A day in court with Shelter and the council’s impartiality?

by Readers Question

9:54 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

A day in court with Shelter and the council’s impartiality?

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A day in court with Shelter and the council’s impartiality?

After a section 8 possession hearing, we got the possession granted and before court shelter approached us, but we declined to speak to them. Shelter also confirmed that the tenant was receiving housing through Universal Credit, but not paying us the landlord.

I then received this email from BCP council:

Good morning,

I have been asked to make contact with you regarding the above. I am aware that possession has been granted for the above tenancy, however, a specific time scale has been set by the court, namely 6 weeks from the date of the order.

Shelter are concerned regarding the demeanour displayed by xxxxxxx at the court case and the risk of illegal eviction. I would like to remind you that illegal eviction is a criminal offence, and to ensure that your organisation abide by the timescale set by the court.

I would appreciate reassurance that the above tenant will not be evicted prior to the date set by the court and that the tenant will remain in the premises free of harassment. Please note the Council are authorised under Protection Against Eviction Act 1977 to take legal action in this regard.

Kind regards

Our reply:

Dear xxxxxx

We thank you for the information you have given us about our own court case and also thank you for reiterating that an illegal eviction is in fact illegal. We can most certainly give you reassurance that we will comply with the law.

We would also like reassurance from Yourself, Shelter and Mr Xxxxx that they will comply with the order and give up possession, “namely 6 weeks from the date of the order.” We would also like to be assured that the organisation Shelter and BCP council will “abide by the timescale set by the court.”

We would’ve appreciated if you would have enquired with us in regard to the matter instead of making assumptions on our behaviour and “demeanour” at court.

As it clearly states in your Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy: “in developing this policy, we must remain impartial to both landlord and tenant to be fair to both sides and give help and advice to achieve our aim, but we must also be firm in taking enforcement action if appropriate.”

Harry



Comments

Michael Holmes

10:33 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Yes,

As you say, the Council are completely impartial and scrupulously fair in this matter. No doubt you will be receiving the full rent during the interim!

Anthony Hawes

10:36 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Perfect response.

I wonder how the figures compare for landlords acting unlawfully as compared to councils and tenants when it comes to the eviction process.

Good luck

Ian Narbeth

10:56 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

It is amazing that on the basis of hearsay about a landlord's "demeanour" the Council has time and resources to write a threatening letter to you. Given that you had gone to court and obtained an order for possession it is disingenuous to say they were concerned about illegal eviction. Good response on your part.
If I might make a suggestion, when they fail to reply you might send a chaser and also ask the Council to confirm that they have not told Mr Xxxxx (and that it is not the case) that he will not be re-housed if he obeys the court order in a timely fashion and that he will only be re-housed if he waits until the bailiffs evict him. Remind them that disobeying or ignoring a court order is contempt of court and ask them to undertake not to do so.

Steve Guest

11:05 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

And they wonder why landlords are selling up in droves. I have been renting property for nearly 40 years, and if I could sell my properties I would. There has to be a less painful way of banging your head against a brick wall

Jan Martin

11:13 AM, 28th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Steve Guest at 28/10/2019 - 11:05
I agree . I have made a decision over the weekend to stop buy to let and start holiday lets .Surely that must be easier ?

Mike

15:43 PM, 28th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Wasn't worth replying to BCP, waste of time, and your precious resources, but don't expect miracles either, the tenant would have been most likely advised even after the court order eviction date to stay put until the bailiffs arrive, so your next course of action is to apply for bailiffs now since considering how long before they even write to you confirming a date set for eviction, in my case in London they took 6 weeks to respond or set an eviction date another month away! Its a big joke now, they are fooling an breaking the law without any impunity, advocating tenants to ignore the Court Orders! Housing law stinks!

terry sullivan

16:05 PM, 28th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 28/10/2019 - 10:56
I suggest copy of councils letter to judge-sounds like contempt to me?

H Priory Homes

18:35 PM, 28th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 28/10/2019 - 10:56
Thanks for the feedback and advice, I have never looked at this from the contempt of court perspective, do you have further information on this as it is certainly something I would like to use in my court cases, shelter and the council are advising tenants to disobey a court order. I still have not received a reply from the council, I will post the reply (if I get one)

H Priory Homes

18:43 PM, 28th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Anthony Hawes at 28/10/2019 - 10:36
Thank you! It is shocking the double standards displayed by the council, shelter and the courts.
The fact that shelter and the council are advising tenants to disobey a court order is shocking!
My experience in the past is the tenant gets re-homed once there is paperwork and a date for the bailiffs, more costs and fees for us landlords, you can attach a ccj with the eviction but if the tenant is claiming benefits/UC you have no chance of retrieving your money.

Di

21:26 PM, 28th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

It's now all par for the course isn't it - everyone from the government down seems to think they can treat private landlords contemptuously and get away with it .... and, as a general rule, they do. Is any other business treated so badly? I must admit that I'm fed up with it all and converting my ASTs to Holiday Lets too. Perhaps things will change in future - either that or the private landlord will become extinct.

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