Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I have been a Landlord for many years and have accordingly seen many changes in legislation and impositions placed on Landlords, many for the better and some questionable. Along with such changes is the guidance and advice being given to Tenants by the various bodies such as Citizens Advice, Shelter, Homelessness Departments of Councils etc, all of which is aimed at making the Tenants aware of the legal position relative to their given situation/s. I, along with many other Landlords have no problem with such guidance in basis providing all the facts are being provided to the Tenant.
One such situation that I have considered in the past and one that was highlighted recently in a phone conversation with a person enquiring whether I had any properties available as he had been served notice by his Landlady because she wanted to sell the property. During our conversation he said that, whilst “he hoped to find something quickly however, he might have to let her take him through the court process to gain possession”.
Whilst this may be the legal position – that he had been advised of – he was unaware of the potential down side of allowing the situation to proceed through the court system and the possible downsides of being served with a CCJ (County Court Judgement).
I am of the understanding that having a CCJ can create potential problems with ones credit rating – should one wish to borrow money, could possibly harm potential employment prospects and/or could place an “attachment of earnings” against the Tenant such that the debt could be reclaimed from future incomes.
One final aspect associated with a case to proceed to County Court in order to gain possession relates to the cost, which can be either £250-00 or £280-00 depending whether the application is undertaken on line or not, this fee will be deducted from whatever bond remains, although the bond may already be assigned to other “losses” therefore the Landlord will, in general have to pay this or, it could be added to the “Attachment of earnings”.
Obviously, I may be incorrect in my thinking on this, if so, I welcome any input provided by Members which corrects my understanding, however, if I am correct, surely those who – with the best of intentions – provide such guidance need to make Clients aware of the possible negatives of allowing the case to go through the court process.
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