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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience:  Two years conveyancing experience.
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Hi, I have a court date (3rd April) from an online possession

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Hi, I have a court date (3rd April) from an online possession claim I put in as landlord of a flat let on a shorthold tenancy. The hearing is for me to obtain possession of the property so I can get the tenant evicted. He owes 4 months in rent arrears. The court case is also for me to claim the outstanding rent and costs.

After not leaving so far despite indicating he would, it now appears the tenant may well leave the property before the court hearing and says he wants to agree a payment plan for the arrears and costs.

As he has paid me nothing so far despite repeated statements that he would, I do not want to now agree anything prior to the court case. Is this the right way to go and for me to leave any discussion or agreement on that for the court? I am concerned if I agree anything with him when he leaves and then cancel the court case, he just won't pay anything again and I'll be back where I started.

Also, if he does leave the flat and the condition is all ok on inspection, am I able to then retain the deposit he has paid, to use towards the arrears rather than return it to him. It is held properly in a deposit protection scheme.

Thanks, Chris
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

As the claim has already been issued and you have effectively agreed a settlement, what you should do is agree a Settlement Order with the tenant called a consent order.

This will agree in writing the date he will leave the property, the payment plan details, the agreed amount of arrears and costs.

You can then file this order at court to settle the proceedings and agree in the consent order that if the tenant breaches any of its terms you can immediately apply to court to get a judgment against him/her.

I would also include in the consent order his agreement that you will retain the balance of any deposit monies to offset against the rent arrears "after" deductions have been made.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


Thanks for your reply.I don't quite understand your comment "and you have effectively agreed a settlement". As far as I'm concerned I haven't agreed any settlement with him at all, which is why I issued the court papers. Perhaps you could clarify what you mean here as, at the moment, I am just waiting to attend the court hearing for possession and money claim.


 


I understand your point about agreeing a consent order, although I am not sure whether we are likely to be able to agree all the costs and fees I am claiming.


 


However, if I did go down the consent order route, is it just a matter of me drawing something up and then getting that signed by myself and him (would it need to be witnessed). As this was an online claim originally, can I still then submit that in writing to the court before the hearing and cancel the hearing. If I can and he then defaults, how would I then go back to the court to obtain an immediate judgment, would that be another claim and more cost?


 


I guess my overall point is, given he has failed to do anything he said he would so far, isn't it just easier and safer for me to go ahead with the court hearing and get everything, including any repayment plan agreed there?


 


Thanks, Chris


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

If the defendant has not put his settlement offer in writing then I think it is acceptable and safer to push ahead with your claim.

I would only consider agreeing a consent order and a settlement if the defendant is prepared to agree the settlement in writing or at least proposes it in writing.

Has the defendant at least acknowledges the arrears?

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


He has never disputed the arrears and I don't believe he will. In all our exchanges of emails about this he has always accepted he owes me the money. I guess he may try and argue about interest and costs of section 8 notice etc. but probably not.


 


However, it is quite possible that he will leave the property just before the next month's rent is due on 23rd March, but as he has a 12 month tenancy agreement with me, I would wish to also claim that months rent as it will be impossible for me to re let by then. I guess he's unlikely to agree to that.


 


Anyway, I don't think he will respond to the court hearing papers with a defence, but may propose a payment plan. He has just come back to me saying he will be leaving the flat shortly and would then like to agree what is owed and agree a payment plan (he says he should be able to pay £80 per week).


 


As I mentioned before, he has told me he would leave on several occasions and hasn't and has also said he would pay me some of the arrears, which he hasn't.


 


As this is an entirely on line possession claim, I assume he will respond to the court saying he would like to agree a payment plan, but he hasn't done yet. I would be happy with £80 per week but would prefer the court makes an official judgment on that rather than me trying to do it with him separately. Assuming he does offer something like that when he responds to the court, will they contact me to see if I will agree or how would that work? Time is obviously running out before the court hearing on 3rd April. Any further advice you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks, Chris


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

If you can agree a consent order this will be an official court document.

He the tenant then breached the consent order you could agree a clause in the consent order that such a breach would allow you to automatically seek judgment against him.
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is though you should not drop the proceedings unless you have an offer for payment in writing and he has left the flat.

Kind regards

AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience: Two years conveyancing experience.
Alex J. and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thanks for your help, Chris

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