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Help! Court papers received!


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Where do I stand?

Long story short, attempted to evict my tenant under section 8 for owing 4 months rent. She counter claimed due to lack of repairs and today I have received the court documentation.

The actual list of repairs is laughable and include:

Tripping hazards, ie carpets.

The shower being defective as it has low pressure and most of the shower head holes are blocked (erm, clean the dam thing!)

The toilet doesn't work and the chain is broken (doesn't have a chain)

The bath taps don't work, no water comes out.

The garage (wooden) leaks and items stored in there are damaged.

There was a gas leak 18 months ago (not true) and the gas fire has now been condemned (was capped off prior to her moving in and I can prove that) and the heating is ineffective - it has full central heating via radiators that I had fitted myself. We have also lent her an extra convector as was verbally agreed until she caught up with some arrears.

Now, firstly she is claiming that all these were stated in an inspection that took place in Aguust 2009 when she moved in. Surely the house wouldn't meet the housing act with a defective toilet and the (then employed) letting agency would have made us sort that one?

We did get a phonecall back in February 2010 about the bath taps and toilet - we attended and repaired the next day.

I have the inventory from the management company from August 2009 and it doesn't mention any need for repairs or even include the garage.

She claims to have told a gas engineer in February 2011 about the inadequate heating - not sure who she told as no one attended but us during that time, and we repaired damaged door handles and light switches (vandalism) - and she was lent a heater as mentioned above.

However, she is claiming we owe her for the damaged items in the garage due to the leak, which total £1050.00. This conveniently takes her to just below 2 months rental arrears. Hmmmmm.

It is up to me to prove I didn't know about the repairs or up to her to prove she did? There will be nothing in writing as literacy is not her strong point.

She is also suing me for 3 months rent as the deposit "wasn't protected properly". This is a grey area as she has signed the tenancy documents saying it would be protected less £200.00 which would be held by a utitlies company, so the bond is for £275.00 not £475.00. I wasn't even aware this had happened as she signed all this with the management company. As I was falling out with the management company I demanded to see the protected deposit details - to be told that they hadn't transferred it from a previous rental property she had. I have since lodged a second deposit with the DPS for £475.00 and she had the precribed information. However, that wasn't within the statutory 14 days as I wasn't aware of any of it until May 2011. I've been online and checked and printed out the information saying it is protected, will that cover me?

She has legal aid, I can't afford a solicitor.

Can anyone give me any pointers?

Very stressed out darricottgirl xx

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I don't have time to go through each point, now at least.

You find yourself in what I expect to be an increasingly common situation.

Whichever way you go you will lose.

Have the claim struck out entirely you still lose much time, effort and suffer from the stress of it all, while being aware the T is laughing her titties off and can' t lose what she doesn't have. Her side funded by us, any counter claim by you can only at best offset her claim, no dosh your way.

You go in unprotected and your are far more vulnerable, but then would you be better giving the Bitch the cash rather than a legal representative ?

Any LA error is your responsibility, he was under your instruction. From what I've come to understand her deposit claim should fail anyway.

You have effectively admitted the heating to be less than good by loaning an additional heater, demonstrating guilt.

My strategy, fast thoughts, would be to take the offensive but no so much in the defence of the claims but by making her life difficult.

Research the correctness of your S21 and go for repossession fastest, I can only hope the Court don't consider it reasonable to defer that until the claim is resolved.

If Bitch has the stress of relocating and also needs time for that she may have less effort to put into this, so then request information for your defence that she will have difficulty providing, and later ask for more.

Perhaps seek confirmation that inspectors and tradesmen can attend the property for reports and carry out works. Keep her occupied.

Good luck I think you'll need it.

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The section 21 has already been checked and issued.

To be brutally honest, I am not interested in any arrears being repaid - she is on benefit so we would be receiving it back at 50p a week for the rest of our natural lives anyway. I just want her and her claim to go away so that I can get a decent tenant which was all I wanted from the issued section 8.

The court has insisted that an independent surveyor attend the property to assess the repairs sometime in October and I have been advised that I am within my rights to request access the property in order to assess and carry out the repairs. Arrangements have been made (with 72 hours notice) that I am going next week. I have also been advised that continued lack of access to the property will negate much of her claim.

It strikes me as a little odd that the counter claim brings what is owed in arrears down to less than 2 months rent. I may be seeing something that isn't there but it does strike me that the solicitor knows her "report of repairs" won't stand up (none of them are in writing) which is why she is going for this damage thing.

Am i within my rights to demand to see evidence of said water damage? Plus receipts for the costs of the damaged items?

Really losing the will to live now, I just want the house back.


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My comment around the S21 was that it's worth confirming that you may still take the S21 route as I feel you can, ruling out the suggestion that this option has been prohibited ??

The greatest problem is that T's get the greater sympathy, to the point where we have to demonstrate innocence.

It's more than reasonable that all evidence to support claims should be demonstrated.

Also all statements should be made prior to a hearing to be considered and countered where possible.

But my cynicism reduces my confidence that the Judge will fairly apply these principles. I have seen new evidence presented on the day, remember there has been ample time to forward such to the court and the other side (you) as required, in theory.

On my day the Judge decided that new evidence was acceptable without opportunity being given to appraise for response, also remember the Judge is there to ensure fair play for the less informed the man in the street, in the somewhat informal County Court that was designed for use by those that need an easier way to settle disputes.

A solicitor of course may have been able to make the statement "under rule blah de blah we must ask for this NEW information to be rejected for reasons of....", us less aware can be caught on the hop.

So far here there are 2 sides to be considered, the T has made claims, so far unsubstantiated.

The Court is looking for a professional report to be able to appraise fairly, in theory.

I'm interested, in the Courts direction has the cost of the Surveyor been split 50/50 between you and the tax payer (Legal Aid) ?

Who is going to assess the heating system ?

I agree you have every right to request access to your property, she has the right to refuse and her being awkward should go against her. I would be cautious of being alone with this T, when writing to request a visit I would also suggest that she has opportunity to arrange for her representative to be present if desired.

Ahead you have much effort, developing an intelligent defence to this is heavy going, draft, read, amend.....

When done will it get the respect you hope for ?

As you are trying to lessen any impact it's all negative and difficult psychologically, the best you hope for is her out and no additional expense.

Like you my priority would be to repossess soonest.

There should soon be opportunity for mediation, if made aware I would imagine her Legal Aid would be affected if she fails to respond to this, you want this 'oportunity' prior to applying great effort.

Calculate your exposure, and best guess result (very difficult) and at mediation attempt a cheaper easier result than is likely otherwise, but no final agreement is possible for you while she has the power of possession.

Just my thoughts and I would imagine others could give value here, after all it could be many of us instead of you and the outcome has interest for us.

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Guest caravanj

Section 8's are fraught with potential problems because an unscrupulous T can make all sorts of wild claims & the Judge doesn't know you or the T so full witness hearings are often needed.

If you do a Section 21 all you need to show to the court is that the T has been given the correct 2 month's notice & has failed to leave the property. Any malicious false claims which your T makes & lies that she might tell are totally disregarded.

I can't see why an outstanding Section 8 should affect a new Section 21 since they use totally different criteria.

Don't bother with a solicitor, if you message me I'll give you more details of how to go about it legally but in a very cost-effective way.

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Guest caravanj

A garage is for cars, not storing property & a claim for damaged goods stored in a garage, especially one that is wooden, & therefore potentially leaky, will fail. I have a brand new house with a brick double garage & rain came under the doors & soaked some boxes of clothes but the builder said it was a garage & not intended as a store room.

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