Mandy Thomson

Registered with
Wednesday 13th November 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 1065

Mandy Thomson

14:47 PM, 3rd November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Tenants may soon be able to sue for properties not meeting basic standards

I don't think this should be for private tenants as they already have the recourse of raising a complaint with environmental health, and as everyone above has said, is potentially allowing rogue tenants a licence to make vexatious claims via "ambulance chasing" solicitors.

However, for social tenants this is a really good thing, as they currently have no voice, as they can't easily complain to their council about its own failings.

Had the residents of Grenfell had such an option, lives might well have been saved. Instead their complaints about fire safety in the building simply fell on deaf ears.... Read More

Mandy Thomson

3:02 AM, 7th October 2018
About a month ago

Shelter CEO is also confused about no-fault evictions

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 06/10/2018 - 21:52
Given that the tenants these reports survey are contributing the information anonymously, I fail to see how Shelter can describe tenant survey reports as unhelpful (unless they can claim the surveyors only choose tenants who live nice houses...).

Generally speaking, people will complain if their expectations are not met, but often can't find the time to praise when they are met or even exceeded (as a consumer, I'm guilty as charged).... Read More

Mandy Thomson

15:55 PM, 6th October 2018
About a month ago

Shelter CEO is also confused about no-fault evictions

Reply to the comment left by B4lamb at 06/10/2018 - 14:38
I work as a landlord advisor for one the landlord bodies. We would almost always advise section 21 over section 8 because it is generally quicker, easier and less stressful (the rent arrears may or may not be recovered in a separate claim in the small claims court).

As another poster mentioned earlier, there is almost always a compelling reason for the landlord evicting (albeit not recorded with s.21). Mostly, the landlords I speak to have tenants who have breached the agreement in some way and refuse to mend their ways. The breaches are usually very serious.

Where the fault doesn't lie with the tenant, or the tenant's conduct is borderline, it's because the landlord wants to quit - either because of advancing age, clause 24, bad relationship with tenants, repair challenges, they want to sell or any combination of these reasons. Another common reason is the tenant requests the s.21 to get social housing, though this is becoming less common since implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, though I have heard of at least one local authority ignoring it.

An interesting fact is that when I started working as an advisor, I took a possession course to refresh my memory. The course was taken by an excellent trainer who had spent many years working for Shelter (advising tenants and representing them in court). Her advice? Serve both s.21 and s.8 (for rent arrears) but given a choice, a claim pursuant to s.21 is usually preferable to one pursuant to s.8!... Read More

Mandy Thomson

10:30 AM, 6th October 2018
About a month ago

Shelter CEO is also confused about no-fault evictions

"Section 21 is chosen in preference to Section 8, because it costs much less in time and money and does not require a court case unless the tenant ignores it and fails to move out at the end of the two month notice period. Even then, it does not always require an appearance in court."

Something like 90% of section 21 cases go through without a hearing. A hearing will only be called if there is a technicality or the tenant or landlord requests one. This is the main reason why this is so popular with landlords.

Even with section 21, it can take many months, not weeks, to get an eviction.

Depending on the caseload of the county court dealing with the case, and assuming the claim is straightforward, it takes on average 7 weeks from submission of the claim to the possession order being granted.

There is then a further 14 days for the possession order to expire before the landlord can instruct bailiffs (assuming the tenant has not been able to get a postponement, which will extend the possession notice to up to 42 days).

When instructing bailiffs, most landlords are left with no choice than to use county court bailiffs, because few realise they should submit the writ to transfer to the High Court with the possession claim form or at least as soon as possession is granted. By the time the possession order has expired, it's really too late. Also, the application process (to transfer the eviction to the High Court) is more complicated and a HCEO is more expensive.

Again, the waiting time for the county court bailiff varies from court to court, but the average is again something like 6 weeks.

Therefore, for a section 21 eviction that goes to court and requires bailiff enforcement (the vast majority of evictions that go to court), it takes a minimum of 142 days to get the property back, not just the 2 months minimum section 21 notice (I've also allowed 4 days extra days for service on top of the minimum 2 months notice).... Read More

Mandy Thomson

9:26 AM, 6th October 2018
About a month ago

Shelter CEO is confused about the reasons for evictions

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 04/10/2018 - 12:46And of course, housing association figures are included with private eviction figures.
Yes there will be a SMALL number of private landlords who evict simply because they decide they no longer want to be a landlord, but the majority are evicting for a good REASON although they are using section 21 to do so. This is because it's much easier to evict with section 21 as there is normally no hearing and the only real defence is a technical defence.
It is important to mention section 21 because Shelter and other pro tenant groups like to cite the many "no fault" evictions as an argument against private landlords and against "no fault" eviction itself, while forgetting that small private landlords don't have the resource to evict that housing associations and local authority landlords do, that have legal representation at their disposal, and can afford to wait for longer to get their properties back.... Read More