Are Councils legally allowed to force a Tenant to challenge/appeal a repossession order already issued?

by Readers Question

14:19 PM, 19th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Are Councils legally allowed to force a Tenant to challenge/appeal a repossession order already issued?

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Are Councils legally allowed to force a Tenant to challenge/appeal a repossession order already issued?

I recently had to seek an eviction order to repossess a property on grounds of Section 8, ( substantial rent arrears) and dereliction of the property. The order was granted and as tenant failed to leave, bailiffs were booked to call. This was due to done on Wed 14th, 2017.

On Monday the 12th, June, I got a phone call from my solicitors that the tenant has applied to have the order to be suspended and the hearing was scheduled for Tues, 13th June, 2017. I was worried and had to seek the services of a Barrister to represent me. The case was thrown out in my favour as the order issued was mandatory and according to the Judge presiding he did not see any way a mandatory order can be suspended!

The worrying part is that the tenants were force to file this unnecessary and futile action. The tenant’s action was endorsed by a Council Officer and according to tenant, was paid for by the Council, from the taxpayer’s pockets!

I incurred an unnecessary cost of Barrister, my time and a severe anxiety. There is hardly any chance of recouping the arrears or the costs as tenants are on benefit. This action by the Council is also a severe blow under the belt as we always work with the local Council and a very substantial number of our tenants are referred to us by the Council and I have worked with the Council to provide accommodation for homeless people referred by them!

Manu



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:24 PM, 19th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Manu,

This is all too common a story at Property118 in regards to Councils advising tenants they should not leave a rented property, because they will be seen to be making themselves homeless and then the council will not help them.

Unfortunately, I don't know if forcing a tenant in these circumstances is legal or if that is the correct phrase.

Roanch 21

20:10 PM, 19th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Surely the council have a duty to you as well as to the tenant. It is wrong for them to pursue vexatious actions or encourage others to do so. You have a contract with the tenant which they are not party to. Legally it is wrong (a tort) for them or anyone to interfere in a legal contract that doesn't involve them that causes cost to one party. Complain to council, councillors and MP.
However I'm sure you're better off not dealing with DSS tenants at all, as the council only really stick their noses in with DSS tenants. That's what I do now and I have so much more time available because I'm not dealing with the lazy leftie idiots at my council and my stress levels are much lower.

Manu Patel

21:22 PM, 19th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roanch 21" at "19/06/2017 - 20:10":

I fully now agree wth Roanch 21 but still think not all DSS tenants are really bad, but now know how the Council staff behave with Private landlords even going to support lies told by tenants to the Court. Even Social Services people say blatant lies to the Judge!
I have now decided to stop taking on anymore DSS Tenants and also gradually get out of PRS.
Surely there must be easier way to secure our pensions without having to fight constantly with the UK Government and Councils. Let us see how they are going to replace all the rented properties currently supplied by the PRS !

Manu Patel

Steven Burman

14:35 PM, 20th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Manu

I think your decision to no longer accept tenants on benefits is correct. You are right to say that not all DSS tenants are bad, it is local authorities that cause the real difficulties, for both landlords and tenants.

I also think you are correct to get out of the PRS - the persecusion of landlords by both local and central government has gone too far already but is likely to get worse.

I am in a similar position to you and am in the process of off-loading my rental properties.

I have invested smaller amounts of money in the fast rising property crowd-funding market and have (so far) found them to be relatively stress free with acceptable risk levels and they give a decent return on my investment. I will be increasing my investments in the near future.

It is definitely worth considering.

Best of luck.

Prakash Tanna

15:40 PM, 20th June 2017
About 2 years ago

I think it's unfair to persecute Tenants on Housing Benefit. I actually prefer these to professional renters. I also would not blame the LA without knowing all the facts. Sadly, it's correct the LA will insist on the tenant to stay put until the Bailiff comes knocking, but that is no different if it was a professional tenant who is not paying his/her rent.

My experience is provided the LA will re-house the family involved, they do not get in the way of the legal system process as long as you dot all the I's and cross all the T's correctly in the paperwork. The support they give the tenants is no different to what a professional tenant would get from a paid for Solicitor who could just as easily drag the possession proceedings through the courts for 9-12 months.

If anything, blame the legal system for the way it is setup and more in favour of tenants instead of the Landlord's in honest situations like yours, Manu.

Don't let one experience put you off these category of renters. Every business has it's challenges. Easy hassle-free sailing is boring and no fun! 😉

Best of luck with it all anyways.

Chris Daniel

20:59 PM, 20th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Interestingly,
What Council was it ( name and shame them here )
How about ;
1. a FOI to that council asking how much money aand under what types of circumstances have they paid a Council Housing benefit recipients costs in Possession proceedings.
Then,
Make an official complaint against the Council, escalating to the Local Govt Ombudsman ( don't get too exited, he's a state puppet there to protect Councils whilst pretending to be an arbiter ) then, get your Councillors and M.P involved.
It surely has to be wrong that Council Tax payers money is spent this way.
In fact, wouldn't it be an idea if lots of landlords asked to join their councils tax payers Council Tax scrutiny panel ( Councils must have some sort of residents representation, other than councilors ? )

Mandy Thomson

14:32 PM, 24th June 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Manu Patel" at "19/06/2017 - 21:22":

I was aware that local authorities will often pay tenant's rent arrears to bring them under 2 months so the landlord loses ground 8 when evicting under section 8 for rent arrears, but I never imagined a council would go this far!

I only hope that housing department is very pleased with itself; not only have they wasted money in a totally futile appeal and failed to stop the eviction, but they've also lost themselves a valuable housing provider, meaning they will have even fewer housing options in future for other desperate tenants (more deserving ones who will pay their rent look after the property too).

When will local and national government come to realise that any measure they take against a good landlord is also a measure against tenants and is only worsening the housing crisis?

paul smith

12:15 PM, 26th June 2017
About A year ago

Cant you get your costs awarded from the council as they seemed to be a "champion" (i think that is the legal term) in funding this appeal.?


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