17:00 PM, 21st June 2021, About 2 years ago 15
Bailiffs arrive at Last! SO after serving notice for non-payment of rent on 1st November 2019 (Long before Covid-19 was even invented) and after a full year of waiting, a court date was finally set for 18 March 2021, at which the judge ruled for an eviction two weeks later on 1st April 2021 (AND that bailiffs could be called before the 30 June cut-off if necessary).
Of course, 01/04/21 came and went, and the tenants stayed… and stayed… and stayed! We asked for Bailiffs immediately, but Landlord Action did not apply to the court for another week for some reason, and then it was radio silence from the courts for another nine weeks until FINALLY a date of 18 June was given for the eviction. A very stern warning from my solicitor not to be late ensured we were on site, with new lock and tools in hands, 30 mins before the allotted time.
The Bailiffs arrived ten minutes late and informed us that the tenant had gone to court in person that morning to plea for more time. They cited that they had two children which would be made homeless by the eviction. This is a complete lie as the children in question were removed from her & boyfriend by social services three years previously, as these two are somewhat active in the drugs scene.
Luckily, the Bailiffs had the judges’ mobile and let him know this before the hearing, and the application for stay of execution was thrown out. The Bailiffs entered, the locks were changed and the tenants in the other flats enjoyed their first night of peace and quiet and without the reek of cannabis smoke, for almost two years. Unpaid rent …? Forget it!! This has cost around £17,500 all told.
This is sort of a happy ending, but questions remain…
1. The Bailiff told us we are not allowed to throw out the remaining possessions of the tenants, nor enter to clean and redecorate for seven days. Is this normal / legal..? I thought we had possession now…??!!
2. There was a dog involved, mentioned by me on all the myriad forms. Nothing was done or said about this, and the Bailiffs were keen to wriggle out of the eviction because of it because “I should have arranged for a dog handler”. Happily, I am used to dogs and this particular one was friendly, so no issue there.
3. I had no idea a tenant can just rock up to court and get a hearing with five minutes notice! Why does it take a landlord sixteen months to get a hearing, but a tenant five minutes…? Slight imbalance there!!
So another (very long) chapter closes in dealing with non-paying druggy tenants.