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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10232
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I was given a form 21 stating my landlady wanted me to leave

Customer Question

I was given a form 21 stating my landlady wanted me to leave my home once my 2 year tenancy ended on 30th September.
I am living on benefits & get housing benefit. I have 3 children & suffer from depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia & Chronic fatigue syndrome.
I handed the form 21to the council at the end of July. I looked for privately rented properties but no one would rent to people receiving DSS.
After hearing nothing I chased them up & finally spoke to someone around the 27th September & was advised that the form 21 was invalid as it wasn't set out in the prescribed format that the courts set out 1st October 2015.
As it turns out the prescribed format only counts for tenancies set up AFTER 1/10/15 mine was set up 1/10/14.
I cannot get hold of the person at the council dealing with my case & my landlady is going to take me to court to get me evicted.
What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Obviously, even if the notice is defective, you are only delaying the inevitable.

How old are your 3 children?

Incidentally, the new prescribed form 6a must be used for all tenancies after 1 October 2015.

However it can also be used optionally for tenancies created before that date.

If you look at the bottom of the first page, it explains:

Hence, what you have been told is not correct.

if your children are under 18 years of age, they are dependent and as you are not being made homeless through any fault of your own, the local authority under a duty to find a home for you and your children .

However the local authority will not do that until there is an eviction notice. Basically, they avoid doing anything as long as possible. You need to bring the legal proceedings to the attention of the local authority and asked them what proposals they’re going to make provide a home for you and the children as you are being made homeless through no fault of your own.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive.

The thread remains open for further exchanges.

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have to attend court for the eviction proceedings?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Only if you are going to oppose them. If you don’t attend court, the court will grant an order for possession which gives you until a particular date to move out. If you don’t move out on that date, the landlord will then apply for a warrant for possession which is a court order for the bailiffs to come and physically throw you out.

Once there is the order for possession, the local authority will normally rehouse you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I wanted to oppose the eviction on the basis of the council's mistake asking for more time to find somewhere to live what would I do?
Can I oppose the eviction order after it is set if I feel it is too short ammount of time to find a new home? As this is what the council are supposed to have been helping me do since August?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

You can’t oppose the application because the council gave you incorrect advice. The form came from a private landlord and where advice came from and whether it was correct or not is not relevant.

You also can’t oppose the notice if it is too short a time to find a new home. There is a statutory period of notice allowed of 2 months which is what the notice period must be.

As I said earlier, the council will not do anything at all in most circumstances until you actually get the possession order. They are not under a duty to do anything before that.