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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I confirm some information with you please:
1) When did the fixed term of your tenancy expire?2) On what date each month is rent payable according to your agreement?3) On what date was the s21 notice served?4) On what date is the noticed dated to expire (the move out date)?5) Has the landlord protected your deposit?
1/. 16th. Nov 2013
2/. 16th Month.
3/. Dated 11th. Feb 2014 to expire 16th April 2014
5/. Deposit in Scheme with Letting Agent.
Thanks. Could I trouble you to give me the exact wording for the expiration date on the notice - it appears the notice date may invalid unless there is "saving wording" present.
I give notice undersection 21 of the Housing Act 1988 that I require possession of the dwelling known as Pipers Folly, Church Road, Devon EX8 5JT after 16th April 2014 or after the date being the earliest date not earlier than 2 months after the service of this Notice when shall expire a period of the assured shorthold tenancy dated 11th Feb 2014 signed landlord.
Thanks. He has included the saving words therefore the notice appears to be valid. From what you say he has issued a possession claim. Do you accept you were served notice on or before 14 Feb?
Notice served 12 Feb 2014
Thanks. Unfortunately if the landlord has protected your deposit within 30 days of receipt the documentation appears to be in order and there is no defence to a valid s21 notice unless you claim you did not receive it in time though from what you say above you did. The landlord is entitled to claim rent in the usual way in advance as per the tenancy agreement up to the date you move out and his request for rent will not invalidate the application. There are however some limited things you can do.
First a possession order is likely to take several weeks to issue and will give you 14 days to leave. If you ignore this then it will normally take a further few weeks at least in order to secure a bailiff appointment to require you to leave though it is possible for the landlord to escalate to the High Court to increase the speed though it is not overly commonly known about as an option by landlords
You can as a tenant at any time make an application for up to a six week stay on the grounds of exceptional hardship. This is not granted as a matter of course but what is exceptional hardship is a somewhat flexible concept for judges. If you can show that having to move out before [Date] would cause exceptional hardship for your family, namely homelessness, and what steps you are taking to resolve the position and when you expect to have sorted out new accommodation so the judge understands the problem you are having in finding accommodation faster.
Other examples of exceptional hardship would be if a member of your family is ill or pregnant, and presence of young children can be persuasive.
If you wish to make an application for exceptional hardship you can do so using the 11B defence form which you should have received but if not you can obtain here and completing section 10:
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
The Landlord has claimed Rent in advance from 16th May to 16th June. Am I secure until 16th June at Least. My Wife Abigail is listed as both Tenant and 'Defendant'. However at no point have the Agents or Landlord Secured her Signature on either the Agreement, its pages, or the Notice etc. I have seen your notes on Hardship and I will respond to that. It is my intention only to delay long enough to find alternative accomodation, or we will be homeless. Ray
Payment of rent does not in and of itself give you a guaranteed security of tenure until the end of the rent period. Rent continues to be payable under the terms of the original agreement (which usually will be in advance). If the landlord secures possession of the property he must repay to you any overpaid rent pro rata. Practically if the landlord as only recently issued the possession claim, unless you voluntarily leave he has no hope of obtaining possession by 16 June. Notwithstanding your potential claim of hardship as above, even if you submitted no defence, it would take him at least a month to secure bailiffs, and often it will be longer because of lack of court time. If you submit a defence - e.g. hardship claim - the court may list the matter for a hearing. It has been known for courts to list hearings for 3 months away which could give you a long time potentially though this would be not the norm.
It is not possible to give any guarantee but from experience even if you submit no defence you are likely to not have bailiffs turning up for at least 5-7 weeks and should you apply for hardship as above, it may take longer. If hardship is granted then the court will of course delay for up to 6 further weeks. That said as the above is only a guide as opposed to a guarantee, alternative accommodation will no doubt be a priority for you.
Sometimes the agency can assist you if you are in principle happy with their service.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Hi. I have rung County Court Office, their advice is in fact to complete a formal application to suspend possession for the various 'Hardships', an N244. I hope that together with your answers will lead to a reasonable delay, and in the meantime we are working hard to find a new home. best wishes Ray Perry
You can make a further application on notice (N244) as they suggest. This would however incur a fee of £50 to make the application. As based on what I understand above the possession order has not yet been issued, but rather what you have received is the landlord application for a possession order you can simply complete the N11B defence form for now for which there is no fee. If a possession order is (or has) been issued you can make a further application on form N244 at any time for a delay.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?
Yes I think you have done well, I might ask how I can retain the information you have sent. Then that is it. RP
I am glad it was of some help. You can either copy and paste the thread if you are using a PC. This can be more difficult on an ipda type device though. I can alternatively ask customer services to email you thread
that would be great,[email protected]
Many thanks. Will do. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.