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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 28992
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My council has decided to repossess my garage which I rent

Customer Question

Hi my council has decided to repossess my garage which I rent form the council on the basis I of the arrears of housing rent. Though my garage rent is in credit
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have spoken to the officer in council and she says nothing can be done
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Croydon
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no that’s it
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 18 days ago.

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 am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

  1. May I confirm if the garage licence is under a separate agreement to your housing tenancy please?
  2. Is there a link between the two agreements or is there a so called "offsetting clause" - this is a provision that may be contained in either your tenancy agreement or garage licence agreement that allows the council to offset monies in relation to one agreement as against another obligation owed to the council?
Expert:  Joshua replied 18 days ago.

I'm following up on the above. Without some further information from you as above, I am limited in what I can say on the matter but in the hope it is helpful nonetheless, I will provide you with the following broad answer. If you are able to kindly provide me with the above further information or if you have any further questions generally, I will be delighted to expand on the following - please just reply back to me in this case:

Notwithstanding the above, in general terms if the two premises are held under entirely separate tenancy agreements, then one is not linked to the other unless either of the agreements contains an offsetting clause which allows the council to apply rent monies or licence fee monies received under one agreement to debts held under another. If such a clause is present in your garage licence agreement, then it would authorise the council to take monies you have paid in relation to that and apply them to debts you have accrued in relation to your main property and of the back of this, use this as a pretext to repossess the garage on the grounds that you are then in arrears in respect of the garage licence agreement.

In the absence of such an offsetting clause however, the actions of the council may be unlawful unless they are in accordance with the termination provisions of the garage licence agreement which usually require significantly less formality than ending a residential tenancy

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi, thank you for your response.
The both premises are under entirely different contract and both contracts mentions only it’s own term and conditions and no offsetting Claus. Also I spoke to my Income officer and she said it is the management who decided that the council tenants who have council house rent arrears and have rented garage from council will have to either pay the arrears in full within 7 days or their garage will be repossessed. I have an outstanding of 2400 which was entirely due to housing department kept delaying my benefit application and my income officer not guiding me properly and forcing me to pay full rent plus arrears, abs in case of any Missing payment serving me eviction notice. For past 3 years I have tried many times sending the council the documents and emailing them along with phone calls but they have never dealt with the issue. I also requested my income officer to make an official monthly plan but she only do it verbally no written, which makes me more vulnerable. I did Emil her again 2 months ago to make a payment plan but she never replied. Now she is asking me to pay 2500 in full within 7 days or they will repossess my garage which has no arrears but in credit as there is a direct debit in place. Yesterday when I spoke to my income officer and reminded her of my request for an instalment plan she then made one over the phone again with no official confirmation. Since October I have been paying little extra to reduce my outstanding balance without a plan so my arrears don’t increase.Thanks Saima
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I don’t have any money right now as due to the pandemic I had to close my Tearoom and had to keep the stuff in the storage which we lost due to the non payment and they auctioned everything by the time I arranged the money. Now I have started another business from home which has picked up hood but I do not have such big amount to clear my arrears. So now a plan in place
Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

thank you. The rights of the council to repossess your garage will depend principally on the terms of your licence agreement in relation to the garage and as regards ***** ***** council have a right to unilaterally determine (end) the agreement without cause. If you have a copy of the agreement available, I would be happy to comment upon it

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I will send you the copy shortly, I have also asked my garage officer to send me the full T&C but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet.
Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

Many thanks