Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default Extremely worried

    Hello,

    My Housing Association has informed me that they are applying for a warrant of possession due to the continuous climbing of my rent arrears.

    The current arrears is at 3485 (I know it's high).
    It got this high because of issues with Housing Benefit (it got stopped).
    This was a big hit and I wasn't sure how to deal with this.
    I was not immediately aware it was stopped.

    I'm only now just recovering from that and will be able to make monthly rent payments again to compensate for the lack of Housing Benefit.

    I'm a full-time student and the University have given me some part-time jobs to do that would aid in me paying the rent (I've told them my situation).

    My Son and Daughter have also found jobs, so they'll be able to help out as well.

    Now, I've tried to get my Housing Association to not apply for a warrant by offering them a payment plan.

    However, they are not going for it and just keep saying how the rent climbed continuously from February 2018 and they cannot wait until I'm able to clear it off in full. They want the full amount now.

    My plan was to pay what I could now (about 100-150 over the next couple weeks) and get my children to cover some more in a month's time and month's thereafter (when they actually get paid) and in September 2018, use some of my student loan to clear the remaining debt (it's enough to pay for it and leave me with something)
    In September, it will drop to 0 due to the large lump sum.

    Does this sound reasonable?
    I don't have the money in full now, but I will eventually.
    I'll also be able to prevent further dropping into arrears after clearing it due to a change in circumstances (for the better).

    All I needed was to find something to replace Housing Benefit which I now have.
    Since I can't get the HA to drop the warrant, I've read I'll need to try go through the courts instead.

    How are they with suspending evictions? Do they favour Housing Associations more than the tenant?
    Does my proposed plan sound reasonable enough to convince a judge that I should not be evicted?

    The reason they are able to apply for a warrant quickly is because I've had issues in the past with them but it got sorted provided I stuck to the agreement back then and paid off the arrears.

    I paid that off and my account went into credit for some time.
    It's only since February that it took a downturn and caused the arrears to climb out of control.

    I know it took time to act but I'm acting now and I'm able to clear it soon.

    I do not have the notice yet.
    I don't currently know when I have to be out.

    I'm just panicking and trying to take action now before it's too late.
    How long do these notices take to get served and how long do they give you after you get it?

    I'm just worried sick about losing my home and what hurts me more is knowing I'll have enough money to clear it off soon.

    Time is pretty much against me right now.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    Hello and welcome to CAGicon. I'm sorry to hear about your problems, well done for coming up with a plan. Hopefully that will stand you in good stead with the court.

    People should be along over the course of the say to advise, please bear with us until they're able to get here.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    This link seems most helpful for your situation.

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...p_the_bailiffs

    Get advice from Shelter and follow it.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    Quote Originally Posted by Gourger20 View Post
    The reason they are able to apply for a warrant quickly is because I've had issues in the past with them but it got sorted provided I stuck to the agreement back then and paid off the arrears. I paid that off and my account went into credit for some time. It's only since February that it took a downturn and caused the arrears to climb out of control. I know it took time to act but I'm acting now and I'm able to clear it soon.

    What notice(s) did they issue, and / or action did they take regarding the previous arrears that you cleared?
    Did they get any court order (even a suspended one)?

    Would you be able to get the arrears down below 8 weeks rent (for weekly rent) / 2 months rent (for monthly rent) by the time of any court hearing?.

    Was your Housing Benefit stopped on valid grounds (which?), or can you appeal that decision?.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    I've just put on 780 towards our rent which has dropped the arrears to 2852.
    I am also going to be putting a further 708 at the end of the July and then another for the same amount at the end of August assuming I'm still in the property by then.

    These payments take some off the arrears but most important stop the climb which led to the arrears hitting 3.4k in the first place.

    Come September 2018 when Student Finance payment comes through (amounts to around 5.5k),
    I will clear the remaining debt and cover any court costs required
    (it should be around 2.5k + court costs).

    I will also be able to continue making monthly payments from then after.

    I presented this plan to my Housing Association but unfortunately they still are content with letting the eviction go ahead.
    They told me to apply for a "Stay of Eviction" after I received the eviction date and would only agree to a stay if we paid the arrears off in full.
    That sucks and is making me more worried now.

    I am willing to pay off the arrears and it will be cleared in a reasonable amount of time.
    They just won't wait now.

    The possession order was from 2014 or so,
    it was many years ago and I can't remember exactly what it said.

    I haven't been able to even find the document for it.
    I do know that I eventually cleared the arrears off in full.

    All I know is that's allowed them to apply for a warrant.
    They aren't going to court for a breach in the suspended order,
    they are going because of the continous climb since around February 2018.

    They are simply able to use that order lingering over me to get a quicker eviction.
    I suppose they don't have to reason with me now.

    Do I have any chance of getting this dropped via the county courticon (form N244icon)?
    Will a judge see that I'm trying to actually correct the issue and I'm not trying to stall for time,
    and actually give me a chance when my Housing Association won't?

    It's frustrating me knowing that I will be thrown out on the street when I can actually pay it off, just not all in one go right now.
    It's not like it's going to take me years to clear either.

    It's simply only 2 months and I'm still paying current rent to stop it climbing up even higher.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    cant see a judge agreeing with them under those proposals.

    are the arrears all your doing or are they charging you unlawful arrears fees too.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    The arrears were because Housing Benefit got stopped and it took me time to find something to cover that loss.
    now have found ways to cover that loss.

    It just took me a lot of time to get sorted out.
    I did inform the Housing Association as well of this and they did wait a bit.
    However, I suppose because it was taking too long,
    they decided enough was enough and applied for a warrant.

    I'm not not able to get them to back down even with those proposals.
    I paid the 780 2 days ago but I'm now worried that I've essentially wasted that money for nothing.

    I want to clear it, but I don't want to be thrown out onto the streets.
    I'm not sure why they aren't agreeing to wait.
    It's far more likely they'd get their money by not evicting me than if they did.

    They are adamant about getting their money in full.
    They are acting like even if I apply for a "stay of eviction",
    which was my Income Officer's recommendation,
    it won't be granted unless the arrears are paid off in full.
    They want it now and refuse to wait.

    I'm still looking for a solicitor as well.
    Not having much luck yet but I have some time seeing how the date hasn't come yet.

    I'm guessing you can't apply to the courts until you get the eviction date.

    Still very worried about the outcome.
    I felt my proposal is solid and takes care of the problem.
    It should be satisfactory.

    I'm just not sure why they can't see it that way and would rather throw me out.

    If I can't convince my Housing Association, how will a Judge see it differently?
    That's what I'm worried about.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    the judge will put them in their place.

    I hope you are not talking on the phone to these muppets???

    and the every thing is in writing only??

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    I e-mailed the proposal to my Income Officer. I did originally go in and speak to him. He didn't budge though. He just kept saying management said no and that was that. After that, I then tried pleading with him via E-mail to no avail.

    He just keeps basically saying the same thing and telling me to wait for an eviction date and then to apply for a "stay of eviction" via the county courticon. He pointed out that a stay would only be granted if I paid the arrears + court costs off in full. He made it seem like it's their choice whether or not a stay of eviction is granted. I'm not even sure if this is the same thing as getting the warrant suspended.

    One thing I've read about is that if the possession order was made on a mandatory ground (ground 8), then there's nothing the judge can do. I don't know what grounds the order was made on because it was years ago. Will the eviction letter tell me what grounds are being used? This part is worrying me as well because if it's ground 8, I'm basically done for.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    This is the wording from the Act.....

    Both at the date of the service of the notice under section 8 of this Act relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing—

    (a) if rent is payable weekly or fortnightly, at least eight weeks’ rent is unpaid;
    (b) if rent is payable monthly, at least two months’ rent is unpaid;
    (c) if rent is payable quarterly, at least one quarter’s rent is more than three months in arrears; and
    (d) if rent is payable yearly, at least three months’ rent is more than three months in arrears;
    and for the purpose of this ground “rent” means rent lawfully due from the tenant.

    Mandatory ground 8

    The tenant’s right to apply to suspend a warrant effectively only applies when possession has been made on a discretionary ground (Housing Act 1980, s89). Parliament has given landlords of assured tenants, such as registered social landlords (‘RSLs’), a mandatory rent arrears ground: Ground 8 may be used when there are at least eight week’s unpaid rent. If possession is obtained on this mandatory ground then the court’s order should not normally be suspended for more than 14 days. The only flexibility on the court’s power is that enforcement may be suspended for a maximum of six weeks where this is necessary to avoid exceptional hardship. The six week period starts on the day the possession order was made (Housing Act 1980, s89).

    The use of mandatory Ground 8 in rent arrears cases need cause no unfairness to the tenant because where there are exceptional circumstances for the existence of the rent arrears then the court has the power to adjourn the possession claim (North British HA v Matthews (2005) 1 WLR 3133 - but note the narrow definition given to ‘exceptional circumstances’: the fact that arrears are attributable to maladministration on the part of the housing benefit authority is not an exceptional circumstance (para 32)). Moreover, having obtained the possession order the landlord could opt not to enforce it, for example, if the tenant’s circumstances materially change.

    Before embarking on a ground 8 claim RSLs should note that Housing Corporation Regulatory Circular 07/04 (para 3.1.4) requires the landlord to have first pursued other alternatives to debt recovery. It also notes that where ground 8 forms part of an arrears and eviction policy, tenants should have been consulted and the governing board should have approved the policy.

    Some RSL tenancy agreements prohibit the use of ground 8. In these circumstances the tenant may be able to obtain an injunction to prevent breach of contract if ground 8 was used. Any such prohibition should be removed if an RSL wishes to rely on ground 8.

    Landlords who obtain a ground 8 possession order must also ensure that this fact is stated on the face of the order (Capital Prime Plus plc v Willis (1998) 31 HLR 926, CA).

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    Will the warrant state what ground was used?

    Are ground 8 possession orders everlasting? I can't find much information regarding suspended possession orders when it comes to ground 8.

    It's the part worrying me most as because I have a previous order hovering over me, the HA really don't need to reason with me. This order was years ago, from around 2014.

    They haven't said I've breached the old order in the emails sent, just that they applied because of the continuous climb of the arrears since February.


  12. #12
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    We could do with some help from you

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    Let us know when you get the eviction notice and we can help you with the N244icon application to court. Given you have a proposal to clear the arrears and have made payments recently to reduce them, it is very unlikely that a judge will allow the eviction to go ahead. By the way, it's not the housing officer's place to say "even if you apply to the court it won't be granted", it's the judge's decision - not his!! and judges don't like taking people's homes away if they have the ability to pay going forward. I take it you are able to cover the rent going forward after the arrears are cleared ?

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Extremely worried

    Will do and yes I can keep it cleared going forward. I just guess I have to hope ground 8 wasn't used back when I first got the suspended order because if ground 8 was used, I'm basically screwed right and can't defend it?

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