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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13947
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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We are looking to get an injunction against a tenant

Customer Question

We are looking to get an injunction against a tenant (leasehold) who is also one of 4 freeholders. On the basis of substantial interference. Among other things, this person has physically stopped access to communal areas in order for health and safety inspections to be carried out and repair work also. Do we need N16 or N16A form? Any pitfalls to look out for?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: It's been going on for a few years. We've tried discussion, reasoning. Nothing works.
JA: Where is the leasehold located?
Customer: London
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Freeholder that is doing this has a son who she singlehandedly appointed as property manager. Between them they won't disclose any company accounts. We set up an alternative freeholders company for ongoing payments to be made and to manage the property. We have been harassed by this family for years. Tenants of the other freeholders have complained and left because of her incessant badgering. This is affecting rental values and property values. We strongly suspect this family has been using the service charges as their own income. Also we believe they want to buy all the flats in the block and are behaving in this anti-social way to get a heavy reduction on the cots of the flats.
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Or email is fine. But an indication of when I will receive a response would be helpful. Thanks
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Is there any reason why forfeiture of their lease was not explored?. As it appears to me that they are in breach of the terms of the lease due to the interference. The First Tier Property Tribunal can make such a determination and is quicker and cheaper than the usual county court action.
I will proceed on the basis if the N16a injunction which you are asking about though.

So you can in this situation apply to the local county court for a civil injunction.

However, before you do this, the court would expect you to send the neighbour a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 7 days to stop their conduct). A template “cease and desist” letter is available at https://www.lawdepot.co.uk/

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter.

You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 7 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy. I know you probably don't want to send the letter and delay matters further but you would have to answer some difficult questions from the judge if you choose not to. As the judge will want to see you tried to avoid taking this very serious step by giving the neighbour a clear warning of the injunction as a consequence of their actions.

Assuming they continue, you will need to complete the application for the injunction and send to your county court with a fee of £308 payable to HMCTS (unless you have a low income/low savings and/or you are in receipt of benefits in which case you can get a fee exemption so you do not have to pay).

You will need to detail the history of the issues with the neighbour to paint a picture for the Judge as they will not know what this neighbour is like and what they have done to you unless you describe it.

If the injunction application is successful you can ask the court for a costs order to be paid by the neighbour.

The court will list a hearing where you attend and ask the District Judge for an order and the injunction. The application would be made under the tort of nuisance due to the interference.

If granted, the Order is then served on the individual concerned and they are bound by the court order - if they breach the order, they are in contempt of court and could well face a fine and a prison term. The order will say they cannot continue to inference as they have been doing. They are very effective given the consequences of breaching the terms of the injunction.

The cease and desist letter will hopefully work so you may not need to apply but if you then I recommend you go to the court in person with the forms to ensure they are correct - they are fairly complex so it would save time by you doing this - the court staff should check them before they issue the papers.

If you prefer a law firm to do the letter (and apply for the injunction if the letter has no effect) then try any of these firms they should be able to claim their costs from the neighbour so would be worth asking them to help you with this:

  1. https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/services/department/dispute-resolution/injunctions

  2. https://www.gannons.co.uk/commercial-litigation/injunctions/

  3. https://www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/commercial-dispute-resolution/applying-injunction
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Also you cannot use the N16a form on its own - you have to issue proceedings first.

The forms you will need are :

1. Part 8 claim form (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/958045/n208-eng.pdf)

2. N16a form (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/866788/n16a-eng.pdf)

3. Witness statement - see template attached.

You will need to use your local county court (the court finder link is here: https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/search/)

So you will note from the forms it asks you which court - you need to fill in the local county court in the top right corner of each form.

In "details of claim" on the Part 8 form, you put in "The Claimant seeks an injunction pursuant to common law nuisance". and "the claimant attaches a witness statement to set out the reasons for the application".

The court fee is £308 (see bottom right on the Part 8 form). Though you can ask for a fee exemption if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits - if so then you need to fill out yet another form (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952045/ex160-eng.pdf)

You then need to complete the witness statement to set out the issues you have had with the defendant and why you want the order. The N16a form also needs to be filled in. You need the send and third tick boxes at the top (second one should read : common law nuisance), and simply tick the third box.

Then - send 3 copies of these completed forms to your local county court, either with the fee of £308 payable to HMCTS, or the completed EX160 fee remission form.

The court should then send you "notice of hearing". You can go to the court in person if that helps - they could process them the same day and you may get a hearing quicker too.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
This is great, thank you Jim. If we have any more questions I'll be in touch.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

My pleasure, happy to help and have a good evening .
Jim