Unable to change Possession Hearing date?

by Readers Question

9:37 AM, 5th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Unable to change Possession Hearing date?

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Unable to change Possession Hearing date?

I’m in the middle of evicting a tenant for rent arrears. Section 8 Notice was now served and expired with no action from the tenant.

I’ve initiated the next step and have informed my solicitors well in advance that I was out of the country for two weeks and wouldn’t be able to attend court during certain dates. I self-manage so an agent attending isn’t an option. Despite this, I received an email confirmation of a court date that is during this time.

I immediately contacted the solicitor who informed me that they had:

1) no way of excluding certain dates when requesting a hearing,

2) little or no power to amend a date and

3) they cannot guarantee that the court will permit a new hearing date at all.

Is this correct??

I am the one requesting a court hearing and paying the court fees. I’m a bit bemused by the solicitor feedback. I’m already more than £4k out of pocket to date from the rent arrears and it seems preposterous that my only choice seems to be to cancel our family holiday which was booked months ago and incur several thousand pounds more in lost expenses on top of the financial burden the tenant is causing us already.

Last I heard from the solicitor is that they emailed the court and would let me know the response.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on this please?

Many thanks

Gabriela



Comments

Alex

12:38 PM, 5th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Hello, where in he country are you? I offer a court appearance in the Ipswich area for a flat fee of £45. please contact me if I can be of service

Robert Mellors

13:00 PM, 5th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

When the possession hearing application is made using the court's Possession Claims Online (PCOL) service, there is am option for making amendments, e.g. applying for an adjournment. I did this a couple of years back and there was no problem, the court simply send out a letter to all parties listing a new hearing date. There was no fee for this. I therefore, although strictly speaking your solicitor may be coorect to say they have no "power" to change the hearing date, and they "cannot guarantee" that a new hearing date will be agreed, it is perhaps misleading you into thinking it cannot be changed. It can be changed, it is a simple process of applying to the court (electronically, in advance of the hearing) for an adjournment.

___ baldelectrician

8:28 AM, 6th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Having been to a Scottish Property Tribunal it seems much mor effective and cheaper.
Now landlords in Scotland can obtain an eviction order for FREE using the Housing and Property Chamber tribunal (this has the same legal standing as an order from a Sheriff)
There is no court and the hearing is heard in a room local to the property (such as a community centre or council office)
The Scottish Government have saved loads (there is now virtually no court time used for evictions or possession orders) and the initial hearing happens within 4-5 weeks.

trevor white

12:08 PM, 6th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Changing a court date for good reason (travel) should not be a problem so long as sufficient notice is given.
There is no reason why you have to attend a hearing for a possession if you are legally represented.
If you are relying on ground 8 the court has no discretion but to grant possession.
A witness statement from you should suffice along with your lawyer in attendance

Simon Hall

19:06 PM, 7th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

I partly concur with Alex. Just for nominal amount (fee of between £40-£100) you can instruct an agent. This does not have to be an Estate Agent. Most solicitors work with freelance Counsels who will carry out aforementioned service for fee stated above.

In such case, you would not have not adjourn hearing which will cost you more in lost revenue (rent) nor would you have to cancel holidays to lose thousands.

Binkie

19:57 PM, 7th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Thank you for the feedback. My solicitor was quite adamant that we either have to attend in person or have someone fully familiar with the tenancy attend. So I’m surprised that this doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems my solicitors are making things unnecessarily complicated. I’ve never been through this process before so was naturally assuming I’m getting correct guidance from them. Very disappointing. Thank you all again.


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