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Question

After the Court Order — and Eviction (England) | Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England)

tenant applying to suspend warrant

12 Feb 2017 | 6 comments

Hi, I obtained possession under section 21 grounds on 27th Sept 2016 without a hearing as tenant did not defend. The tenancy started in 2012 and the original section 21 expired in 2013 which I relied on and I hand delivered the prescribed notice in 2012 but tenant did challenge any of these, had indicated to him I intended to sell property which I am planning to do due all the changes but he could stay until sale.
He failed to pay rent in 28th December 2016 and 28th January 2017 and damaged my 2 new smoke alarms refusing to let my builder fix them on the ceilings as he is very possessive and irrational. He is now 2 months in arrears. So I applied for a bailiff end of January 2017 and court sent bailiff visit letter for 3 weeks time – unusually fast as normally 8 weeks. Tenant has last week applied to suspend warrant claiming time for eviction is too short as he has wife and 19 month child which is news to me, and he states ‘there is no reason for eviction’. He hasn’t said or challenged anything else or ask to set it aside etc.
Have asked in a letter to court to dismiss it if possible (can I mail my draft letter to you) hearing is this Thursday morning, worried judge will give him more time and I will be 2-3-4 months in arrears and have approx £1k monthly costs and barely making £100 after tax on it but given amount of time off work I’ve suffered a huge cost personally. Have read if mandatory ground obtained for possession judge should not allow suspension but you never know with some judges as they don’t seem to care at all for landlords – plus to be re-housed as homeless he actually needs bailiff letter sooner and there is no benefit for him therefore to delay getting it and it only makes things worse for me with more rent arrears? Can I say its mandatory, too late for him to apply for this 4 days before bailiff appointment on 20th feb, and as its been nearly 6 months from possession granted, no benefit to him as he needs bailiff letter, furniture is all mine so he just needs to pack his clothes, and I would suffer more arrears.

Answer

6 Comments

  1. guildy

    It sounds like the tenant is simply asking for extra time rather than there being any defence to the notice as such.

    As a result, the hearing itself is unable to take place because the hearing must be held before the date given for possession.

    Have a look at this article and bring it up at the hearing (you’re unlikely to get it stopped this close so may as well attend).

    • samuk

      Thank you so much – does that simply put mean that as possession has already been granted (approx 6 months ago) on section 21 grounds, the tenant cannot now apply for a hearing on arguing hardship. Has the court technically listed this application hearing in error – do they normally consider any application even if its done wrongly? Can I write to the court and refer this and highlight your sections to them (I will call them to ensure they have it and will put in front of the judge) and in case they don’t list it later in the afternoon, as I have a critical appointment elsewhere in the morning, at least informing them so I trust the court won’t apply the law incorrectly that way I have something in front of them?

  2. guildy

    You can certainly inform them of the rules quoted in that article. However, you will only get reception and in reality they won’t do anything about it. It will take a hearing to decide there can be no hearing!

    • samuk

      Fabulous – great knowledge and information, has really helped – thank you so much.

  3. samuk

    Hi, update on outcome – the Judge dismissed his application saying the maximum he could allow under hardship would be 6 weeks and that as 6 weeks have already passed from the date of possession in Sept 2016 – which threw me a bit as I thought hardship could not be considered at all if it was applied for if made after the date of possession date, however I didn’t make any issues of course as was glad to get it.
    Tenant has come to his senses and wishes to pay arrears and a rent increase from next month. If i cancel the bailiff for Monday will I create a new tenancy or can I again apply for bailiff say in a few months time if he misbehaves? Is there any type of other application he could make i.e. again claim hardship later – challenge the notice was too old or he didn’t get prescribe noticed which he did by hand from me – albeit i already have the possession order – as I’m not sure to trust him, but I think he’s learned his lesson, feel sorry as there is a wife and child it seems so they will need more time but hopefully will appreciate things better next time.

  4. guildy

    Good news and glad got sorted.

    The tenancy does not end until the bailiff executes the warrant. Therefore, the tenancy continues as is for the time being.

    In our experience though, once they’ve been this way, they will only do it again! Trying to do them a favour generally ends up costing you! That being said, you never know, they might be the exception to the rule.

    There was a law that said if you don’t enforce within 3 months, you had to get permission from the court before getting the bailiff (which could be tricky to get). Strangely, this rule was changed sometime ago and the time limit removed. This is very unusual for a law change to benefit a landlord in this way so we do wonder if some other rule came in to replicate that we’ve missed. However, we’ve never found such a rule. Therefore as far as we are aware, the order can be enforced beyond 3 months without permission from the court (unless we’ve missed something).

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