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Some Eviction Notice Advice Please

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Hello all, I'm looking for a bit of advice re: an eviction notice please.

From my understanding the LL doesn't need to give a reason. Also, he can't issue the S21 until the end of the month (due rent date). This info came from the letting agency, is this correct?

Taking into account of when the S21 can be issued and the two months notice we should be out of the property by the end of August. We have been here 10 years, made some considerable improvements at our cost and never missed a single rent payment, always on time. The LL has over 10 properties owns substantial farm land and houses, therefore doesn't need the house as an emergency for dwelling.

The LL has randomly appeared at our home on many occasions for varying different things over the years. Until very recently I just accepted it. Since the end of last year I've been asking him to stop, he told me it was his property and he could come whenever he wanted.

One week (recently) he turned up 3 times unannounced to ask us to move a garden toy (its been there for 6 years). The first occasion he saw me mowing the grass and jumped over the back fence, completely unannounced and out of the blue. The second was when my partner was home alone (she works from home all the time and is petrified of the LL). The third time he came when my partner was out the front alone. He was raising his voice having a go at her. I was around the back but could hear him. I asked him to leave and that all communications should be done via the agency. He raised his voice at me and threatened us with eviction if we didn't do as he said. I told him not to speak to us like that and to sling his hook. Off the back of all this he now wants us out.

There is a little more to this but don't want blabber on too much. But basically we have had to involve the police for a problematic neighbour. This has involved racial abuse and criminal damage among other things. The police have seen video footage, pictures, taken statements and are currently taking matters forward (the neighbour has been interviewed under caution and the police are inquiring with the council whether of not we can have CCTV fitted (some new scheme). However, the LL is friendly with this neighbour.

We believe the eviction is a revenge eviction because we told the LL that he can't threaten us with eviction as it is illegal, therefore we would go to the police. We also believe the fact I had the audcaity to tell the LL where to go and also involved the police regarding our neighbour that the LL is merely being vindictive.

To add to the complications, my partner is pregnant and is due at the end of the year. There has been some difficulties and she/we could do without the distress so I've proposed to the agency that we would like to stay until after the birth of the baby and move out as soon as January. The agency finds this reasonable and will put this to the LL. However I feel he will remain vindictive.

Moving forward, if we still receive the S21 at the end of the month we actually plan to ignore it. From here I understand that the LL has to apply to court to evict us, at which point we are looking at a court date around September time, is this correct?

As we actually plan to move in January anyway, I was thinking of trying to stall the whole eviction process to the point it's nearly the end of the year anyway.

Does anyone know how the court process works? I would present the eviction as vindictive and try to back it up with as much information as I can.

Also how human are the courts in these cases, i.e. all facts considered, difficult pregnancy, trying to limit the distress and the fact we have made a sensible proposal of leaving in January after the birth of our baby.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks and apols for the long post. It's just difficult times :-(

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Yikes. Don't know about this enough to give detailed advice. However if he has been unreasonable to you on numerous occasions - and delaying your exit to suit yourself fits - then do it.

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Worth a look here https://www.gov.uk/private-renting-evictions/accelerated-possession

I would be making as many requests for repairs as possible if i were in your situation and looking at thishttps://www.gov.uk/private-renting-evictions/harassment-and-illegal-evictions

You may have a good case for harassment

Edited by long time lurking

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You may have a good case for harassment

I believe the Police have spoken to the LL about our neighbour (they asked me for LL's details). At that time I made them aware that the LL had threatened to evict a couple of weeks before.

Immediately after the eviction threat I phoned the letting agency (call recorded) and explained what had happened.

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Is your deposit in one of the protected schemes?

Hi, I believe it is.

Is it better for us if it was?

If it is not in a protected scheme, does the LL need to move it into one before serving the S21?

Tks

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The advice from my local Citizens Advice was the LL had to give 2 months notice for an eviction. Then when this had expired he needed to get a court order.

In London (when I asked) it was taking approx 6 weeks to get into court and get that order. Citizens Advice were active in some cases and knew the timing then. The other useful advice I received was from my local council who had a private tenants help team. This is probably going to be different in your area (the time frame). 6 weeks seemed unusually fast.

It was a "rubber stamp" though, Citizens Advice said, for the LL to always get a possession order from the court IF the LL had followed all the correct procedures.

The Citizens Advice said as long as there was no breach of procedure for the eviction notice and timings and then there was no defense of the possession order. You have already had some good advice of what could constitute a breach of the eviction notice.

However there were some things that one could do to try and stop the court costs being awarded to the LL as well or at least to argue about with him and try and stop him going to court.

One thing that Citizens Advice I could do regarding the costs was to argue/prove that my LL was acting rashly in going to court.

In my case I was intending to leave anyway and my LL and his lawyer had been informed of the date. I argued with his lawyer that the court may well give my LL possession but as he knew the date I was leaving on (and he had been paid rent for the time) I was going to attend the hearing and make this clear.

Therefore arguing that the LL should pay his own costs due to his unreasonable behaviour. Why go to court when I was intending to leave anyway and the LL had been informed of the date?

I had Legal Expenses cover under my household insurance and used this in the end to get advice and help.

It was then agreed that I would move out on the date I specified (which was after the end of LL's notice period) and my LL did not go to court in the end.

Edited by Flopsy

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If it isn't protected I believe he has to give it back before serving the s21. The S21 is not a possession order, for that he has to go to court which will take months. I would tell him when you intend to leave and make it clear when the S21 is enforced , ie the day you are supposed to move out, that you won't be leaving without a court order. All landlord visits should be in writing with 24 hours notice and you are entitled to refuse them. Keep a record of unauthorised visits preferably with video evidence. Bear in mind you are unlikely to get a reference if you intend to rent again.

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Not sure of the legality but it might be wise to change the locks if the LL has malicious intent against you and your wife. If he's already being unreasonable he may get worse if you don't comply with the eviction notice.

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On reflection, here's what I'd do: get out of there ASAP and settle into your new place before the baby arrives. Do it on your own timetable, not the landlord's or the court's, surely that will be less stressful. Otherwise you'll be moving house and possibly dealing with a court case, an unreasonable landlord and hostile neighbours at the same time as having a newborn and that will be far from ideal.

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I believe the Police have spoken to the LL about our neighbour (they asked me for LL's details). At that time I made them aware that the LL had threatened to evict a couple of weeks before.

Immediately after the eviction threat I phoned the letting agency (call recorded) and explained what had happened.

Well you have it all documented and the timeline fits your agenda, build your case it will only cost the LL you can only gain i would pay the local Citizen advice bureau a visit

Don`t ask for the TDS number if you have not already got it just incase it`s not in one ,as the chances are if it goes down the court route the LL could well try to recover some of the csts via the deposit ,if it`s not been put into a tds scheme you can claim three times the value of the deposit from them (providing theres proof of a request for the deposit to be placed in a TDS) of if you have proof of the LL claiming it has,,,, all new contracts must be placed in one but i think (not 100% on this bit) existing tenancies prior to the ruling have to be requested

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On reflection, here's what I'd do: get out of there ASAP and settle into your new place before the baby arrives. Do it on your own timetable, not the landlord's or the court's, surely that will be less stressful. Otherwise you'll be moving house and possibly dealing with a court case, an unreasonable landlord and hostile neighbours at the same time as having a newborn and that will be far from ideal.

This is what I would do too. It's not worth the hassle.

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Thanks for all these replies.

The latest is that the agent went back to mediate us leaving at the beginning of the year due to the pregnancy and the difficulties my partner has had (remove the distress). However the LL has remained vindictive (I did call him a spineless coward for threatening to evict a pregnant women when she was alone on the drive. I called him a molusc that needed to grow a backbone).

As the relationship has broken down, I asked the agency for reassurances that the LL knows he cannot attend the property. Or I will report the LL for continous harrassment. The agency has done this.

We moved in nearly 10 years to the day and asked the agency about the deposit being protected. He stumbled and first said that he was he that it was. Then said that it was. I have good reason to believe that he didn't know and as a result it may not be protected.

My partner has taken the timing badly. Myself, I've wanted to leave for a while. However I want to do whats best. If that means digging in my heels and waiting for a judge to tell us to leave then so be it (hopefully this wont be until Sep/Oct)

The agency says they can serve the S21 before the due date (however it will be forward dated). Is this correct?

I've instructed the agency not to attend the property due to my partners distress and said they can deal with me directly via email, mobile or snail mail. Because of this, I assume the S21 will arrive recorded delivery. What if I never receive this S21? i.e. proof I've never signed for it? Do I just continue as normal and if I receive a bundle from the court, simply reply and say I have not had a S21?

If we go to court am I liable for costs? I'm going to say the eviction was a revenge eviction.

I'm retrospectively reporting the LL to the police for harressment. According to the Shelter website, threatening eviction is illegal. I know it cannot be proved but the Police have a duty to investigate (visit him). I'll use the incident number in court (unless he is daft as a brush and admits it) ..... The police are already aware of this threat through involving the Police with the neighbour. This pre-dates the agency notifiying us that the LL wants to evict us.

Any suggestions or advice please?

I've also got some issues with the property so will start a new thread. Please take a look.

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Really sorry that this has deteriorated for you and causing so much stress.

I don't know the legality of the TDS scheme, your deposit and the S21 because your tenancy predates the TDS. Is that right (tenancy was before the TDS)?

Our LL at the time the scheme was introduced did not put our deposit in the scheme and when I took advice then I was told that we were not covered as the tenancy predated the scheme. However, there have been amendments since then and sure to have been so test cases and case law. Hopefully someone will know.

The LL needs to prove to the court that you have had the S21 but if you appear in person and defend the case you will be asked if you knew it was coming etc and if you make it hard for them to serve it then it's up to the magistrate to decide the merits of that defense.

If they fail to send it or date it wrongly that's another story of course....

All the S21's we have had were dated for the end of our tenancy and received at the start. There have been separate threads here on the legality of that.

The cost costs are normally awarded to the LL (i.e. you pay) as serving the S21 and then getting the eviction notice from the court is "rubberstamped" according to my local Citizens Advice. Citizens Advice told me that even confusion on the date of the S21 could end with the LL still being granted possession but the costs could be argued over. Depends what case I put up.

However, when I took legal advice and then dealt with my own LL's lawyer it was agreed that because I had given them a date I would be moving out on and paying rent this would be a grey area and the courts could take a dim view of the LL going to court to enforce my eviction (as it would only have been a short time between the two).

Edited by Flopsy

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However, there have been amendments since then and sure to have been so test cases and case law. Hopefully someone will know.

Last year, a decision was made in a matter commonly referred to as the Superstrike case about a deposit that remained unprotected as the tenancy pre-dated the introduction of the legislation.

When the fixed term ended, the tenancy became periodic and the deposit remained unprotected. During this time, a notice to quit was served by the landlord, which the court decided was unlawful, as the deposit had not been protected in an appropriate scheme and the relevant information provided to the tenant. This subsequently delayed the landlord’s ability to gain vacant possession.

The Superstrike case confirms that when a fixed term expires, a periodic tenancy is regarded as a new agreement and the deposit paid originally is, therefore, subject to the mandatory rules governing protection.

If you have any assured shorthold tenancy agreements that pre-date April 6 2007 and the fixed term has come to an end, you should ensure the deposit is protected and supply your tenant with information about the scheme you choose. Make sure you keep records that this has been done.

If you want to serve a notice to quit, you should appreciate that the court may impose a financial penalty for late deposit protection. That said, without adhering to the rules, you will not be granted a possession order and you will be unable to remove the tenant in the timescale you require.

Any deposit taken against an assured shorthold tenancy signed after April 6 2007 should already be protected in an approved scheme. If this has been overlooked, it should be rectified immediately to avoid future delays.

There are three organisations providing deposit protection to landlords and letting agents – the Deposit Protection Service, Tenancy Deposit Scheme and MyDeposits. They are all supported by dedicated call centres and advocate alternative dispute resolution to help settle disagreements arising from the return of a bond and proposed deductions without issuing legal proceedings. Even if you embark on this process, both parties retain the right to go to court.

There is speculation about the impact of the Superstrike decision on deposits taken against statutory periodic tenancies that were created when an assured shorthold agreement with a protected deposit expired. Likewise the status of protected deposits relating to the renewal of an assured shorthold tenancy is also in question. These issues were not addressed directly by the court and I would recommend contacting a solicitor for further guidance.

http://www.tayloremmet.co.uk/blsblog/old-tenancies-can-still-be-subject-to-new-rules-april-2014/

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