A Landlords Story – A Warning To Everyone!

A Landlords Story – A Warning To Everyone!

It has become a popular past-time of late to bash landlords. Day after day there are cynical stories in the media about rich capitalist landlords seeking to exploit poor beleaguered tenants, abuse them and then throw them out on the street for a minor infraction. This type of polarising and partisan approach is frankly divisive and unhelpful. The truth is that within any constituent group there will always be a minority of those who seek to hide behind the law and exploit it to the detriment of others. Sadly this is part of the human condition and at Landlord Action we get to see both sides on a daily basis. What is lost amongst all this is that there are genuine stories that deserve to be heard. Somewhere amongst all the debate there are real people who are having their lives upside down, enduring months,sometimes years, of stress to regain access to that most basic of human rights,their own property.It’s not just tenants.

Last week I spend a considerable amount of time on the phone to Jo. Jo isn’t a rich portfolio managing entrepreneur chasing the bottom line or profit cynically riding the crest of an ever growing market, she is an ordinary mother and grandmother who has seen the very worst that the rental market can offer. When I speak to her she is on her way to check out the progress of renovations on her property. This is a property that she reluctantly moved out of due to personal circumstances. It used to be well maintained, equipped, and a considerable source of pride to her. Today it is being effectively gutted.The place she called home for many years, raised her family in and which held many happy memories was obliterated and she is now spending thousands of pound to bring it back to something approaching habitable condition. Her only mistake she admits was to rent her property to someone in a  difficult situation,on the personal recommendation of  a family friend. Out of compassion she rented her family home to a women who systematically destroyed her life. The well furnished and presented property was reduced to a shell. Property stolen, windows nailed shut, interior doors kicked in, appliances damaged beyond repair,family members threatened, neighbours alienated and abused. The Police and the RSPCA  were a regular occurrence at a home which quickly resembled something from a war zone ( as we think the pictures will testify). After months of hard work, we sent the bailiffs in. Unfortunately what confronted us was an all too familiar scene of devastation. Realistically Jo realises that she has very little financial or judicial redress and the errant tenant escapes without punishment or consequence.

After nearly two years of exhaustive attempt to negotiate and abortive legal efforts Jo finally approached us, as many of our clients do via a personal recommendation. As she says.  ” As soon as Paul and the team we were involved thinks started happening. Finally I managed to get these awful people out. The impact on me and my family has been terrible, I have endured years of hell and the family home which I cherished has been tarnished forever. I really want my story to serve as a warning to others.It really can happen to anyone.”

Sadly Jo’s story is all too common. As the demand for property continues to outstrip demand it is vital that landlords wether ‘accidental’ or ‘professional’ difference seek out the best advice. Due diligence, a proactive agent and the right legal backup and support can make all the difference between peace of mind and a situation that can test your sanity.

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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