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Eviction Process Time Scale


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Hi All, Would appreciate some advice, please. Issued our tenant with a Section 21 in April and have now received a Notice of Issue from the CC giving the tenant two weeks to put in a defence.  I assume the S21 was filled out correctly otherwise we wouldn't have received the Notice of Issue? As to a defence, the only grounds I think they can use is hardship (unlikely as they are a solicitor) or cite the S21 was never received. (Have witness/video evidence). 

If they do put up a defence in the next week,  does anyone know how long it then takes to get a hearing date and from there, the maximum time a Judge would allow them to remain?

If no defence, after I send the form back requesting a  possession order and order for costs, how long could it take to get an eviction date.  I have read that from issuing proceedings to receipt of the order for possession can take six to ten weeks.  After which, if they haven't left, I will use the HCEO as I hear they are quicker than using the Bailiff services.  

Once this headache is over, there is the issue of arrears which currently stands at over £10,000. I was also thinking of serving a Section 8 but am unsure if this is applicable in these circumstances and would be better going down the small claims court route. Though I seem to recall the ceiling for a claim through them is £8,000 and  arrears could be far greater, depending on how long it takes to get them out. A S8  will also leave me open to a counter claim for maintenance (unfounded and with lack of access issues).  

Would appreciate any help at this stage as I don't want to start pouring costs into hiring a solicitor as that could very well be necessary further down the line.

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  1. If a tenant puts in a defence you will be sent a copy so you can judge if it has any merit and act accordingly.
  2. If undue hardship is claimed there will likely be a hearing and the maximum extra time the tenant will be given is 4 weeks on top of the normal 2 weeks (6 weeks in total) Do your research and question the hardship claim when brought up at the hearing as there is some case law at higher court level that works in your favour. The judge at your hearing wont act on it unless you bring it to their attention.  
  3. If they are a acting solicitor I would be tempted to add that info somewhere on the paperwork or bring it up at any hearing as I would guess the judge wont like that at all and could work in your favour.
  4. All courts work at different speeds depending on their case load. Call the court and ask the question.
  5. If the paperwork is in order the judge will give 14 days unless undue hardship claimed and granted.
  6. Before you go down the extra cost of HCEO speak to the county court bailiff to find out their lead time.  You may find the timescales are similar. In my area CC bailffs are faster and cheaper than HCEO.
  7.  Serve (correctly) a section 8 using grounds 8,10,11 NOW as a back up in case the s21 fails for some reason. You will get a lot quicker hearing date with this process against the s21 but you are further ahead with the s21 now so stick with it unless it fails and if so you have the s8 ready to go.
  8. If successful with the s21 go down the mcol route but you are correct there are limits to what you can claim but could be cheaper than using the route that allows a bigger claim without any guarantee of success.
  9. Dont wait to start the money claim you may as well put the wheels in motion and send out a "letter before action" I dont think solicitors are allowed to have CCJ'S so his career could be at risk if he gets one. A threat to report him to the law society could focus his mind as well.     

Let us know how you get on and feel free to ask further questions. 

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Grampa said:

"Don't wait to start the money claim you may as well put the wheels in motion and send out a "letter before action" I don't think solicitors are allowed to have CCJ'S so his career could be at risk if he gets one. A threat to report him to the law society could focus his mind as well".   

 

Yes.... true........same goes for Accountants.    Follow that CCJ up and make sure they are informed of the consequence as well. It will affect their financial future for some years to come.

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Thank you both for your replies. I plan to send a Section 8 and will follow up with the 'letter before action' including veiled threats to report him to the Law Society.

I am very concerned about the time frame, whether the Section 21 is successful or not or resorting to S8 route , if the tenant still does not move out, it

could be weeks to get a bailiffs appointment here in London. My claim will then far exceed the SCC threshold.  Do you know if its possible to make a maximum claim

through the SCC and also get a separate judgement to deduct the shortfall from the deposit? I imagine with the right documents the TDS would be obliged to co-operate. 

(Baring in mind one doesn't know what damage has occurred to increase the claim)

I suspect a counter claim is in the process (after all, they have the resources)  as a phethora of complaints were issued to the agent a week before the expiry of the STA. One citing how horrible a time they had in the apartment and that it was worth at least £500 less in rental per month. If it was that bad (which it wasn't) I think we would have heard from them sooner. I also think our agents could easily verify the rental price was reflective of a high end apartment  and as to 'things going wrong'. Washing machines do break down, shelves due warp when to much is put on them, etc etc etc. over a 30 month tenancy.  All issues were addressed in reasonable time bar one due to delays in manufacturing followed by a lack of co-operation on their part in allowing access to install said item. Six months prior to the end of the tenancy all communication was cut including no access granted to carry out the GSC.  So they haven't exactly been co-operative and I have a very detailed paper trail of how proactive I've been through out the tenancy. Still the law being what it is, I never feel it's on the right persons side.

To top if off, it is soon school holidays and our son was hoping to go abroad to visit family but due to the timing of this we don't think we can . One very

disappointed boy. :-((

 

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When you do the the SCC dont include the deposit in the rent arrears figures because that is a separate issues and may be needed for damages.

I think a larger (than SCC) claim is called a part 8 claim but not 100% sure. But if you wanted to do the SCC/mcol route I see no reason why you couldn't do it in stages. (submit a second claim for the balance after the first).

Another option is to try to arrange a meeting and compromise such as offer to write off 50% of the arrears if vacant possession is given in 2 weeks or something similar. Rent arrears are a matter of fact and cant be denied so if you think you have a good chance of collecting at a later date due to his profession and assets hold out for the full amount.  

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.  I have decided to serve a second S21 , the Section 21(4) (a)  as it is now a periodic tenancy starting before October, 2015. I am also compiling evidence for the Section 8 under grounds 8,10,11, 12 & 13 as further backup, though am nervous of going down this route.  My question is, I am unsure how detailed one needs to be on this. 

Should I be concise i.e. 'Tenant has disallowed access for X months to carry out maintenance, GSC, Inspection '  or go into extensive detail, listing every occasion with dates,

number of attempts made, periods Tenant delayed responding to maintenance issues etc. OR Should the comprehensive details be saved to put forward on the possession order

when the time comes. I suppose, whatever route I take,  the Tenant will eventually get sight of  my responses , giving ample opportunity to defend.

Appreciate any help on this.

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