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Landlord says he's starting legal proceedings TODAY.....How much time have we got??

(80 Posts)
swiperfox Mon 23-May-05 11:04:24

He is adamant that we are behind in rent (which we are now, but not as much as he says) We have another house to go to but can't go for about another 10 days or so....

Once he has started proceedings how quickly can he throw us out??

giraffeski Mon 23-May-05 11:05:22

Message withdrawn

jampots Mon 23-May-05 11:07:49

months from what I remember. I think he's still got to serve you notice and then some. Ring him up and tell him you'll be gone soon and see if you can sort out some kind of instalment payments. Also waste some time arguing over the amount he thinks you owe!

jampots Mon 23-May-05 11:07:49

months from what I remember. I think he's still got to serve you notice and then some. Ring him up and tell him you'll be gone soon and see if you can sort out some kind of instalment payments. Also waste some time arguing over the amount he thinks you owe!

swiperfox Mon 23-May-05 11:08:48

Kill my landlord? lol

As long as it takes him longer to get us out than we have to wait for the new house we'll be ok. I'm just worried that if he goes to court he can just come and literally throw us out!!

Nemo1977 Mon 23-May-05 11:09:40

i think even with legal action u have 14-28days

horseshoe Mon 23-May-05 11:15:15

SF,

When did he send you letter saying to be out on 31st?

When exactly will you be moving?

What terms does your contract give.

Basically, he needs to give you 3 months notice in writing.

He cannot access the property while you occupy it unless he has your agreement 24 hours beforehand.

Court proceedings take ages. If he is trying to get you out he needs to demonstrate he has given reasonable notice.

DO NOT admit to anything or say you'll sort out a payment arrangment. This could be seen as an admission of guilt and you could be liable for more than you owe.

Write to him stating your grievances about damp etc telling him that he is in breach of the contract that you signed .... Always send recorded and keep copies. Also state in your letter that he is to converse with you through letters only.

horseshoe Mon 23-May-05 11:19:39

legally, it is 2 months notice.

I have just received an eviction notice - what should I do?

First of all, don't panic. No one is going to make you leave your home straight away - by law you have to be given two months' notice and after this period a court order must be obtained. You have rights to appeal if you do not think your landlord has reason to apply for your eviction (see below). However, you do need to take action as soon as possible. For more information please contact us on 0800 074 6918 or email us at: info@insolvencyhelpline.co.uk.

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My landlord is threatening to repossess- can they do that?

There are certain circumstances where a landlord is entitled to retake possession of the property. These include the following:

You are behind with your rent payments by more than eight weeks or two months.
The tenant has damaged the property.
Breach of a term in the tenancy agreement.
You refuse or delay vital maintenance work to the building.
The tenant dies - no tenancy rights are passed to other members of the tenant's family.
The property was the landlord's home at some time in the past and they now need it as his or her principal private residence.
The owner has gone bankrupt and the property is being repossessed.
The lender is repossessing the property and wishes to sell it.
The property is condemned to demolition or reconstruction.
You lied about yourself to gain residence of the property in the first place.
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I think my landlord is acting illegally - what can I do?

Tenants are protected by law against illegal eviction. Landlords who evict tenants by any means other than serving notice requiring possession via the Eviction Act of 1977 can face prosecution. If you think you are being illegally evicted, you should seek immediate advice through a solicitor or your local Citizens Advice Bureau as you have the right to apply for a court injunction to be allowed back into the property. The landlord may even be liable for an unlimited fine and up to two years' imprisonment.

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What is an assured shorthold tenancy - does this give me any other rights?

Since February 1997, all new private sector tenancies are assumed to be assured shorthold tenancies unless the agreement states otherwise or the landlord gives written notice that it is not.

A letting cannot be an assured or shorthold tenancy if:

the tenancy began before 15 January, 1989;
it is a company or holiday let;
no rent, a very low rent or a very high rent is charged;
the landlord lives at or shares the premises.
There are also some exceptions for former public sector rented accommodation being transferred to the private sector and where a long lease comes to an end.

Assured shorthold tenancies - the facts

Under new legislation, there is no longer a requirement for the tenancy to be for at least six months.

However, a court cannot grant an order of possession during the first six months of the tenancy except in limited circumstances; the most common of these are:

rent arrears of at least eight weeks
death of the tenant
mortgagee exercising power of sale
demolition or reconstruction of the property
tenant has breached the terms of the agreement
tenant or other person in occupation has allowed the property to fall into disrepair
After six months the landlord can apply to the court for possession, as long as the tenant has been given two months' notice.

When the original tenancy agreement comes to an end, the tenancy can either be terminated or the landlord can choose to let the tenancy continue as a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. The terms and conditions of the original tenancy still apply and the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving two months' notice at any time in the future.

If the landlord does not renew the agreement, the tenant can stay on until the landlord gives notice that he or she wants to repossess the property.

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My resident landlord is threatening to evict me and says he does not need a court order - is this true?

The rules are different for resident landlords. Tenants who move in to a property also occupied by the landlord are only entitled to receive the notice agreed at the start of the tenancy and the landlord does not need a court order to evict them.

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For more information please contact us on 0800 074 6918 or email us at: info@insolvencyhelpline.co.uk.

swiperfox Mon 23-May-05 11:23:46

Thanks horseshoe.....

We got the letter saying be out by the 31st about a week or so ago..I've just got to go to the post office but i'll dig it out and check for sure.

Reading all that I reckon he'll go for repossession due to us being behind with rent - does he still have to give certain notice for that?

horseshoe Mon 23-May-05 11:28:21

Are you behind more than two months??

Thats how I read it though!! He must give 2 months.

plus when he sent the eviction notice were you 2 months behind? By that I read that if you were not, that notice is illegal.

horseshoe Mon 23-May-05 11:31:02

I'd also quote this act to him in a letter......

Tenants are protected by law against illegal eviction. Landlords who evict tenants by any means other than serving notice requiring possession via the Eviction Act of 1977 can face prosecution.

By according to this is 2 months

merglemergle Mon 23-May-05 12:10:34

Swiperfox-have just skimmed this-baby asleep-so really sorry if duplicating other advice. Basically, (and ML has turned brain to mush here a bit but-). The grounds on which he can evict you will depend on the terms of your tennancy agreement. If you have been there less than 6 months, chances are you have a shorthold assured tennancy which allows him to evict you at end with no reason at all. To evict before-I think its about 2 months rent arrears but am not sure.

To evict you he must go to court. However, I doubt VERY much he'd get a court date within 10 days.

He MIGHT still take you to court for arrears once you've moved out of the property. More likely, he'll pocket your deposit. If you think this is unreasonable given amount of arrears, state of house etc then of course, you can take him to small claims court.

What he can't do is turn up on your doorstep and throw you out. He can only do that once he has been to court and got them to agree that you have to leave. If he threatens or harasses you, call the police. Rent arrears/eviction are a civil matter, harassment/intimidation are criminal. If you think things might go that way, notify the police every time and keep a log.

Good luck. If need be, go to the CAB or your local council may well have a housing advisory service.

merglemergle Mon 23-May-05 12:13:15

Going to make this absolutely clear-he can only evict you at end of shorthold assured tenancy, eg if it were a 6 month agreement he can evict you at end wihtout reason. But if you have been there longer, it may have turned into a different kind of tenancy. In any case, he must ultimately take you to court to get you out.

Don't panic, he can't do anything if you are leaving in 10 days, except take your deposit.

almostanangel Mon 23-May-05 12:30:23

[hugs]]]]]]]]]

swiperfox Mon 23-May-05 14:28:15

Thanks so much guys - it has really put my mind to rest to know that whatever he does he can't just turn up and kick us out!!

He can have the deposit. We are probably owe him that much anyway as we decided that with the money for this months rent (plus the extra 300 a month he's been demanding) that we would just use it as a deposit for somewhere else.

swiperfox Mon 30-May-05 13:15:54

update - I amended the original letter that i was going to send and didn't say anything about paying rent - just that we needed to check our bank statements against what he was sayiong we had(n't) paid, and that he hadn't bothered to fix the damp etc.

Got a letter back yesterday saying...

'Thank you for your letter......please find enclised rent book which shows you are £1600 in arrears......(only a printed page with details since March - not the bit we are querying)......I would reiterate that as agreed with you if all the outstanding monies are not paid before 31st May then you should ensure that you vacate the property immediately as you will be being contacted with regard to vacating the property, this can eother be carried out amicably or by means of eviction.'

It then goes on about the damp and that he didn't know it was still a problem and that he will now (after being there for 2.6 years) change the bedroom windows to meet with fire regulations.

SO.....what do we do now??? Do we say ok, give us 2 weeks to get somewhere and we'll drop all the issues?

Freckle Mon 30-May-05 16:42:33

I'd write back saying "Thank you very much for your response. Unfortunately the evidence provided with regard to alleged rent arrears is not sufficiently clear for us to complete our own enquiries. Could you please provide us with a copy of all payments made by us and indicate exactly what payments you claim we have missed? Please provide this information with 14 days of the date of this letter.

We are pleased to note that you are now prepared to alter the windows so that they comply with fire regulations. Please let us know when you plan to carry out this work so that we can arrange access."

And start looking for another flat quickly.

swiperfox Mon 30-May-05 17:13:26

Thanks Freckle - sounds perfect- will definately write that. We have got another house, our moving in date got delayed though so hopefully we can be gone from here by the end of this week. I'm just worried now that as tomorrow is 31st he can come round and do something to get us out there and then. I found something in our contract that made me worry...hang on will try to find it......

almostanangel Mon 30-May-05 17:15:24

hi hun!!!!!!!!!!

swiperfox Mon 30-May-05 17:19:13

ok this is from the 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement' which we were given when we moved in. (Says the Term is for 12 months so does that mean that it's now void as it was 2.6 years ago??)

Forfeiture: In the case of non-payment of rent within 14 days of the due daye whether legally demanded or not, the Landlord may re-enter and take possession of the premises and thenceforth the tenancy shall cease and be determined but without prejudice to any antecendant claim which the landlord may have against the tenant'

What does that mean??

swiperfox Mon 30-May-05 17:19:44

hellooo!

almostanangel Mon 30-May-05 17:20:55

ok??

swiperfox Mon 30-May-05 17:22:18

yep-think so!! how's you doing?

almostanangel Mon 30-May-05 17:23:12

dito

MrsBubsDeVere Mon 30-May-05 17:25:22

H, MSN?

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