Are courts going to turn vehemently anti-landlord?

by Dr Rosalind Beck

10:22 AM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

Are courts going to turn vehemently anti-landlord?

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Are courts going to turn vehemently anti-landlord?

Some tenants left a landlord’s property a year ago with nearly £2,000 in arrears.  The court awarded the £2,000 to the landlord, but the landlord was then asked to go to mediation to come to an agreement about payment.

The mediation followed the usual pattern. Instead of the tenants offering a payment plan they accused the landlord of stealing a car to the value of £2,000 and said they would pay once the car was returned. The landlord suggested they report this alleged theft to the police.

Anyway, a letter arrived today, the 30th of July, from the courts. It was dated 24th of July and said that if the landlord did not respond within 7 days of the issue of the letter the claim would be stayed. Said letter was posted on the 28th of July (a nice clear date stamp) and sent second class. The landlord, therefore, had one day to respond before a hard-won court judgement was overturned.

Is anyone else experiencing this kind of shenanigans from the courts?

Is this the way things are going to be now?

Tenants are invariably given 28 days repeatedly throughout the court process, and the landlord is given one day (the letter could have easily arrived a day after the deadline).


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Comments

Beaver

10:45 AM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

The landlord needs to complain about the process.

Question Everything

10:49 AM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

With my court experience, I would say the landlord should write immediately to the court and state that the notice period is completely unacceptable and they need time to get counsel. (whether they get legal counsel or not)
Then suggest 30 days from receipt of the letter as a reasonable period.
I would also suggest the landlord files an allegation of fabrication regarding the theft of the car and put it to them to prove. This could also be put in the letter suggesting counsel also needs to be consulted on this.
What I have discovered through the kangaroo (family) courts is that the system is broken and it is largely about people being bullied. If you don't fight back, they will just push you about and you will appear guilty by default.
Not legal advice obviously, but you would think courts are about justice, but really they are a device to be used by sociopaths to control and abuse.

Beaver

10:52 AM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Question Everything at 31/07/2020 - 10:49
I agree: And having written back I would consider finding somebody who knows the process; because it will have nothing to do with justice and the people who know how best to manipulate the process are likely to win.

Chris Mccauley

10:58 AM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

Dr Beck, In my case I managed to get the judgement and payment of over £3000 rent arrears , but it took 2 years on slow deduction of tenant’s wages. Luckily the tenant had proveable professional employment, I think it also depends on the judge, and the particular court but the main thing is rhat you have your property back and that’s why section 21 must stay, however if section21 is removed without proper back up for landlords. I think that will be the end of smaller private landlords, and also disastrous for tenants.

Peter Fredericks

13:36 PM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

The County Courts are in melt down and COVID has only made matters even worse. I received an Order this week, made by the Judge on 14 July 2020, issued by the Court Office 2nd class on 24 July 2020 and received on 30 July 2020. Depending on when the 14 day clock started ticking (ostensibly 14 July 2020) for a response to the Court, I received the Order after the deadline for a reply. Today I have just raised a formal complaint with another Court. They required submissions by 11 June 2020 and have still not issued an order in a pressing matter over 7 weeks later.
I reflect o the fact that access to justice is restricted anyway by the astronomical Court fees implemented by Mr Chris "failing" Grayling, the most inept Minister I can remember.

By the way if you're thinking of complaining, my experience pre-COVID was that the complaints system itself did not work, with emails lost and deadlines missed!

Lindsay Keith

16:37 PM, 31st July 2020
About 2 months ago

The courts system is indeed broken, to the point where it is uneconomic (!!!) to sue for debt (it will cost a small fortune to get a useless paper judgment but no money back) and may seem more attractive and purposeful to 'send in the boys'?

Ann Diamond

8:13 AM, 1st August 2020
About 2 months ago

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. Court awarded me a couple of thousand pounds and suggested the ex tenant was willing to pay 1p per month.

Lindsay Keith

14:12 PM, 1st August 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ann Diamond at 01/08/2020 - 08:13It's gone down! When I did pre 1971 Judgment Summonses in Newcastle County Court before the legendary Judge Wilkes, I think the going rate for the unemployed was '4 shillings a month'?

Ron H-W

10:08 AM, 3rd August 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ann Diamond at 01/08/2020 - 08:13
That penny wouldn't quite cover the allowable interest (at 3+0.1%) on £3.87 !!!
Was the Court trying to give the message that they didn't like you, although tecnically you were in the right? - a bit like some instances of "one penny damages" ...

WP

15:00 PM, 4th August 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 31/07/2020 - 16:37
...yep and if the tenant wants to take you to court over it, they too have a very long wait....maybe this is the point at which the tables turn for genuine landlords and unscrupulous tenants?


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