BEST PRACTICE – letter template to go with eviction notices

by Robert Mellors

16:26 PM, 16th January 2019
About 2 years ago

BEST PRACTICE – letter template to go with eviction notices

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BEST PRACTICE – letter template to go with eviction notices

Did you know that legislation exists to ensure that tenants are treated by Council’s as being at risk of homelessness when a valid Section 21 notice is served, NOT when a court order is made, and certainly before bailiffs are appointed?

On this basis, advice given to tenants by Council’s and other organisations like Shelter, to ‘stay put’ may well be seriously flawed, in addition to being unfair and stressful to both landlords and tenants alike.

To combat this I have produced a letter template which I recommend all landlords and letting agents to send to tenants when they are being served with Section 21 or Section 8 notices.

The letter template is designed to be informative and helpful to tenants who may be concerned about being made homeless, and it makes it very clear that Councils should not be advising them to stay put and wait for a bailiff eviction.

The letter will also be useful to tenants when visiting their local Council with a view to making a homelessness application or seeking support, as it gives them an indication of what to expect.  It includes references to the relevant  legislation and Government guidance, and how tenants can contact their MP if they feel they are being ‘fobbed off’ or badly advised.  

As you may be aware, I run a ‘not for profit’ organisation which provides supported accommodation for homeless people and I am always looking for innovative ways to raise funds.  If you make a reasonable donation to my organisation (most people donate around £20 but every little helps) I will send you a link to the letter template by return.

Download the eviction 'side-letter' template



Comments

Rennie

9:25 AM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

brilliant - thank you

MasterG

9:48 AM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Mike

17:45 PM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Robert, such a good idea to inform or educate Tenants of their rights to housing by local councils when they are given an eviction notice, particularly Section 21, as well as on some grounds of Section 8 e.g. when a house needs to be repossessed by a mortgage company, or landlord wants move back in, through no fault of tenant, in which case all Councils have an obligatory requirement to provide tenants facing homelessness an alternative accomodation well before any court hearing or court eviction, it is about time Council were also brought to the table to sort their acts together and take their responsibility more seriously and not mess about with landlords, they are not above the law, further more giving tenants ill advice like stay as long as you can until you are physically evicted and left on the pavement is very stupid and illegal advice, which could be challenged in courts and componsation claims made against such councils for giving inappropriate advice that could cause tenants so much more distress and inconvenience, even possible harm. So all local councils should pull their socks up and get on with it instead of delaying homing tenants under eviction Notices, end of the day they will still have to rehouse them one way or another.

Mike T

19:17 PM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by MasterG at 17/01/2019 - 09:48
Its a great pity that all that information and guidance is largely ignored by local authorities and furthermore the Judges that make the situation even worse with their unbelievable judgements which together lead to it taking at least 7 months to repossess a property using the miss-named Accelerated process i.e Section 21..
This sad outcome is costing Landlords £1,000 's and leading landlords to leave the PRS and others to not take on Housing benefit applicants (or at least those without a home-owner guarantor)

Robert Mellors

21:07 PM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by MasterG at 17/01/2019 - 09:48
Thank you for the link MasterG. The template letter does make reference to the specific sections of the legislation and guidance so anyone (landlord, tenant, or council homelessness officer) who wants to look up the actual legislative wording can do so.

Robert Mellors

21:15 PM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 17/01/2019 - 17:45
Unfortunately Mike, not all homeless tenants would be rehoused by the Council, even when the tenant is made homeless through no fault of their own, so it is important to recognise which tenants may be rehoused by the council, and which will only be offered assistance to find and secure their own housing. Either way, tenants need to know how and when to make a homelessness application, and what to expect from the assessment of their application. Anything landlords can do to help inform and facilitate this process will benefit both the tenant and the landlord, as the tenant will be rehoused sooner and with less debt, and the landlord will recover the property sooner and with less hassle and cost.

Robert Mellors

21:25 PM, 17th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike T at 17/01/2019 - 19:17
Yes, the legal process takes far too long and the delays are not in the interest of either the landlord or the tenant. If tenants knew their rights to help from the Council then actual court proceedings could perhaps be avoided. The cost of taking the unnecessary court action is usually passed on to the departing tenant who not only loses their home, but also gains the burden of a large debt (the legal/court costs) and a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against them. The landlord then has to recover the loss through higher rents from subsequent tenants,
These negative effects could be avoided if the tenant made the homelessness application promptly and the council carried out their duties promptly and correctly. This template letter should help with that process, and in doing so it will reduce the costs (and stress) to both the landlord and the tenants.

Mike T

13:53 PM, 18th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 17/01/2019 - 21:15
I appreciate your thoughts and agree with you. Pleased to help in a small way and look forward to your template.

Mick Roberts

11:51 AM, 19th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Great idea Rob.


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