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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.
I am sorry to hear of your mothers condition. May I ask to your knowledge if she has served a s21 A or B notice and has she kept a copy and evidence that the notice was received by the tenant? If you are not certain that is fine.
Providing the s21 notice is valid - if served after the expiry of the fixed term it should have been the Section 21(4)(a) of the Housing Act 1988 notice and a period of notice of 2 clear months should have ben provided ending the day before rent should have been paid. In addition your mother must have protected the tenants deposit within 30 days of receipt in a government deposit protection scheme. Providing these criteria were satisifed she can seek possession using the accelerated possession procedure which should not require a court hearing.
Your mother can complete an application for acelerated possession - you can fill this in for her if you wish - the tenant has 14 days after receiving the documents to file a defence. If the tenant does not file a defence and the paperwork is in order (you will need to provide a copy of the notice and tenancy agreement) the judge will normally issue a possession order immediately on reviewing the case without your mother having to attend. As above there will not normally need to be a court hearing unless there is some problem with the documentation or notice or the tenant requests postponement on hardship grounds, in which case possession can be delayed by up to 6 weeks. There is no other defence to a s21 claim for possession if the notice is valid.
These are the forms required for the application:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n5b-eng.pdfhttp://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n1_0102.pdf
If the judge awards a possession order the tenant will be obliged to leave. If he refuses, you will need to apply for the services of the Court bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer, which is likely to delay matters for another 2 weeks or more who will evict the tenant if necessary with the assistance of the police.
The council will not usually assist your mother nor advise the tenant to leave without a court order simply because the council will wish to delay the tenant becoming their problem for as long as possible - this is unfair but is unfortunately the reality of how most councils behave. Nevertheless your mother will be successful in recovering possession providing the paperwork is in order as above.
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