Landlords waiting longer to repossess properties at average 17.3 weeks!

Landlords waiting longer to repossess properties at average 17.3 weeks!

15:18 PM, 9th May 2019, About 5 years ago 7

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Landlords are now waiting longer to repossess properties for legitimate reasons, according to official data published today.

Ministry of Justice figures show the average time for a private landlord to make a claim to the courts to repossess a property to it happening, was 17.3 weeks.

The figures, which cover the first quarter of 2019, show the process is taking a week longer than it did in the final quarter of 2018.

These figures are based on the government’s preferred median measurement.

With Ministers pledged to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions the RLA is arguing that the court processes must first be fixed to ensure landlords are not unduly frustrated when wanting to reclaim their property in the face of tenants failing to pay their rents or committing anti-social behaviour.

It is calling for the establishment of a properly funded, dedicated housing court to improve and speed up justice for landlords and tenants where need be.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA said: “The courts are simply unable to cope when landlords seek to repossess property for legitimate reasons.

“Before seeking to scrap Section 21 repossessions Ministers urgently need to give confidence to landlords and tenants that the courts will first be substantially improved to speed up access to justice. That means establishing a full and proper housing court.”

The RLA is currently consulting the landlord community on how to ensure the process for repossessing properties can be improved, with record numbers of landlords already responding.

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11:14 AM, 10th May 2019, About 5 years ago

So far it has taken me overall 8 months since my tenant stopped paying me rent, and has not paid any since serving him a Section 8 Notice.
1) Notice Served Date 7th December 2018
2) Waiting minimum of two weeks before filing possession order
3) On 29th December 2018 Filed Court Possession order.
4) 7 days later Court responded with a hearing date 6 weeks away set on for 15th February 2019
5) Tenant arrived and was given a free duty solicitor paid for by landlord tax payers, who pay taxes on their rental income ! and duty solicitor picked out a single error and case got adjourned for another hearing set for 28th March 2019 .
6) At second hearing the Tenant failed to turn up, Court granted me immediate possession.
7) Possession granted on 28th March 2019.
8) 6th April 2019 Tenant still there so applied for Court Bailiffs.
9) On 15th April 2019 Phoned Court bailiffs because they have not confirmed when they are coming, instead I was told that I have not sent in a Risk Assessment Form
10) Sent in a risk assessment form on 16th April 2019
11) Have not heard a thing from the bailiffs when they will be coming, if I am right, I might receive a letter confirming their visit in about 4 to 6 weeks from the date I receive the letter!
Tenant still living at the premises, allowed to continue to steal my gas, electric, water, cooking facilities, washroom, garden, washing machine, and I am also paying the bastard's council tax, what a pee taker and the Law does not allow me to change my door locks after it has granted me possession.
Once a Court possession has been granted, why do we need Court Bailiffs? why can't any bailiff remove a tenant after giving a short notice!

Seething Landlord

12:45 PM, 10th May 2019, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 10/05/2019 - 11:14
As a matter of interest, what was the "single error" picked out by the duty solicitor that cost you 6 weeks delay between hearings?


13:40 PM, 10th May 2019, About 5 years ago

first of all the Duty Solicitor acting for the defendant (tenant) picked up an error on my Section 8 Notice it self, because I had not stated the actual amount of rent arrears (Figure in pounds) but only that the tenant was in rent arrears by more than two months, the Judge dismissed his objection and asked him to proceed further, the Judge was satisfied that I need not have mentioned the actual figure but stating rent arrears of two or three months was sufficient and acceptable.
Next, he picked up on Grounds for Possession, now I assumed that the courts and anyone dealing with rent arrears would know that when it comes to rent arrears we are dealing with Ground 8, under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, so I had been naive and did not mention reason for possession as Ground 8.
However, the Judge was really kind to me, (my highest praise to her) She gave me 14 days to submit amended Particulars of Claim, and set a new hearing date rather than dismiss the case which she said she has the power to do so.
So for me this little mistake of not mentioning the actual Ground but its description cost me this 6 weeks, I described reason for possession as "tenant is in rent arrears by more than 2 months" ( which is Ground 8) but as per civil procedure rules the ground must be stated in question No 3 c on the form.

Guess what, I just received in post today Risk Assessment Form from the bailiffs, that I have already filled 10 days or more ago, I was waiting for the final letter from them stating on which date they will be able to attend, but absolutely nothing, and their phones will not answer, I tried about 20 times! the whole thing is a bloody JOKE!

Darlington Landlord

19:43 PM, 10th May 2019, About 5 years ago

if the property is self contained the tenant should be liable for the council tax unless specified in the tenancy agreement

Lesley Thomas

20:35 PM, 10th May 2019, About 5 years ago

We have just managed to take possession of a property under an order for accelerated possession. £4k rent arrears since August 2018, plus courts fees and loads of work to be done on the property as left by the tenant. Yes, what a nightmare! Our fortunate fall back position is her mother (a homeowner) was the Guarantor. So guess what, we have set our debt collection company onto her mother. We are now going to continue only letting with a bona fida Guarantor. No Guarantor - no let. This could be a way forward for landlords, especially with the reduced deposits and new legislation next month.

Kay Landlord

8:48 AM, 11th May 2019, About 5 years ago

I feel your pain. I Just got my property back after 7 months In the courts and no rent for 12 months. Tenants still owe me 18k but have counter claimed me so I’ve only got judgment on part of the money order currently. It was frustrating to watch him lie out of his back teeth to the duty Solictor and smirk at me during the 3rd hearing. They were real professional non payers and after getting back in to the house I discovered 5 identities they have used. Ive gone to the police. They smeared food everywhere in the hope of attracting vermin and deliberately broke something small in each room. I will not ever let anyone in my properties without rent guarantee product or a guarantor in place again. I have 2 more evictions to go-
One has knocked down my wall so I’ve lost a whole room and keeps rent arrears just under 8 weeks so I only have section 21 to rely on.

Another owes 4k and deliberately cancelled her UC and just won’t leave until her new place has been decorated so I’m told. I am tempted to pay for a removal van can just to get her out of my life.
I just wrote on the NLA postcard campaign that the government must be very careful to put in place proper steps to ensure there is a lawful balance in law if section 21 is going or being changed. We must be able to get our properties back quickly and be able to end a tenancy in the event of debt, damage, refurbishment and sale ( I had to raise the point that the section 24 tax changes are forcing some of us to sell one or two to pay tax on non existent income as well.

What I don’t understand is that there are nearly 2 million landlords, possibly 5.4 million private tenancies and perhaps only a few hundred thousand of these 2 million landlords who have stood up and helped campaign veraciously for our industry. How can we get more landlords involved?

Seething Landlord

12:59 PM, 11th May 2019, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kay Landlord at 11/05/2019 - 08:48
I suspect that it is only those landlords who have had the misfortune to be the victims of rogue tenants who are motivated to get involved. Just as most tenancies are ended by the tenant, most landlords have probably had little or no experience of tenants who deliberately cause damage or fail to pay the rent more or less on time. What Government fail to appreciate or so it seems, is that the law needs to cater for the exceptional cases because they are the only ones that will ever come before the Courts.

It is the same old story of the actions of a few rogue landlords tarnishing the reputation of us all and the vocal minority of tenants and their self-appointed advocates persuading Government that the whole system needs to be changed because of a relatively few "hard cases" where tenants have been subjected to unfair treatment by disreputable landlords or their agents.

The dilemma is how to prevent abusive or unfair treatment of tenants without making it impossible for landlords to deal effectively with the type of tenants that you have described, even more worrying when your issues have arisen under the current system. Is there some reason why you did not serve S21 notices as soon as problems started to emerge?

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