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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.
How may I assist you please? Do you wish to evict a tenant who is in arrears?
Yes. We re-appear in court at 1-50pm.
What are our grounds for eviction ?
Do you need more information please ?
Thanks. Grounds for rent arrears would typically be 8, 10 and 11
Ideally I would like a little more information but I recognise you are very pressed for time.
Do we need more information do you think ?
Ground 8: the tenant owes at least two months in rent (monthly tenancies) both on service of notice and at the time of the court hearing. Where rent is payable weekly, quarterly or annually ground 8 requires that there are arrears of 8 weeks, 3 months and 6 months respectively.
Ground 10: the tenant was in arrears when the landlord served notice and when court proceedings began.
Ground 11: the tenant has been persistently behind and inconsistent with rent payments.
The judge has allowed us to re convene
Have you served a s8 notice already? I presume you have and you have subsequently brought a claim for possession?
Is this under section 8 ?
The above grounds are grounds for possession under s8 yes
Will they suprize us with anything else we dont expect ?
We applied for re-possession using an accelerated procedure. Is this relevant ?
If you have served a valid s8 notice and are still 8 weeks or more in arrears then the judge must order possession. The typical defence a tenant raises is by claiming disrepair issues in the property which require fixing and asking this to be discounted from the rent owed bring it under 8 weeks so the judge has discretion as to whether to order possession.
What is an s8 ?
The accelerated procedure can only be sued for s21 notices. Did you serve a s21 notice or a s8 notice on the tenant?
OK can we slow down as I don't think this is helpful for us. Could you tell me if you served a s21 notice or a s8 notice on the tenant prior to issuing your claim for possession?
We don't know unfortunately
OK. May I ask why you don't know - e.g. did an agent serve notice for you>
We served it but the form doesn't say S8 or S21 - it just has a heading of claim form for possession of property. This was advised to us to do by a friend who was a solicitor.
John says s21 (husband)
Thanks. You appear to have proceeded on the correct basis under the accelerated possession.
Thats good news
You do not need to give grounds under a s21 possession procedure. s21 of the Housing Act gives you an absolute right to regain possession of the property as long as the notice is valid. You should have attached a copy of the notice to the application form and the judge would expect to see a copy of it.
You are required to give the tenant two clear months notice and the notice (if served after the fixed period had expired) must end the day before rent is payable in order to be valid.
If we have applied under s21 can we revert to s8 grounds 8?
Yes but not unless you withdraw the present claim for possession. You cannot simultaneously claim for possession under s21
If the s21 notice is valid then your ground for possession is s21 Housing Act 1988 which gives you an absolutel right to obtain possession.
what do you think our best way forward is as we need to be back in the courts (we are in the library nearby )
Have you given the judge a copy of your s21 notice? Do you know if it is valid under the above requirements - two clear months notice given etc?
yes - copy given. It was served 14/1/14
what grounds ?
Thanks. As long as the notice complies with the above requirements then you can ask for possession on the basis of s21 Housing Act 1988. The judge has no option but to grant possession if the notice is valid and has been served on the tenant by virtue of the above section. You do not need grounds under s21. You only need grounds under s8.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Thanks soooooooooo much Joshua
A pleasure. Good luck with your hearing. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.