Taken to Court by no win no fee solicitor?

Taken to Court by no win no fee solicitor?

16:44 PM, 18th January 2021, About 2 years ago 25

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My tenant complained of mould, but would not let me or my workers into the property. He then said he had decorated (he hadn’t) and no more mention of mould.

He was clearly causing this by various things he was doing including a tumble dryer with no outlet and a paraffin heater. I served an eviction notice after the police had issued him with an anti-social behaviour warning and notice. He told my other tenants he was going to pay me back!

Then I received a letter of claim from a no win no fee solicitor. They want £3500 and legal costs, but I have no idea what they are claiming for as they will not say and will not provide costs for their service, yet they want me to settle. This could be thousands of pounds.

I have proof from workers, the police, other tenants that he would not allow access to the flat. We are now about to go to court. It is costing me £1000s for my solicitor and then ultimately a barrister. It is costing him nothing.

He has done a runner leaving a totally vandalised flat. Even if I win, which I should, he is on benefits, so he won’t be able to pay any costs to me. Has anybody else experienced this and got any advice?

I’m told this is a new scam and landlords often pay to get rid of the problem. I actually believe in justice and as I have done nothing wrong I am inclined to go to Court. I have also found, too late for me, that for very little money landlords can get insurance and I highly recommend you do.

My solicitor estimates court costs to be around £15000 if we win!!

Barbara


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Comments

Clint

11:38 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 23/01/2021 - 08:47Yes, I lost the case for the reason mentioned in that the original section 8 notice did not have the total amount the tenant owed showing in a statement when the notice was first served. There was obviously more to the case however, it would be too long to explain it all.
The tenant was not awarded costs. The costs were for the tenant's solicitor and barrister.
By the time of the final hearing, UC had paid the tenant and the tenant had paid the rent. Even if the tenant had not paid the rent, I would have lost the case due to the total rent owing not being shown when the section 8 was served
On the point of disrepair, I won on that part of the case as they could not prove that there was any disrepair.

Seething Landlord

13:05 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 23/01/2021 - 11:38
Thanks for the clarification. I guess that it demonstrates the need to follow the pre action protocol and instructions regarding service of section 8 notices to the letter.

Chris @ Possession Friend

18:50 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 19/01/2021 - 22:29
The Debt Moratorium ( Breathing Space, as its innocuously called ) is going to have massive impact for landlords despite being under-played by some.
Dr Beck wrote briefly warning on this recently and I'm in the process of doing some work on it. Further, to come.

Chris @ Possession Friend

18:58 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Prakash Tanna at 19/01/2021 - 12:58
The potential problem with Rent arrears ( Section 8, Ground 8 ) are allegations of Disrepair, as many Landlords can attest to. We have seen some horrendous cases !
Some things landlords can do are ;
Keep meticulous records of correspondence with tenant. After work has been carried out, ask tenant to confirm, via Text that the matter has been successfully resolved, and
Ensure that there are no outstanding repairs prior to serving Notice

Clint

19:07 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 23/01/2021 - 18:58I fully agree here. After a job is completed, I get the tenant to sign a note stating that the job was completed satisfactorily and that there are no other problems in the flat.
I do this for both disrepair claims ever arising if there is a possession case or for any other reason. I also use it for licensing purposes.

It is highly imperative that as a landlord, one has to be meticulous in every aspect of renting and have evidence of every possible event.

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