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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am expecting a Section 21 possession order. I accept that

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I am expecting a Section 21 possession order. I accept that possession is mandatory, but want to defend against any costs award. Is that possible? What is the likelihood that costs will be awarded against the tenant?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Did you leave after the expiry of the section 21 notice please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't left yet, and it expires 10th may (today) just sent off a cheque to the ll for this months rent. Yesterday. Since I am annoyed with the letting agent, I am paying the landlord directly, and bypassing the agent.
Ok - then if you dont leave and they get a Court order then you are likely to get stung with costs.That is because you didnt leave in accordance with the notice and therefore it means the Landlord HAS to go to Court to get a possession order.You can not dispute possession but contest costs. But they are likely to be awarded if you have made the Landlord get a possession order.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. But the possession order is mandatory, but costs are at the discretion of the judge. In my, this is a breakdown in rent increase 'negotiations'. As I understand it, the landlord has a choice here between using section 13 or section 21. My moving out is going to cost me substantially. I have a problem with the with being told to pay more or move out, and the landlord sees no cost at all.To defend costs, I must defend the order? But the order cannot be defended?
S.21 is when the Landlord wants to bring it to an end. You cant stop the Landlord doing that, it is their property.You can only contest the Costs order, you cant contest the making of the possession order as it will be on a mandatory basis. But costs are discretionary as per Part 44.Can I clarify anything else?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, typing this on my phone. The last post looks like I'm very anxious or something. Tiny keyboard and display, fat fingers.I need to know what the chances are and how I need to present my case, and an idea of costs if I choose to engage a solicitor to make the presentation in a hearing, and if that is likely to go to a hearing.I would be happy to take you up on that call to get that detail, will I be paying twice? For this and again for the call?
The Court will list the matter for hearing and you can make representations.Its up to you whether you want the call, but to be honest I cant really add anything.Can I clarify anything else for you? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No idea what my chances are like? The only clue I can get on the forums goes that that 'the judge rarely awards fixed costs in defended cases' whether that means:
1. Doesn't award anything.
2. What is awarded is significantly different from fixed costs.I don't know.Fixed costs is either the same as or a bit less than the court fee of £355 (I have seen a definite figure of £180(?) But that is likely an old figure.
Costs are discretionary so its up to the Judge. But if they are awarded it would be the issue fee or issue fee plus fixed Solicitor costs.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Representations must be verbal, before the judge? Can the defense be made on the N11 defense form? Maybe if the other side sees it they'll decide they can't win, and not pursue it to court? (Wishful thinking, but can always hope)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Still have no idea of what the chances are like. Are court transcripts for section 21 cases openly available somewhere?
And are these open hearings? Could I go and watch for a bit?
Yes verbal. You can make them in a defence form but there will be a hearing you can make them at too.There wont be transcripts available as possession hearings and generally not reported as there are many thousands of cases every day.My view as I have indicated is that the Landlord is likely to get costs as you have made him/her go to Court. But there is a chance the Judge wont.Can I clarify anything else for you about this question please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I agree with the premise, the landlord is entitled to his property back at any time he wants it. But this is going to cost me in relocation costs, unless I just cave on the rent increase.He has a right to the property, but nothing says it has to be at no cost. If we both amicably agreed to terminate, no problem. It seems reasonable to me if it is not amicable, then there should be some cost on the landlord. Depending on how much of a dick the tenant is of course. :(
Yes if you agree to leave, then you can negotiate if there is an issue of costsDoes that clarify?Alex
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. I would like to continue this dialog for a bit if possible?I have a few friends who have been in this kind of negotiation before. They all caved, having wives and kids, rather than risk getting a s21 notice. I am pushing this because I want to know the whole process, risks and costs. This is the second time for me. Previously I just moved out, this time I want to fight as far as possible.As far as possible being to make sure the landlord wears his costs, theres no chance I can recover relocation costs after all.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A question on s21 required documents. Awritten tenancy is of a given. However I live in a block of flats for which there must be a head tenancy. The tenancy makes reference to the head tenancy. I don't have a copy of that, and am not sure how to get one.Does this make the s21 incorrectly served? The head tenancy is presumably a part of the tenancy, so the agreement I have is 'incomplete'?
It's a matter for the court as to costs. The s.21 does not need to make reference to a head tenancy. Don't be confused, the landlord simply has to serve a s.21 notice which is freely available online.It just needs to say he wants possession back. That's it. It's not complicated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Typos above again.For a valid section to be served, there must be a written tenancy, and presumably the tenant must have a copy.I read somewhere, but failed to note where, that if there is a head tenancy, a copy must be supplied to the tenant, or the S21 could be ruled invalid. Is that correct? The reason would be required documents? (tenancy agreement not [fully] provided)The premises is an apartment block, so I'm sure there is a head tenancy agreement, but I have never been supplied a copy. (It is a concern, since I could be in breach and not know it)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(I actually need to know who is responsible for outside windows, the tenancy says I must clean all windows, and outside is awkward to get to)
No, you are wrong, there is no requirement for sight of a head tenancy. There is no need for a written tenancy, it can be oral.You do NOT need sight of a head tenancy, that argument is not going to go anywhere.As for who is responsible for windows, that is a new question. Your question was how to defend any costs award.I have answered that question. You may post a new question in relation to the windows.But I have detailed above how you can defend costs. You can make representations to the JudgeDoes that clarify and answer your question on costs?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already accepted your answer on costs. The windows bit is of no value to me, and I only mentioned it because to resolve it I'll need to see a copy of the head tenancy.This question is about a Section 21, where the tenancy agreement MUST be written, or has the law changed? I think you are incorrect.Clearly stated on this page: 21 notice of seeking possession
You can use a Section 21 notice if:
your tenants have a written assured shorthold tenancy (AST) or statutory periodic tenancy agreement
Section 21 is primarily an administrative procedure, so there needs to be a written tenancy agreement for the judge to make a decision without a hearing.
The tenancy does not need to be written, but very often is.does that clarify?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That I knew, long before I got embroiled in this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And if you read the post you took exception to, I didn't ask any question about the windows, I made a commentTo be fair though the question has drifted a bit to being about the validity of the S21 being served. I was aware of that last night, which is when I signed off on this being answered.If you are unaware of the very first requirement for making use of a Section 21 procedure, (tenancy MUST be in writing) then I might be wasting my time and money here.
The tenancy doesnt have to be in writing. An AST can come into being verbally, harder to prove but it is still technically a tenancy.