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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have received an eviction notice 21 July 2016. This was

Resolved Question:

I have received an eviction notice for the 21 July 2016. This was for council tax. I have paid the council tax in full. The council refuse to get involved.
However the solicitors employed by the council are going ahead with the eviction to recover their costs which have escalated beyond the original judgement. I have also N244 form to complete but don't know what to write as my defence.
What can I do to stop the eviction?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

Is it a private rental property? Does the landlord have an order for possession of a warrant for possession? I need to know how far the process has gone. What grounds is the landlord relying on to get you out and what notice did he let you have, section 21 or section 8? Could you explain the situation that happened here in detail please?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It is a private property. A section 21 or section 8 notice was not served. I owed the London Borough of Harringey approximately £8,000 in council tax. I was to repay this in installments which I did. I believe I now owe legal costs but do not know how much. I have now received a Notice of Eviction letter from the court. This is I presume for legal costs owed. I live in my home with 3 children.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

Do you rent on a Assured Shorthold Tenancy? What is the form of the eviction notice? Are you able to attach a copy? Has the landlord given you any kind of notice? Has there been any court hearing? I need the situation in detail please.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I own the property. It has a mortgage, it is not rented. There was an original court hearing at which the claimants managed to get a charge on the property. At a second hearing the judge ordered that I pay the amount outstanding in installments, plus the claimants legal costs. I have paid the full amount of the council tax owed however the legal costs have now increased beyond the original judgement, I am not sure by how much. This I believe is what the eviction notice is for. The council have said they will not get involved once it has passed to the solicitors and the solicitors are intent on going through with the eviction. I have attached a copy of the eviction notice.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

This has clearly been going on for some time. Who applied for the order? The building society? It seems unlikely because of what you then go on to say.

You say that the claimants managed to get a charge on the property. That would not be the lender because they already have a charge on the property. Who were the claimants, the local authority?

This is a warrant which is the order for the bailiffs to come and physically throw you out. There must have been other hearings before this. Did you attend any of those? Have you asked whoever has the benefit of the charge, what the costs are?

Is the mortgage completely up-to-date? I do need the background detail from beginning to end please.

If the eviction goes ahead, have you contacted the Housing Department at the local authority because they are under a duty to house you if you have dependent children?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The claimants were Harringey Council, the local authority. I did attend the second hearing but not the first at which the charge was granted. Harringey Council has the benefit of the charge which was granted at the first hearing. The second hearing which I attended I was given an installment order to pay the outstanding amounts. I have since paid this in full. The mortgage is up to date. I have not yet asked the solicitors what the costs are. I know they have increased since the final judgement by £1000. I have not contacted the Housing Department.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
At the second hearing I was told I could be evicted if I did not pay the Council tax outstanding. Which is why I have ensured that it was paid.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

You need to contact the Housing Department at the local authority in case this eviction goes ahead because you need to make sure that your children have somewhere to live. That is a safety net.

It is most unusual for the local authority to evict someone from a private house if they have a charge over the property and I can’t think for one moment why they have done that all got the order if the tax has been paid. I can only think it’s because of outstanding legal costs.

You need to find out from the council or the council solicitors how much is still outstanding in respect of costs. You need them to confirm that the principal sum of the council tax has been paid. Until you have that you don’t know exactly how to word the N244

You then need to apply to court to set the warrant of 10 June aside. On the form you are applying for “An order that the Warrant dated 10th of June 2016 be set aside because the sum of £X has been paid to the Claimant on X date and the only monies outstanding to the Claimant are now Y which are in respect of xxx “.

It’s the “because” bit which is difficult because if the principal sum has been paid, it’s either because the costs are still outstanding or for some other reason which we don’t know about. It will be in all the paperwork that you’ve received from the council and the court.

If you get back to me after you spoken with the council legal department we may need to change the wording although you will need to fill the gaps in anyway.

Please rate the service positive now. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails on Monday.

Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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