Case Studies for Landlords
Below we have presented case studies of situations which we have dealt with in the past.
Want to get possession?
The tenants were a married man and his girlfriend, only using the property in the afternoons rather than the property being their primary residence. The female tenant was not paying any rent, sub-letting a room at the property on AirBnB, and damaging the communal parts of the property she shared with the landlord. The landlord decided it was time to evict his tenants and gain possession.
We served a Section 21 Notice to ensure that the court would grant possession at the first hearing, after which time if the tenants raised repair issues (which they themselves had caused) in order to have the money claim adjourned to a second hearing, the tenants would have to pay solicitors to draft a counterclaim as the tenants were no longer ‘in danger of losing their home’ as possession had already been given.
As a result, the landlord got an order for possession at court, got back the property, and the tenants failed to pursue their counterclaim, so the landlord got a county court judgment for over £6,000.
Unsure about eviction?
The tenant was a nurse who gave the landlords a series of excuses as to why he could not pay rent. After we had served Notices, the landlords worried that evicting the tenant would impact on his life and studies, and decided not to evict him.
Six months later the landlords contacted us again after he had failed to pay. Their mortgage company was threatening the loss of their own house, which was security for the mortgage on the rental property.
We served new Notices, brought a claim and evicted the tenant from the property. The landlords have arranged a repayment schedule with the bank to pay off their mortgage arrears. Our debt recovery arm has chased the tenant and has applied for an Attachment of Earnings order to have money paid to the landlords every month from the tenant’s salary to help pay off their debt to the bank.
Valid Section 21 Notice?
A landlord bought a property believing it to be a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), but the licence was in the name of the previous landlord rather than being attached to the property, and he needed to apply for another HMO licence in order to serve a valid Section 21 Notice. There were also issues with the validity of the Notice in that the expiry date had not allowed for the required time from the deemed date of service under the Civil Procedure Rules.
We helped the landlord complete the HMO application with the local authority, then when the application was registered as pending, we served new Notices.
The landlord then got back possession in the usual way for the part of the property deemed to be in the exclusive possession of the occupiers.
Deposit not registered?
A landlord did not have evidence as to whether a deposit had been registered in a government-backed scheme for previous tenancy agreements, as his conveyancing solicitor had failed to get that information when the landlord purchased a property with a sitting tenant.
The tenant refused to agree to a return of the deposit by way of set-off against the money that he owed in rent arrears, and refused to accept the deposit back by cheque, believing that not accepting the deposit would result in the landlord being unable to serve a Notice.
We carried out careful checks before serving a Section 21 Notice and bringing an accelerated claim, using recent case law and evidence, and attaching a witness statement to the claim to clarify any legal issues. The landlord got possession, although the tenant had significantly damaged the property.
No tenancy agreement?
The tenant had been in the property for many years, and had no written tenancy agreement, and had failed to keep the property clean or pay the full rent for a number of years, despite the landlord trying to intervene. The landlord wanted to sell the property to provide money for his daughter’s wedding in Bangladesh.
We established that the tenancy was probably a licence, but served both a statutory notice and a Notice to Quit, pleading both Notices ‘in the alternative’ in the claim. That way the court was left to decide whether the property was a statutory tenancy or a licence, and had the opportunity to grant possession on either ground.
The landlord got back possession of the property in order to sell it, and helped the tenant with an application to be re-housed by the local authority.