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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32232
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Have a landlord tenant dispute,, Middlesex UK, Its a

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Hi have a landlord tenant dispute
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me where the property is located?
Customer: Hayes, Middlesex UK
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: Its a maintenance issue
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: We have been served with a Sealed Claim Form

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I'm sorry to read of the above. How may I assist in relation to the same please? In particular, would you be able to give a very brief summary of the nature of the dispute in question please?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
The dispute is with a tenant, we are the landlords about disrepair. The issue with the tenant has been going on for 2 years. The tenant refuses us access into the property. She has had the local authority, plus 3 legal firms. We have agreed with all parties concerned that we will carryout the works but are denied access. The most recent issue is that the latest legal team representing the tenant states that we never made contact with them, even though we have a email trail. They have now submitted a seal claim form to the courts. We have acknowledge service. We had an additioanl 14 days to submit our defence I assume. Just need to know what action to take next?

  1. thank you. May I confirm if the tenant is up to date in terms of rent please?
  2. would it be correct to assume you have not previously sought an injunction against the tenant to require them to provide you with access?
  3. What is the tenant claiming against you precisely?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
The tenant is on housing benefit. The rent is short approx £90 per month . We have not sought an injunction as the tenant keeps changing legal firms, and us assuming that we will be give access. We have agreed 3 to 4 times to carry out the works with local authority and her legal teams only for her to start the whole process again with another legal firm. The tenant is claiming against special damage and lose, excessive electric usage, in the sum of no more than £10,000

thank you. Based on what you say, presumably you will wish to consider entering a defence in relation to the claim the tenant has made on the basis that you have made all reasonable efforts in order to secure access for the purposes of carrying out repairs and the tenant has consistently refused order neared on the point ( you will in due course need to be able to evidence the statement but not in relation to the initial skeleton defence). As such, the tenant cannot claim damages for circumstances which she has in effect engineered or exacerbated and that the tenant is and has been acting in bad faith in the above and is now seeking to profit as a consequence of her actions.

In the circumstances, it is likely to also be pertinent to write to the tenant demanding access within the next seven days for the purposes of repairs failing which you will seeking a counterclaim and injunctive relief against the tenant for the purposes of procuring access together with costs which in all truth, is likely to be something which probably should have been considered before now.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We have been served with a sealed claim form. We have acknowledged 'Acknowledgement of Service to the courts and to the tenants legal team. As it stated if we don't act then a judgement will be made against us. We replied back within 14 days of service. What is the procedure going forward? are we to wait for the courts to service us paperwork to complete or do we have to submit a defence to the courts directly and also to the tenants legal team?

if you have acknowledged service, this doubles the period of time you have to respond to the claim form to 28 days. However, you must still submit a defence and if applicable counterclaim as discussed above within the above period of time or judgement can be requested against you in default. It is important you do not miss this deadline.

Having submitted a defence, the court will then write to both parties giving directions (essentially instructions) as regards ***** ***** party must do next

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
When we submit our defence directly to the court, is there a form that we have to attach along with our defence? and is there a different form we have to submit to counterclaim, and are these both submitted together?

the court should have sent you a so-called response pack including the relevant forms. However, you can also obtain the relevant form at the following link - note that this is the correct form if the tenant has claimed an unspecified amount of money. A different form as appropriate if a specific figure has been claimed:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n9d-defence-counterclaim-unspecified-amount-and-non-money-claims

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We completed and submitted on 10/06/2022 to the court and the tenants legal team a Acknowledgement of Service form and Defence and Counterclaim Form N9B
These forms were submitted but we did not fill out the defence section on the form. Are we able to submit the defence paperwork now and if so do we have to suubmit to the court as well as the tenants legal team?

you will need to ensure that you submit a defence as a counterclaim is a separate claim and does not constitute a defence in itself. to illustrate this point more clearly, if you simply complete a counterclaim but no defence, then the claim against you will proceed as undefended and as such, will be awarded against you and the counterclaim will be considered separately which is plainly not what you would desire. As such, you may wish to consider resubmitting the defence and counterclaim form including a defence this time

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
We shall prepare our defence and and resubmit along with the counterclaim form. The date of service from the tenants legal team was dated 30/05/2022 and we submitted 'Acknowledgement of Service on 10/06/2022 to the court and the legal team. Am I correct in saying we have up to 28th June 2022 till file our defence and counterclaim to the court?

I think in practice you should have until 29 June as the claim form is deemed serve to days after the date of issue but it is rarely wise to practice brinkmanship in these circumstances and it will be sensible to ensure that you submit your defence no later than 28th June as you suggest

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
many thanks for assistance Joshua, greatly appreciated. enjoy the remainder of your evening. Real helpful

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

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