Shelter deter judge evicting anti-social tenants using dubious technicality

Shelter deter judge evicting anti-social tenants using dubious technicality

8:25 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago 17

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The court hearing described below took place recently, but the subsequent conversation is imagined.

Hello darling, how was your day with Shelter?

Oh darling, it was wonderful, I am on cloud nine.  I managed to stop eviction proceedings in court – on a technicality!

That’s marvelous, the people who put money in the collection tins at B&Q would be so proud of you!  Was it a revenge eviction or a so-called no-fault eviction that Polly Neate was on about on television last week where the tenants have been paying their rent, they haven’t damaged the property in any way, they haven’t done anything else that should lead them to be evicted, and they’re being evicted, for no reason?

Not exactly darling, it was a couple who owe five months rent, and make life hell for their neighbours by routinely waking them with their screaming and shouting.  I was really clever; we did not file a defence so they did not expect us to come to court, but we arrived at the last minute!  You should have seen the other side’s faces!  They were hoping an end-date for their nightmare would finally be fixed, and then suddenly we appeared!  Their morale must have plummeted.

We didn’t seem to have a leg to stand on, but I had discovered that the Section 8 had been served before the appointment of the managing agent had been registered.  ARLA said it doesn’t matter, but the judge wasn’t sure, so they have to start all over again.  The judge made me admit that apart from this technicality the paperwork was all in order and the tenants should have been ordered to move out.  The order in which these two things were done obviously doesn’t change the facts of the case, but loopholes are put there to be used.  What a result!  The tenants will be able to stay rent-free for a while yet, and if the landlord dares approach them they can call the police.

Clever old you darling, all those years studying law have been so worthwhile.

Thank you darling, it’s what I was put on this Earth for.

However, I thought the purpose of Shelter was to provide homes for decent people who had fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, like Cathy in Cathy Come Home.

Oh no, darling that was over 50 years ago.  To begin with Shelter did raise money to provide housing, but housing associations took that over in 1976.  Shelter has been living off its reputation ever since. Nowadays its function is to make life so hard for private landlords that they sell up.

Where will their tenants go?  Won’t homelessness increase?

Of course silly, that’s where we come in!

When these tenants have been evicted at the second attempt, shall we let them stay with us until they find somewhere to live?

Are you mad?  I wouldn’t dream of having people like that in my house, thank you very much!  In any case, we would never be able to get rid of them.  With a County Court judgment against them for thousands of pounds, no decent landlord would touch them with a bargepole.  No, the best we can do for them is to tell them the usual – ignore the court order and wait for the bailiffs.  That will take weeks if not months.  Then they will have to remove themselves, with the fond farewells of the neighbours ringing in their ears, and become someone else’s problem, but we at Shelter will be there to support them, through thick and thin.  People who consider they have a right to something for nothing, and are actually prepared to fight for it, are the salt of the earth.  We at Shelter believe that one non-paying anti-social tenant is worth ten law-abiding, tax-paying landlords.

Let’s celebrate tonight!


by Larry Sweeney

10:08 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

Excellent article, and I happen to know that it is based on a factual case.
New Show in Town, new Landlord organisation and lots of surprises for Shelter the charity that houses nobody, collects £60 million and pays the top Honcho £120k plus, while frustrating the judicial system in the name of assisting tenants. Shelter would do well to advise tenants to refrain from engaging in Asb, and pay the rent. Shelter are part of the problem and the new organisation will be going head to head with Shelter. Shelter line up your spin Doctors with your tax payers £60 million. You will need them.

by NW Landlord

10:30 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

I can’t believe these parasites are still operating it beggars believe

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:40 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by NW Landlord at 03/10/2018 - 10:30
They have been quoted today in a BBC article:
Obviously as an authority on housing.
Unbelievable, but sadly they are seen as experts and the greatest help for poor tenants.

by Gromit

10:58 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

A link to this article should be put on each of Shelters websites, and social media

by Dr Rosalind Beck

11:13 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

I believe that the main purpose of Shelter is to pay themselves large salaries whilst exacerbating and exaggerating the extent of homelessness. The bigger the problem or perceived problem, the more they gain status and line their own pockets. Their constant attacks on the PRS hurt landlords and tenants and benefit only themselves. A colleague has worked out how if the £50-£60 million they get each year were used on housing rough sleepers in HMOs, the problem would be eradicated overnight. Their destructive use of their budget is a disgrace and their hypocrisycrisy in attacking those of us who provide housing - when they provide none - is breathtaking.

by David Price

11:14 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

CAB are just as bad, assisting delinquent tenants to continue to behave badly rather than bring them into line.

by Clint

11:25 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

I had a similar case where, the day before the hearing, I received an email from a solicitor appointed by Shelter where they stated they would be representing the tenant who owed me around £4800 and that the paper work was not in order. I had applied for an eviction where the tenant not only owed me the above money, but was also an absolute nuisance
At the hearing, I found out that as we were joint Landlords, the application was incorrect on one of the documents as I only put my name as the Landlord instead of both Landlords. Everything was okay apart from one other technicality in that I did not fill in a "Certificate of Service" form although, the tenant had admitted receiving the section 8 notice and associated documents which I find most absurd. Over the years, I had evicted many tenants going through this same process using a section 8 notice and never had these problems.
The judge allowed me to amend the form and reapply however, I would have to pay for the day’s hearing and the other party's costs which amounted to around £1600 just for the barrister’s attendance on the day, and I was informed that there was also the solicitors costs that were to be paid which, I did not find out what those costs were as I decided to strike a deal by engaging counsel to act for me at an additional £650.
I did intend to attend the second hearing however, I was ordered to pay the other party’s costs within 14 days where, I tried to set it against the tenant’s debt however, could not as there was no court order (CCJ) saying that she owed me the money so would have had to pay the money. How absolutely ridiculous.
Anyway, an agreement was struck with my counsel that the tenant would leave within 28 days and all her debts wiped off and there would be no costs for me to pay and no claims from either party about disrepair or damages. This was what was called a Tomlin Order where if broken, I could apply to court for tenant to leave immediately as stated in Tomlin Order. I could not even see this as being simple however, the tenant left on the 28th day with no CCJ and knowing her would make life a nightmare for the next Landlord.
This case cost me with loss of rent around £5400 plus all the damage in the flat which I have to put right. Being a recent case works have not been carried out yet.
This tenant was on benefits so was entitled to legal aid. Great, free solicitor, free barrister. What more could one ask for?

by Mike

11:47 AM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

One good thing is you can go on to shelter's website and learn more about housing law and on what techniques they use to advise their members (tenants) and reveal various flaws in tenancy rules to them, so that tenants can use these to fight or overthrow eviction cases. We landlords can learn a lot from their website, learn all the tricks of their trade.

Using grounds of technicality, I managed to throw out a parking penalty ticket that was given to me legitimately, it was to do with my failing to display a parking permit on my car's windscreen, I had renewed my permit but forgot to stick it on my car's windscreen.
I got a ticket and appealed against it, stating that I had simply forgotten to place it on the car's screen, they stated that after carefully considering my appeal, (in which I had clearly stated that I had renewed my parking permit but simply forgot to put it on) instead they stated that because I had not renewed my permit on time, therefore they cannot waive the penalty, and gave me two options, a) pay the fine at reduced rate £40.00 (half of full amount of £80.00) within 14 days, b) failing which I will have to pay £40.00 if paid after 14 days, (Note they made a cockup it should have mentioned full amount £80.00)

So I waited for 14 days and on 15th day I rang them to pay the penalty by phone, I knew they would ask for £80.00, and they did, but I refused and said nope I will only pay £40.00 .

The cashier said no I must pay full amount as it is past 14 days,
but i insisted no I will only pay £40.00 because I have it in black and white on a letter from them giving me choice to pay £40.00 before or after 14 days, so she got confused and put me on hold to consult her team supervisor, came back and said OK Sir, we will accept £40.00, I then said to her that I have now changed my mind, I do not now want to pay you anything because you made a blunder, just like I did by forgetting to display my permit, why should I pay you for your blunder, same as they refused to cancel my penalty, the fact that they hadn't even considered my letter carefully, because in it I stated clearly that I had renewed my permit, except I forgot to put it on, but they wrote saying that I hadn't renewed it, which means they simply did not consider my appeal carefully, this meant there were 2 technicalities, not considering my appeal carefully and then making a mistake with the amount, I made it plain that I will not be paying anything now and if they want to take me to court I will contest these charges and the PCN,
I won my argument and they decided to cancel my PCN without going to a court.

by DebbieDoesALot

12:16 PM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 03/10/2018 - 11:25
That's just so unfair on so many levels. You have my profound sympathy 🙁 It is high time the balance was tilted back towards the landlord in possession hearings. Technicalities, if minor, should not prevent a possession and money order being granted if the facts would otherwise have allowed it. It is little wonder that landlords are becoming increasingly picky who they allow to live in their properties.

by Lesley Lester

15:11 PM, 3rd October 2018, About 4 years ago

What is Shelters remit?

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