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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We entered into a Private Licence Agreement Scheme with our

Resolved Question:

We entered into a Private Licence Agreement Scheme with our Local Council who Licence an Agent to acquire property property for them for use as Temporary Accommodation. After 18 months of a three year Lease agreement we terminated the Lease with the Council's Agent, as per the Lease and the Council's Tenants we finally moved six weeks after the expiry date. After a further 2 weeks, to date, we still have not been returned the keys to the property by the Agent since the Council has not yet returned the keys to the Agent and declared the property from their perspective as "Void". We were paid as usual on time at the end of the month, even for the past six weeks over the lease. Since there is now nobody in our only property which we now wish to live in ourselves, and have had no other home except for the kindness of Friend for the past six weeks, can we enter our Property since there is no longer any binding agreement or lease between ourselves and the Council;s Agent? We just do not understand why they do not hand back the keys as they are paying for an empty property that they can no longer use?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

The Council's Agent has not formally handed the property back to you - have I understood that correct?

Customer:

Correct. Apparently the Agent is awaiting the Council to hand back the keys to the property and declare the property void. Although the Tenants left some weeks back, apparently the Agent thinks that there is specialist bed (?) that was supplied by the council still in the Property that needs to be collected at some time and this might be the cause of the delay? This seems utterly absurd that we are to await some odd event to regain our property from the Local Authority who appear to have no agreement to be in the Property since it's Agents Lease expired on 19th January, 2014 and they have moved out their Tenant? The Agent has no idea how long we will need to wait which we find very unfair, if not illegal?

Alex Watts :

Ok - in that case what you will need to seek in an Order for possession.

Alex Watts :

You need to serve a notice to quit and then apply to the Court for possession if it is not given back.

Alex Watts :

You need to complete form N5:

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n005-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You then submit this to Court and it will be listed for hearing and a Judge will decide whether to give possession.

Alex Watts :

You can also ask for Judgment on any arrears and sums owed.

Alex Watts :

But because this is a private dwelling you must get an order for possession

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

We thought that because we sought possession of our own, only property to live in ourselves, this ground was mandatory and not discretionary?

Alex Watts :

Yes but you still need to seek a Court Order for this.

Alex Watts :

You can't just go and change the locks or move in without this.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify matters for you?

Customer:

Alex, Yes I think so although I think you might agree the sheer lunacy of the situation... we are literally homeless and do not know how long for or what to do as far as accommodation is concerned as we do not know the time period involved! Have you an educated fairly rough guess how long it might take to go to court and get possession, etc?

Alex Watts : I agree, it makes no sense.
Alex Watts : It can take around 4-6 weeks to get an ordrt.
Alex Watts : order.
Alex Watts : I hope that helps.
Alex Watts : I am just off to bed now, so if you have any more questions I would be happy to answer them in the morning.
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