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Justice System
26/01/2012
7:13 pm
MariaOneill
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Having just returned from a second court hearing to enforce a S21 Notice I am totally dissillusioned with our justice system.  My tenants of 18+ months do not have English as a first language. We have had no communication problems written or verbal in that time. 4 months ago they decide to stop paying their rent so I issue the notice as I have tried to help/work with them a couple of times before but I felt 'uneasy' this time.  The refused to move out on the due date so I went through the courts.  First hearing is adjouned to allow then to have an interpretor present.  Second hearing today they arrive without one stating they didn't 'understand' that it was their responsibility despite responding to a text message from me last week confirming they had an interpretor organised, and sitting in the court reception reading ENGLISH MAGAZINES from cover to cover in front of the Usher! The judge adjourns again telling them they must have one next time.  I am going to pay for my own as well as I cannot afford for this to go on any longer.  Where is my justice???

26/01/2012
7:28 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Maria,

Poor you the answer to your question is "there is no fair justice for the landlord" Yell when a tenant gets into court and starts to lie the judge always gives them the benefit of the doubt. Not much consolation but I know how you feel and I would imagine many many Landlords have been down your route, you can only keep going and eventually get them evicted and then try and brush yourself off and start again.

As you probably know this sort of story is exactly why I started this website and why I continue to keep it free so that we can unite when we hear tales like this,  all I can offer you is a shoulder to cry on and a chance to register them on the site so at least they will never be housed again by one of our members. I know its not much at the moment but as others do the same at least it means less chance of it happening again.

Th office number is 01934 - 645237 if you want an ear to talk to.

Regards

Paul

26/01/2012
7:42 pm
MariaOneill
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Thanks you Paul, feeling very sorry for myself this evening at the unfairness of it all. Do you know what the 'average' notice time the judge will give them if it does go in my favour next week?

26/01/2012
8:04 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Maria,

I think it depends on the circumstances but generally if I remember right from when it happened to me as little as 2 weeks or up to a month in some cases. I will tweet this out to my followers and see who may know more than me on this and she should be able to help you. 

Keep your chin up I know it really hurts when you feel so alone and helpless against what you know is such an injustice but as I say I am in the office tom so if you want a rant give me a call lolLaugh

Paul

26/01/2012
8:38 pm
MariaOneill
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Thanks for that lead - just read it and I did issue it correctly but the tenants would not leave at the eleventh hour which is why I applied to the court for a hearing - did I do the wrong thing?

26/01/2012
8:42 pm
mary latham
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Hi Maria Please read this document, page 3 gives details of an accelerated procedure which means that a judgement is made based on the document only and since there is no defence against a S21 the only thing that might cause a problem is if you have not served the notice correctly

http://www.communities.gov.uk/.....973735.pdf

You will see that a judge may only give a tenant a maximum of 42 days if there is exceptional hardship.

Good luck

26/01/2012
8:45 pm
mary latham
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Sorry I made an error on my first post and while I was editing you posted again.  You did not do the wrong thing in terms of legal procedure but, as a landlord, if there is a way of avoiding a court hearing this is always the best option because we are not treated fairly.

27/01/2012
3:19 am
Sharon Carmichael
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Thanks for that link Mary - it is extremely useful and simple to follow for all Landlords in that predicament.  

Maria, my sympathies are with you - it is so frustrating when the tenants pull the victim card and the judge simply believes them without question.  They never fall down on the side of us landlords, always the tenants.

I had a similar problem with a British bus driver and his nurse wife about a year ago.  She worked and never paid any money towards rent, he claimed benefit and, likewise, never paid any rent.  When they got to Court it was adjourned as they pulled the dumb/victim card saying they had not got any representation.  Despite the fact all the paperwork was in order it was adjourned for 6 weeks for them to seek legal advice.  They took it to the wire and on the day of the next Court hearing, they vacated, however, that did not get my money back, only my property which was by then trashed.

I could not believe the injustice in the whole system and wondered why I bothered to pay my bills all my life when you could simply go from place to place and pay nothing once you had taken up residence until such time as the Courts evicted you.

My only compensation in this whole thing was knowing that I was able to register them on this site and hopefully stop them being one of these professional knockers.  I have had a couple of prospective Landlords ring and ask me for a reference and I was very pleased to tell them exactly what they were and how they had behaved and hopefully either stopped them getting a place or making sure that their new Landlord knew exactly what game they liked to play.

Actually, even better than that, she rang up the other day in response to our ad in the paper asking for a property and when she said who she was we explained who we were - astonishingly she actually said "I am not with him anymore so it is just me so surely I can have a property from you"!!!  Now, should I have considered her and given her a chance?  NO WAY!!!

I do hope that when this is all over and you regain your property that you will be able to get some form of retribution similar to mine.  Just knowing I have put them up on this site makes me feel BRILL.

27/01/2012
9:57 am
BarbaraChabeaux
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So sorry to hear about your troublesome tenants Maria; there but for the grace of god go so many of us..  I've issued many S21's but, fortunately, have never had to go to court; I'm dreading it ever happening because, as has been said, we all know that there is no justice for the long suffering landlord.  I hope it all works out as well as it can do, and that they go as quickly as possible.

 

Smile

27/01/2012
10:02 am
Richard
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Maybe don't use Section 21 or try to get possession.  Cheaper to County Court for rent rears/damage to property using the Online County Court process.  

 

Then send in balliffs or get attachment of earnings order ?

 

My tenants have trashed the house.  I have county courts on them for rent arrears.  They were allocated a housing assn house and the council approached me for a reference.  Just said County Court and a trashed house and the council withdrew its offer of social housing to them.  I am now getting LHA direct from council and the tenants appear to be trapped in the house they trashed.

 Just out of interest I asked the Building Society if they would like the keys back and it appears they do not.

So the situation is the lender don't want the house and the council don't want my tenants.

 

It must be me providing the public service here then eh ?

27/01/2012
10:37 am
RajanChhabra
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Yelli do feel sorry for you good luck next time

27/01/2012
10:40 am
LyndonBaker
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Maria

Regrettably I can only offer sympathy. It seems that the courts (and deposit schemes) are biased in favour of the tenant. Whilst this was necessary many years ago when tenants could be physically thrown out of a property, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. There are still some rogue landlords (and agents) out there as well as rogue tenants.

 

One of my own tenants has, in a studio flat, over the last few weeks had up to five people living there and been the cause of complaints from the block management company. We have never had complaints about our tenants before. The tenant now stated, "as you know the flat suffers from condensation" when we have had the flat for five years with three tenants and no condensation until now! The washing machine has also broken down because of overloading but try proving that is the tenant's fault. We have issued a S21 and hope that he leaves quietly without further problems. Unfortunately I cannot register him here (correct me if I am wrong Paul) since we did not have the data protection disclosure clause in place when he moved in.

 

I think your idea of an interpreter is an excellent one and while costing you, is likely to counter any further arguments of not understanding the proceedings. If you took pictures of them reading English magazines I suspect they would claim they were only looking at the pictures! Fingers crossed for you.

27/01/2012
11:08 am
pierceandco.co.uk
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Hi Maria – This is Mark speaking

 

Both criminal and civil courts are notorious for going down this route, in your case seeking an interpreter, but can I suggest that you approach the court and ask them if they have an approved list of interpreters. I say this because if they do have a list you can use, you are less likely to be accused of using your own and then directing the proceedings in your favour. Believe me it will happen! In conclusion and where possible use an independent interpreter.

 

It may not seem like it right now, but when you win and regain possession of your property, you will see that the court has acted in such a way that you, and they, will be beyond approach. What I mean is that whilst it appears the wheels are turning very slowly, you will win. Too many people have won appeals over the years because it was agreed that they have not been treated fairly and have not been allowed a fair hearing.

 

I wont bore you any more but the court will be making sure that your tenants are getting a fair hearing so the judgement is valid, solid and beyond approach when granted in your favour. Stick with it you will win, it just may take a few weeks longer than you expected Laugh

 

Regards

 

Mark

Mark A Reynolds

Pierce & Co Residential Letting Agents

http://www.pierceandco.co.uk

01296 20 1234

27/01/2012
12:39 pm
MariaOneill
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Thank you to everyone who has posted a comment - all useful Smile

27/01/2012
5:57 pm
Paul Routledge
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MariaOneill said:

Thank you to everyone who has posted a comment - all useful Smile

I 2nd that what a great thing to see us all ralling to help others in an industry where we have all stood alone for so long. 

Thank you to each and every one of you, not only on this forum but in the £50,000+ in tenant alerts this week which has saved numerous landlords and letting agents from taking a bad one.

Please pass the word and lets get more and more on board and stop it once and for all. Smile

28/01/2012
12:18 am
PaulBarrett
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Richard said:

Maybe don't use Section 21 or try to get possession.  Cheaper to County Court for rent rears/damage to property using the Online County Court process.  

 

Then send in balliffs or get attachment of earnings order ?

 

My tenants have trashed the house.  I have county courts on them for rent arrears.  They were allocated a housing assn house and the council approached me for a reference.  Just said County Court and a trashed house and the council withdrew its offer of social housing to them.  I am now getting LHA direct from council and the tenants appear to be trapped in the house they trashed.

 Just out of interest I asked the Building Society if they would like the keys back and it appears they do not.

So the situation is the lender don't want the house and the council don't want my tenants.

 

It must be me providing the public service here then eh ?

I tried this approach but it didn't work as the stupid bailiffs wouldn't execute the warrant.

She counterclaimed on the other MCOL application and 1 month before the 2nsd eviction date could be actioned she had abandoned the flat.

In practice all that you have suggested is as much use as a chocalate teapot; I know I tried it and it all melted!!?

No you just have to pursue possession and eviction.Eventually you will get it.

In future obtain RGI and then you can leave it to the RGI company with all the time and expense.

You in the meantime get all the rent paid to you via the insurance claim. 

28/01/2012
5:28 am
Paul Routledge
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Hi Paul & all,

 

After all that has happened this week, I have had loads of landlords who have asked me about our products and what they offer to get a tenant in them safer in the future so I have created a quick link page for Landlords & Agents to use.

Our sponsorship referencing and insurance products produce a  small profit and all of this goes back into creating a bigger and stronger network thus making us all safer so it works well for the members because when they take out a product with us they are also investing in keeping themselves safer in the future. "Win Win".

Any one who wants to take a look. @  /quick-link/

 

‎and our RGI & legal defence and landlord Insurance is @ /insurance_services/

 

But to cheer us up I heard a old queen song last night that made me smile Under pressure lyrics @ http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics.....e.htm and thought now there is a landlords life when they have bad tenants.. might see if I can get it as our theme tune for LandlordReferencin.co.uk..

 

 

 

Paul

31/01/2012
1:16 pm
MariaOneill
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Well I have had my third day in Court. I arrived on time the defendants had not. After giving the defendants 10mins 'grace time' the judge decided to hear the case.  Just as he is about to give his judgement, I might add after putting me through the ringer with questions/producing paperwork etc the Usher knocks on the door to say they have arrived (30 mins late).  The judge 'invites' them into court, they walk in no apology and without an interpreter, so ignoring the judges earlier ruling, but they decided to bring a baby in arms (clearly a sympathy ploy).  The judge proceeds to say he doesn't believe they do not understand the proceedings and that they have not been honest with the Court!!!!! This is the third hearing remember. I finally get a 14 day possession order and rise to leave. As I open the door the judge says to me " hold the door" I felt so insulted and abused by the whole scenario - I am a 60 year old woman and I know my manners, angry and frustrated as I was I would not be so rude and petty as to close the door in someones face.  I am appalled at the manner in which this case was handled and feel what is the point in being a good decent landlord - it gets you knowhere!......rant over just hope my flat is not trashed.

31/01/2012
1:39 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Maria,

Poor you, well brush yourself down load them onto the system and stop them moving on and maybe when they cant find a place to live they will start to respect others.

I am sure you honesty and decency will bring you great karma next time around.

Use this quick link to help you with your next tenant it outlines what we can offer to protect and insure you against another badun!

Quick link on taking a tenant

And if you have followed Maria's story and have not joined us yet read these and get on board over £80,000 in 1 Hour Bad Tenant Alerts alone since last Monday and they will head your way and we are the only way you can stop them..Don't take Maria's bad tenant tom.

A couple of helpful links

What is Lifestyle Tenant Referencing:

What are 1 Hour Tenant Alerts:

 

Thank You

31/01/2012
4:26 pm
Cedric
Golders Green
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Hi Maria,

I have been following your story without commenting before, but now I must say I am absolutely appalled at your treatment at our legal system.  What a fiasco you have endured and how some people manage to sleep at night is truly beyond me.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of this scenario and that things will move forward now much quicker.

I really hope your property is not trashed and hope your next tenant(s) are much more suitable.

Although I am much older than you I have managed to embrace the changes that letting is now throwing at us (somehow!) and I would certainly recommend taking a look at Paul's links.  I'm in a fortunate position with my tenants, but you never know.

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