engage in dialogue with their tenants and understand the reasons behind the lack of payment.Sometimes this can be enough to save the professional relationship and work out a payment plan that suits everyone. After all, if a landlord has a tenant who has been in their property for some time and has taken good care of it, it can be more beneficial to be understanding and support the tenant to get back on course than to get rid of them.

However, there are also cases where the tenant just wants something for nothing, even if they can afford the rent, in other words ‘crooks’. We had a classic case of this recently, where I’m pleased to say the landlord has had the last laugh.The case was brought to us of a tenant who had not pad rent for over a year.

We obtained judgment in the County Court, but the high value of arrears in this case enabled us to apply to have the case transferred up to the High Court for Enforcement. We obtained a combined writ of possession and writ of control, as well as managing to recover the £16,000 debt prior to carrying out the eviction.  High Court Enforcement Agents (HCEA) have more power than County Court Bailiffs but in a recent survey we carried out, only 16.5% of cases get transferred up.

Our research had found that the debtor (tenant) was in possession of two vehicles.The DVLA confirmed the tenant as the registered owner. When he failed to settle the writ within the compliance period, the case was assigned for attendance by our HCEA’s.

Upon arrival at the property, the agents clamped both motor vehicles prior to knocking on the door.One of the tenants came to the door and was surprised to see us. He became hostile towards the agents demanding that they leave.They explained why they were there and requested full settlement.

The tenant refused to settle the amount and claimed that he did not have funds to do so.The agents advised him that they were taking an inventory of goods as they were taking control of them.

The tenant still refused to deal with the situation, so the agents called tow trucks to collect the vehicles and a removal vehicle for the household belongings.  At this time the tenant agreed to settle the outstanding amount in full.

The tenant then arranged a bank transfer of the full amount, and showed the bank transaction to the agents. What was most interesting was that there was a credit balance of £100,000.00 in the account that the funds were coming from, so there was no reason for the tenant not to have paid the arrears of rent previously, or even just the rent on a monthly basis!

Three days later the agents again attended the enforcement address to carry out the eviction under the writ of possession issued in the High Court. Vacant possession was obtained within an hour of arrival and the occupant removed most of his assets and arranged with the landlord to return for the remaining items.

It’s a shame that cases like this can be enough to put landlords off renting their properties in the future, and yet we have a desperate shortage of rental properties. Fortunately in this case, we were successful and the landlord had the last laugh. Hopefully this will be a deterrent to other people who think they can get away with renting someone else’s property for free.

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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