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humpie

Possession Of Property

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To my fellow housepricecrash participants

I have been renting a flat since April of this year, with a minimum tenancy period of 6 months (it says in my contract that the landlord needs to give 2 months notice for us to vacate, though only can do this AFTER the first 6 months). Today a 'claim form for possession of the property' was delivered in the name of our landlord. A bank is claiming possession of the property due to arrears related to the mortgage. A court date is set in July, where it says in the documents received that it will be determined whether the landlord has to leave the property.

Does anyone know whether I can be asked to leave the property as the tenant, even though I signed a tenancy contract which at minimum ends this October (i.e. six months from this April when I started)?

Many thanks

Humpilina

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To my fellow housepricecrash participants

I have been renting a flat since April of this year, with a minimum tenancy period of 6 months (it says in my contract that the landlord needs to give 2 months notice for us to vacate, though only can do this AFTER the first 6 months). Today a 'claim form for possession of the property' was delivered in the name of our landlord. A bank is claiming possession of the property due to arrears related to the mortgage. A court date is set in July, where it says in the documents received that it will be determined whether the landlord has to leave the property.

Does anyone know whether I can be asked to leave the property as the tenant, even though I signed a tenancy contract which at minimum ends this October (i.e. six months from this April when I started)?

Many thanks

Humpilina

Speak to a solicitor re. this matter ;)

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I imagine that Shelter's website would give you useful info on this.

By the way, as the letter came to your address, probably the LL has a residential mortgage and has not informed the lender that he has sub-let which I think might invalidate your contract but I'm really not sure on that so do get proper advice

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Assuming yours is an Shorthold Assured Tenancy, then according to this page, you can be evicted if the landlord's mortgage lender is repossessing the property.

I'm no lawyer, but guess that the logic is because a SAT is a contract between the tenant and landlord. If a landlord fails to keep up his or her mortgage payments and the property is repossessed, (s)he has failed to honour the terms of that contract, and so there are two different disputes taking place: between you and your landlord, and between the landlord and lender. I'd have thought that in such a situation (tenant is evicted due to repo before the fixed term of the SAT is up), the tenant would have an open and shut case of negligence against the landlord, and could possibly even make a complaint of fraud (criminal offence) to the police if it could be proved that the landlord knew - at least of the possibility - that (s)he wouldn't be able to let the flat for the full term of the tenancy. But that requires the tenant to take expensive legal action, and if the landlord's broke anyway, the chances of recovering any money aren't going to be high.

I imagine that this is going to become a bigger problem as the HPC bites and more BTL properties are repossessed. Is there any further protection for tenants who rent through agencies in this situation? Are agencies required to guarantee the property's availability for the term of the lease or pay compensation if they can't? If this starts happening on any significant scale, I can see there being calls for regulation and/or legislation to cover this situation.

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Thanks both for your useful comments. I also got some advice that I would have to leave if the bank possesses the property, but that I could take legal recourse against the landlord for breech of contract. Hopefully it won't come to that! :D

Humpilina

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I also got some advice that I would have to leave if the bank possesses the property, but that I could take legal recourse against the landlord for breech of contract.

Can't see that doing you any favours, if they can't afford to pay the mortgage (given that you are paying rent on the place) I can't see you would ever get a penny out of them, my personal preference would be to find somewhere else and just leave ASAP, I'd also be inclined to stop paying the rent given that it is likely to be going straight in to the landlords pocket anyway.

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To my fellow housepricecrash participants

I have been renting a flat since April of this year, with a minimum tenancy period of 6 months (it says in my contract that the landlord needs to give 2 months notice for us to vacate, though only can do this AFTER the first 6 months). Today a 'claim form for possession of the property' was delivered in the name of our landlord. A bank is claiming possession of the property due to arrears related to the mortgage. A court date is set in July, where it says in the documents received that it will be determined whether the landlord has to leave the property.

Does anyone know whether I can be asked to leave the property as the tenant, even though I signed a tenancy contract which at minimum ends this October (i.e. six months from this April when I started)?

Many thanks

Humpilina

This happened to me in January 2006 on a property I was renting whilst working away from home.

If the lender is aware of your tenancy then you have an 'interest' in the property and you can't just be thrown out.

If the lender is not aware of your tenancy then you have no rights, and you'd better not be there when the bailiffs come to change the locks.

Speak to the lender's legal representatives to find out if the lender knows the property is rented out. Then you can plan ahead. It's a PITA, but that's life. Send me a 'private' with your 'phone number if you want to discuss further.

[edit]Naturally, this will result in extra costs for you. Unusually for a landlord, I'm going to agree that you shouldn't pay any more rent (to cover your costs), and you can then play merry hell with the letting agents to make sure you get your full deposit back - point out that they didn't make the fundamental check that the landlord was not entitled to rent the place out (if appropriate). I can probably dig out electronic versions of my (particularly arsey) correspondence with the letting agent if it helps. [/editd]

Edited by JohnG

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Many thanks John, that is very helpful. I suspect the bank is not aware that the landlord is renting the flat out as we still get his mail and I seem to remember it saying on the court document something along the lines that the bank is not aware of anyone other than the landlord living there. Am planning to contact the soliciter for the bank and let them know - thanks very much for this advice!!!!!!!!! Do you know how much time they need to give us to move out in the sad case that it comes to the bank repossessing? Am a bit scared of not paying the rent - guess I'm a wimp! :o

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Many thanks John, that is very helpful. I suspect the bank is not aware that the landlord is renting the flat out as we still get his mail and I seem to remember it saying on the court document something along the lines that the bank is not aware of anyone other than the landlord living there. Am planning to contact the soliciter for the bank and let them know - thanks very much for this advice!!!!!!!!! Do you know how much time they need to give us to move out in the sad case that it comes to the bank repossessing? Am a bit scared of not paying the rent - guess I'm a wimp! :o

What's the address? Check what he paid for it and what the current value of an equivalent property is. Then tell Revenue & Customs also as he probably has a Capital Gains Tax liability and possibly income tax liability!

https://www.taxevasionhotline.co.uk/

Edited by Warwick-Watcher

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Many thanks John, that is very helpful. I suspect the bank is not aware that the landlord is renting the flat out as we still get his mail and I seem to remember it saying on the court document something along the lines that the bank is not aware of anyone other than the landlord living there. Am planning to contact the soliciter for the bank and let them know - thanks very much for this advice!!!!!!!!! Do you know how much time they need to give us to move out in the sad case that it comes to the bank repossessing? Am a bit scared of not paying the rent - guess I'm a wimp! :o

I'm surprised you didn't get a date with the original court correspondence.

My suggestion is to contact the lender's solicitors and ask them to confirm on what date they will be taking posession, then arrange to be out soon before that date.

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What's the address? Check what he paid for it and what the current value of an equivalent property is. Then tell Revenue & Customs also as he probably has a Capital Gains Tax liability and possibly income tax liability!

https://www.taxevasionhotline.co.uk/

Nope. Not if he has ever lived in it, there is unlikely to be any CGT to pay.

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Thanks John, that is a very helpful suggestion. I told the solicitor working on behalf of the bank reposessing that there are tenants living in the flat, and she said she would make a note of it. However, the day after I told her, her company sent to the landlady a witness statement that would be relied upon on the hearing, which contained information about the original mortgage agreement, but made no mention of the fact that tenants were living there. The witness statement was dated the day after I told her this. Does anyone know whether the solicitor is obliged to tell the court that there are tenants living in the flat? If not, is there anyway we can ensure that the court knows (e.g. attending the hearing and blurting it out??? lolol). Given that the landlady has not told her bank that there are tenants living there, I would not reply on her! Just a bit concerned as I figure if the court knows tenants are living there, they might grant us more time to move out. Extremely grateful for any help.

Humpie

Edited by humpie

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Unfortunately, the courts aren't allowed to care if you are in there or not.

We are back to 'interest' in the property. If you are in there with the lender's permission the courts have to take your presence into account. If not, be gone when the bailiffs turn up.

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Hello my housecrash friends

In relation to the above exchange, I received today a letter dated 5 July (the court date was 4 July) from the solicitor working on behalf of the bank. The letter says 'we confirm that we have today sent a letter to the Court asking that the possession proceedings in relation to the above property be adjourned generally with liberty to restore.'

Does this mean the bank is no longer seeking repossession and I will not be thrown out? If so, I will be running wildly through the streets. :lol:

Many thanks

Humpie

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Hello my housecrash friends

In relation to the above exchange, I received today a letter dated 5 July (the court date was 4 July) from the solicitor working on behalf of the bank. The letter says 'we confirm that we have today sent a letter to the Court asking that the possession proceedings in relation to the above property be adjourned generally with liberty to restore.'

Does this mean the bank is no longer seeking repossession and I will not be thrown out? If so, I will be running wildly through the streets. :lol:

Many thanks

Humpie

It means you're OK for now, but they could continue the proceedings from where they left off at any time.

If I were you I'd use the reprieve to look for somewhere else, knowing that you have a bit of time on your side.

HTH.

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