Tenant seeks advice over wrongful eviction

by Readers Question

9:26 AM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

Tenant seeks advice over wrongful eviction

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Tenant seeks advice over wrongful eviction

Tenant seeks advice over wrongful evictionI recently got raided by police under the misuse of drugs act. I was told by my solicitor it was because they received information which was not true.

I was held by the Police for 22 hours so were three of my friends, we were all released on bail, nothing was found and my flat was ransacked.

A few days later my landlord contacted me saying the police had been in contact with him and told him that he has to serve me with a two week eviction notice and that if he doesn’t the Police will put a 6 month crack closure on his flat.

My landlord doesn’t want to evict me nor dos he want his flat closed down.

Can this happen?

Can the Police do this?

Do I have any rights?

Lorraine Carrigan



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:50 AM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

Dear Lorraine

You do have rights and so does your landlord. If you both play your cards right I think you will be fine and the Police will end up with egg of their face.

If I were your landlord I would be asking the Police to put this is writing. If they were to do so I would comply by serving the necessary section 8 notice, i.e. notice that I will be applying to the Courts for you to be evicted if you have not moved out within two weeks. I would have to do that to cover my back but I would not expect you to leave. If you were to leave in that period I would hold the Police responsible for my lost income.

It can take several weeks for the Courts to set a hearing date and you will be in a position to put in a defence. From what you have said you obviously have a very strong defence.

Under the circumstances I can't see why any judge would grant a possession order.

As you landlord I would keep the Police fully informed about how the case was progressing. I would also let the Police know that I felt served notice under their duress and that under the circumstances I would be seeking legal advice in respect of what to do about consequential losses, i.e having to redecorate my property to re-let it, the costs of advertising it and referencing new tenants and any loss in rent whilst the property lies vacant between tenancies.

Whilst this is happening (notices, Court case etc.) you should obviously continue to be the model tenants, i.e. pay your rent on time, respect your property and respect your neighbours. This will give the judge no excuse to grant possession and if even if he does, the Council will have to re-house you as you will clearly not have made yourself intentionally homeless. You may even get yourself a nice new Housing association flat out of this 🙂

If you want to stay in the property and your landlord wants you to stay there too I think the Police may well be playing with fire in this instance.

Please not this is not legal advice, I am just telling you what I would do if I were your landlord with the benefit of 24 years of having been a landlord. I've never come across a situation like this before but very little shocks me these days.

For what it's worth I think the Police have acted very badly if everything you have said is true.

I wish you and your landlords all the best.

Jim Bauld

10:47 AM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

I'm assuming this property is not situated in Scotland?

if it is, then I can see no basis at all for any eviction action.

15:13 PM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

Basically the police can apply to the Magistrates Court to close the house for up to 3 months initially. This is known as a 'Crack House Closure'

Rules relating to ending your tenancy under the Housing Act etc do not apply.

The order is made on the house.

It can be used as a civil remedy, instigated by the Police where they have evidence to support the house being used in association with Class A drugs. They have to provide evidence to support their claim, but as this is a civil matter, the burden of proof is lower- ie 'on the balance of probabilities' - Also hearsay evidence can be used.

There is an excellent guide here > https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.onepaper.co.uk%2FClosure%2520Orders.doc&ei=L7mkUfGnJ8_W7Qbxt4GYCQ&usg=AFQjCNHSgZgU2nme7nQ9Qe6S96ts5WgXMA&bvm=bv.47008514,d.ZGU

Ben Reeve-Lewis

16:52 PM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

Lorraine whatever way you look at this it is b**locks.

Firstly the police cannot order a landlord to evict tenants. A landlord is not responsible for the actions of their tenants unless they in some way condone or support their behaviour.

Secondly if you were released without charge what possible grounds could the landlord have for evicting you? Any even half decent defence advocate in court would easily argue that ground 14 (nuisance or using property for immoral or illegal purposes) was not proven because the police found no cause for further action.

You dont say if your accommodation forms part of a larger property. It may be that the police have just cause against other occupiers in this respect, in which case they should be delineating between you and guilty tenants.

Also, when did the police say this to the landlord? If it was during investigations into your circumstances, then I would suggest they were seriously jumping the gun. If it was after they had released you then I would say there are no grounds or basis for their advice to the landlord.

Grounds for a complaint to the Police Complaints Authority methinks, or, simply to clear this up a chat tpo the Borough Commander asking for an explanation prior to going to the PCA and ask who gave this daft advice to your landlord. It may not have been said WITH any authority BY anyone with authority.

Crack houses around my way are as common as MacDonalds, second only to marijuana farms, even so it is very rare for police to close them down, let alone place the responsibility for doing so at the door of the landlord.

Storm in a teacup in my opinion.

Mark Alexander

17:43 PM, 28th May 2013
About 6 years ago

@Glenn Ackroyd - the link you posted isn't working.

@Lorraine - both Ben and Glenn are very well qualified to offer you this advice.


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