How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Matt Jones Your Own Question
Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
13732703
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Matt Jones is online now

I have paperwork possession hearing. How can I counter

Customer Question

I have paperwork for a possession hearing. How can I counter claim against my Landlord?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
HI can you tell me a bit more about your situation.Please also include :- a) When did you move in b) what tenancy agreement do you havec) when did you pay your deposit/ and how much d) did they eventually lodge your deposit, if so when? e) when did they serve you notice and what type? there is this and quite a bit more information I will need to help. If it will assist I will but forward an additional offer to discuss over the phone with me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a) When did you move in - 23rd August 2013b) what tenancy agreement do you have - ASTc) when did you pay your deposit/ and how much - Paid on 19th Augustd) did they eventually lodge your deposit, if so when? I can't find out the day they protected it, but they never gave us the information, so I had to chase and ask for it 2 months later moving in.e) when did they serve you notice and what type? Served Section 8 on 20th October 2015There has not been a gas certificate in the property since we moved in and we have never been asked to consent for someone to come round and do one in the 2+ years we have been here.We made an offer to clear half the arrears and take 4 months to clear the rest to prevent going to court to their representative. He didn't come back to us so called him and he said that they would accept, so we sent an email saying please put it in writing that once half is paid you will stop court proceedings. Again heard nothing, so called again and was told they won't accept it and would like to continue to court.Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also we have paid £2400 off our arrears since August 2015
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
How much are the outstanding arrears, and what is the monthly rent payment? When is the Court date? How much was the deposit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiArrears £6436.63 Rent £2383.33 ppmCourt Date 6th January 2016Deposit £2933.33
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
pcm not ppm
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Are the only grounds they cite for rent arrears (i.e ground 8) or do they cite other grounds? Is this the first hearing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ground 8: No Rent has been paid for at least 2 months (Untrue, but we were/are in 2 months arrears)
Ground 10: Arrears no due
Ground 11: Persistently failed to pay rent and arrears are due (Arrears built up between Jan 2015- July 2015 and have been reducing since)Yes this is the first court date we have been given. There have been no other court proceedings.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. What is your ultimate goal here? i.e. do you just want to postpone things until you find another property, or stay in the property for the forseeable?Also who are their "representatives" here. I just wan to get an idea of what you are up against. Are they Solicitors or other? Further. you say you moved in on 2013, how long was your agreement for and was this renewed, or are you under a periodic tenancy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,We would like to stay for the foreseeable, which is why we have been bringing down the arrears and made the offer as we are now in a position to pay half off.They have Regency Law as their representative.It as not renewed we went onto a periodic tenancy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry forgot to answer how long was the original AST - It was 6 months
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Out of interest is there anyway you could bring the arrears below a figure of 2 months rent in total before the court date?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes we offered to pay half off which would have brought the arrears down to around £3100, but they declined.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks, ***** ***** thing is that, in my experience, the hearing on the 6th Jan will be listed for around 15 mins. The judge will not want the hearing to overrun and so will likely adjourn matters to a future date to allow for a full hearing Therefore your Defence to the matters should point the following issues out:1) the deposit has not been protected in time. this would lead you to be able to make a counter claim of up to 3 times the value of the deposit (under s214 of the Housing Act 1996) which potentially would wipe out the rent arrears. 2) The mandatory grounds (i.e. where the judge has to make the order) is ground 8. Therefore if you are more than 2 months in arrears at time of the service of the notice and 2 months in arrears at the date of the hearing the judge should make the award. However you have offered to bring them down below the 2 month level and they have refused. This should be pointed out to the judge to persuade him that the award should not be made (he can award possession under the the other grounds,but these are discretionary) 3) You have not been provided with a gas safety cert. This is not strictly a defence but could go towards proving your landlord fell below the standard of repair under s11 of the landlord and Teanct Act
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
All of the above should provide enough food for thought to allow the hearing to be adjourned and a new date set. You should then employ a solicitor to draft a correctly worded defence and you will have potentially good grounds to reduce your arrears and possible obtain a costs award against the landlords
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hope this helps? If so please leave me positive feedback so I can be paid for my time. the question wont close and you can ask any follow up questions later down the line should you need to
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice. Just couple of questionsPresumably the hearing on the 6th will still go ahead just for it to be adjourned for a later court date providing more time for the judge? In order to make any counter claims do we need to file certain paperwork or just list is as a defence in response to the claim? Is it best to get a solicitor to draft a defence to the initial court paperwork or wait until we are at a second hearing?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice. Just couple of questions Presumably the hearing on the 6th will still go ahead just for it to be adjourned for a later court date providing more time for the judge? Correct it will still go ahead. This is my feeling (although it is of course up to the judge how he/she directs the Court) In order to make any counter claims do we need to file certain paperwork or just list is as a defence in response to the claim? To file a Counter claim correctly you have to address this, and plead it, formally (as if you were a normal claimant as your Claimants then also become the Defendants and get the chance to Defend your claim) and pay the Court fee. You will at the very least have to say that this is your intention in the Defence and say that you need more time to please your case. Is it best to get a solicitor to draft a defence to the initial court paperwork or wait until we are at a second hearing? Good question. I dont think you have, realistically with the Christmas break, enough time to have the pleading professionally drafted and so it is probably a good thing and you will be looked at (as litigants in person) hopefully more favourable by the Court. Certainly you should see if it is possible if this can be dont by a local firm, and have a word with them now, but if not then you can at least tell the court that you have tried but that the Solicitors require more time to prepared the paperwork
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's great thanks. In your opinion and experience do you think we have a good chance of the possession order not being granted / having any success with our counter claim? I understand it depends on the day and the Judge, but just your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
from what you have told me I do think you have a good chance of the possession order being, in the first place at least adjourned, and yes again from the (albeit limited) information we can ever have hear I think you have a reasonable chance of a counter claim. Do put in the points I have mentions in your defence in the first place however
Matt Jones and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help I will leave feedback now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have just gone online to file our response and noticed you can file for an adjournment. Is there any benefit from filing to get an adjournment straight away to going to the hearing on the 6th and it most likely being adjourned?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I hadn't realised that this was an option from the tenants point of view. I usually act for landlords and use the possession claims on-line service from that side of things. So yes, if you can file for an adjournment now and it is granted then you will have time to put forward a fuller defence. If it asks for grounds for the adjournment then you can quote as I have said above, and indicate you intend to fully defend the claim and add a counter claim against the landlords