38% Of Landlords Face Eviction Problems

38% Of Landlords Face Eviction Problems After Failing To Protect Tenant’s Deposit.

According to Landlord Action, as many as 38% of landlords who need help to evict a tenant have not protected the tenant’s deposit in accordance with deposit protection rules introduced in 2007.

The figures come from the Landlord’s Action’s legal helpline. The eviction specialist has reviewed enquiries from the start of this year and concluded there is still a major problem with amateur landlords – and even some agents – understanding deposit legislation.

The rules state that unless the tenant’s deposit it protected in a legally-recognised protection scheme within 30 days, and the tenant sent the prescribed information, the landlord could face a penalty of up to three times the value of the deposit, which is then awarded to the tenant.

Landlords also face penalties if their agent failed to comply with the legislation, which adds tension to the relationship between landlords and their agents.

Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina said: “There are too many landlords that still do not know enough about being a landlord and their responsibilities. Many are failing to comply with deposit protection rules and this is having a knock-on effect when landlords wish to evict through Section 21. The simple fact is, ignorance will not solve the problem.”

The only way a landlord can legally evict a tenant who will not move out voluntarily (and who is not in arrears or in breach of their tenancy agreement) is via a court order for possession, but in order to obtain this, a landlord must first return the deposit. Furthermore, Landlord Action says it is receiving more and more phone calls from desperate landlords who are being sued by their tenants for compensation for not protecting the deposit.

“It seems to me, that tenants are becoming savvier than landlords when it comes to buy to let legislation. Landlords, this is your business, you must be fully versed in your responsibilities,” said Shamplina.

According to Landlord Action’s Legal Team, many solicitors are reluctant to take on these cases as there is no defence against it and it is purely down to the judge’s discretion. In response to the rising number of enquiries with deposit issues, Landlord Action has launched a fixed fee deposit claims mitigation service for landlords, to act on the landlord’s behalf in dealing with the court paperwork and also attempting to reduce the level of penalty the landlord faces.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of MyDeposits, said: “The findings of Landlord Action are somewhat worrying, especially as all three schemes have seen a healthy year on year increase in the number of deposits being protected. Having said that, we should not become complacent and there is clearly more work to be done in ensuring that deposit protection is embraced by the entire private rented sector.

“Landlords and agents should be aware that protecting the deposit with an authorised scheme is only one part of their legal responsibility. The other requirement is to correctly serve the prescribed information to the tenant and this is definitely an area where better understanding of the legislation is needed. The majority of legal cases we see surround the incorrect issuing of the prescribed information, or failing to issue it all. All schemes have extensive information on how to comply with the legislation, including timescales on their websites and we urge letting operators to ensure they understand their obligations.”

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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