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Possession date given, also hearing,any advice or tips


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well,I finally have a possession date from the courts through the accelerated possession route after serving S21.

My tenants have submitted a defence(this was late after the 14 day cut off date , I had already sent in my request for possession date to be given )

so the hearing is a couple od days before the possession date to hear the tenants extra time plea.

I am not sure what their defence is as the court have not sent me a copy, but are going to now .

Just a couple of questions

Do I have the opportunity to question this defence, if so how do I address the judge...

Any advice as to how to conduct myself and any tips would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks in advance


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Ma'm and Sir would be my guess ??

A trick Shelter pulled on me was to produce evidence on the day, I know now I should have asked for it to be inadmissible as there hadn't been time for me to assess and counter the argument. I think such a request would have been ignored anyway.

I thought the only defence against a S21 was for the notice or service to be faulty. Of course a T can request for extension of 42 days before eviction. This should be for exceptional hardship cases that you could argue don't apply.

What area are you attending Court ?

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Hi Cor


Attending up north, so along way from me .

I thought that a s21 could not be challenged apart from wrong paperwork, but I think it is the extension before eviction they are going for.

If its hardship I have a secret weapon(can discuss after hearing)

Can I ask what would your argument be if your tenant pleaded hardship?

Nervous but trying to be positve and fully prepared.

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Have send you a private message julles.

Also contact the court and request details of the defence, you dont want to be unprepared and see it on the day of the hearing.

Some of the defences to a s21 could be:

1 Incorrect dates

2 Incorrectly served

3 Conditions put on the s21 such as "i wont enforce it if you pay the arrears" It is a unconditional notice.

4 The precribed info missing from the s21

5 Deposit not protected or precribed info given.

6 S21 served before deposit protected and P I given.

7 S21 served before the tenancy started.

8 New tenancy granted after s21 served.

9 Tenant under 18 (not sure about this one)

The list goes on but that is some of the main ones but I am sure LAW could come out with many more.

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Hi Grampa

Thanks, the info you sent is helpful,

I am pretty sure I have all the points you mention above covered, I hope that I have served the s21 completely correctly , have all deposit protected etc.

Your posts and those of other regulars have been very helpful.

Court wouldn't tell me on phone , said they would send me a copy(thought they were supposed to anyway) wonder if they will email me a copy as I am worried it won't arrive in time .Off to ring them again now

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I would have thought the response would be dependant on the 'exceptional hardship' they are claiming applies.

What makes their hardship 'exceptional', everyone in this situation will suffer hardship and inconvenience so what makes theirs exceptional ?

More often there are events that lead up to the S21, sometimes this may be considered a fore warning for them to act and find new accom, the fact they have failed to be proactive surely is their own fault.

Then there are the lead times before Court. I'll bet there is already going to be a greater time than the 42 days before 'out'. They should have addressed their situation earlier.

Just my thoughts, I don't know if they have value and we know where the sympathies will be directed.

My reason for asking where is that I have interest to see if we experience regional differences in attitude and result.

My experience of Rhyl is that it's a Court of Toyland.

I have property in Accrington, without personal experience I believe the abusers may not be 'cotton woolled' so much.

As for my Manchester, Derbyshire ans Staffordshire situations I would research more as needed.

You're welcome to a cuppa if around the Peak District.

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A further thought,

we aren't allowed to claim for our time but 45p per mile and such things as lunch and maybe over night costs may be possible ??

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thankyou for the offer of a cuppa, I didn't realise that was your location,I pass by that way but its a bit far off,but thanks that was very kind of you.

I will let you know about the courts in the area I am visiting.

They have had loads of time , including the christmas/new year amnesty from the courts .

I am prepared for a bit longer though.

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On the basis that there is no defence the judge can only postpone the date for possession for up to 42 days on the grounds of "exceptional hardship" exceptional hardship is not defined but must go beyond just being made homeless. What should have happened in this instance is the judge should have granted you an order for possession in 14 days if he was satified that the conditions for an order were made out. Then set the matter down for a hearing in relation to the postponement issue (civil procedure rules 55 Practice Direction 8.1) with a hearing within 14 days. The courts usually ignore this rule and just set the matter down for a hearing. If at the date of the hearing the judge decides that there will be exceptional hardship then the original order can be varied to a later date. The rule if followed ensures that there is no undue delay, but as I said the court regularly ignore this rule.

In relation to the hardship issue it can always be argued from two points of view;

Example 1

Single person no ill health, therefore no exceptional hardship. Wrong, a single person has no priority for housing, their housing benefit payment level is restricted, therefore it will be much harder for a single person to secure accommodation and they should be given more time. A judge will take this point.

Example 2

Family with 3 children all under 5 one suffering from poor health, obvious exceptional hardship. Wrong, in this case the earlier the possession date the better, a councils duty to re-house only arises if the applicant is homeless or in threat of homelessness within 28 days, any health issues can be taken into account via a medical needs and or community care assessment.

What the above highlights is that it is down to mitigating your position, factors such as the tenant's failure to pay rent, landlords financial/housing/social circumstances are also good points to raise.

After you have run your argument, you need to remind the judge of PD 55 para 8, so that the postponed date (if any) runs from the initial date the claim came before the court and not some artificial date set by the judge.

You can PDF me the order if you have it.

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Hi Law

Yes courts have given me a date which is next week,and also set hearing date ,also next week.

Thankyou I will send the copy of order for you to take a look

The court won't tell me over phone (are sending it in post)what the tenants have put as their defence .

I guess the extra time is asked for.

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A trick Shelter pulled on me was to produce evidence on the day, I know now I should have asked for it to be inadmissible as there hadn't been time for me to assess and counter the argument. I think such a request would have been ignored anyway.

Hi Cor

what happend in this case , did you get possession granted that day or did it get adjourned ?

I still have not recieved a copy of their plea,despite calling court 3 times this week, they won't email or fax but do say I can have a copy when I arrive at court....:unsure:

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The S21 in that situation went through unopposed.

I took the T to court later for unpaid rents. The defence was that there was agreement that the T could do works in lieu of rents. The info received pre court was easy to answer to, in my opinion. On the day photos, B&Q enet print outs were put forward to justify a value. When I said there was no evidence to suggest agreement a spread sheet was produced purported to have been given by me. Surprised I could only say that I was unaware of what the paper was. Rather than express surprise I would have been better stating that if it had relevance then it should have been produced earlier as required by procedure.

Where I did let myself down was being totally unprepared for the 'summing up'. I believed that I had presented a good case but not expecting a summing up I made a mess of it.

My claim was dismissed on the basis that I should have pursued earlier instead of allowing it to run to close on £3k

The County Court is supposedly an inexpensive, informal way for the lay person to gain justice. In practice there are formalities to be observed and the Judge expects this, certainly from us.

I've experienced a disrespectful defendant gain sympathies. Dressed down and behaving slovenly with attitude also the judge was creating his defence until I made him aware that the offer of mediation had been totally ignored. Then I gained some consideration (this is the £750I mentioned in the other thread ). This was 'mediated' by the Judge from the claim of £1.6k. I was then informed that payments are no longer paid through the Court, so I must chase it.

Cynically I now view the County Court as the Court of Toyland. Those that accept responsibility in contract aren't held to account the responsibility. When we gain an award the likelihood of gaining benefit is still a gamble dependant the risk of further expense.

The Court doesn't seem to appreciate that for us to be in Court we have already lost much and cannot achieve total recovery from time, stress, monies. Somehow the situation feels to be of our own doing.

LAW's input may well be of benefit to show the more naive of us how to achieve a reasonable result.

Rant over, cuppa time.

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Yippeee...got possession date confirmed :) ..no extra time given to tenant.

they didn't turn up anyway...I know why so not bothered as property empty, keys through door , so possession goes ahead on wednesday.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and giving advice ....and for Law taking time to with your extra help.

Was a bit nerve racking as it was all new to me but the judge was very nice (it was a lady )she also added my petrol costs (quite a bit as along way from my home )and of course the court costs but whether I actually get it is another matter

Just for reference in case anyone else has a similar plea from their tenant having no where to go ,and having a baby are not considered as extreme hardship...

so onwards now and start searching for that perfect tenant :D

Thankyou everyone

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