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Is this illegal eviction ? If so what is the remedy ?

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Hello all. Two young friends of mine have been tenants of a 2 bed house for about 2 years.

 

Deposit was protected etc.

 

LL gave valid section 21 and local housing sorted alternative accomodation but can only accomodate at end of July.

 

This was explained to the LL who seemed amicable and agreed not to take possession of the property until they had moved.

 

He had to continue with accelerated possession to "cover his back"

 

LL called tenants on Friday saying he was coming on Saturday morning to change the locks and take possession of the property.

 

Panic ensued as he said he had a court order and it being weekend the t could get no advice or help.

 

LL turned up on Saturday and agreed to leave it til Sunday to give them time to pack up. He demanded rent which T paid. T went to parents house

totally unaware that what had happened was illegal.

 

I called the court to ask about judgement and was told no possession had been granted.

 

LL is refusing to release deposit from scheme and is threatening to counter sue for over £3000 damages.

 

If the property was damaged and the tenant knew that their deposit was lost , surely they would not have paid the rent on the last day.

 

I have been to ook at the house and it is being "developed " for rental at a higher rate of for sale and this is the reason he wanted T out fast.

 

Where do they stand

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This is on what you say without a doubt unlawful eviction and is illegal

under The protection From Eviction Act 1977.

 

Also the Housing Act 1988 S28 and S29 make this illegal.

 

Contact the local private housing officer.

 

Lawdoctor.

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By the way the measure of damages can be very, very high.

 

Lawdoctor

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You might like to read this;

 

4. Schuchard v Fu, Brentford County Court, 25 February 2010

 

Another HMO room case, Mr Suchard was the tenant. The landlord wanted him out so she could do renovation works. She sent letters but no s21 notice.

On 6 July she wrote asking him to leave the next day becuase of rent arrears. On 7 July she changed the locks to the front door and refused to give him the new keys. The following day the local TRO asked her to readmit Mr Suchard but she refused, and said she would only let him in again if the rent arrears were paid. She continued to refuse to allow him in when his solicitors wrote to her.

Mr Suchard was homeless for 120 days as he, his solicitor and the TRO, were unable to find him accommodation. He was then housed for 77 days by the local authority, but after that he spent the next 35 days up to trial sleeping on a friends floor. He was awarded:

  • £24,000 general and aggravated damages at £200 per day while he was street homeless
  • £2,000 for the 77 days he was given accommodation by the local authority
  • £4,375 general and aggravated damages for the final period when he was living on a friends floor
  • £1,750 exemplary damages, as the landlords had evicted him so he could do up the property disregarding his rights

Total £32,125.

 

Lawdoctor.

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Thanks for that Lawdoctor. They are only a young couple , they have received a letter this morning from a solicitor acting for LL stating that any claim of illegal eviction would be strongly defended and they would counterclaim for damages.

 

I know they cannot afford the court fees ( justice seems to be available to only those who can afford it ) .

 

All T wanted was their deposit returned to go towards carpets for the new home. I was only when I looked into it for them that I realised what had happened.

 

LL is now stating that T left of their own accord, how can we disprove this as the police were not called as they were unaware it was illegal.

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It is for the landlord to prove he had resonable grounds to take possession without a court order. This is a very high bar for a landlord.

 

The council are the prosecuting body for these matters, so no legal aid

needed! If they are convicted in a criminal court it would not be posible

to defend a civil action based on the same facts. They would have no problem getting a no win solicitor if the landlord were convicted in court.

 

If they were to request to be let back in that would help.

 

Do you see where I am coming from.

 

Lawdoctor

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Asking to be let back in is no longer an option as social housing is imminent.

 

Are you saying that the council should prosecute this case ? I will advise them to approach the council about this and sound the housing officer out about the situation.

 

If the council are not interested is it possible to bring a case alone ?

 

Would a no win no fee solicitor take this case on ?

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I am very much saying the council should prosecute this case. Report the matter to them and do not take no for an answer. They must give written reasons for not bringing a case.

 

A no win no fee solicitor would only consider the case if they had been convicted in a criminal court---in my view.

 

If you are looking for a silver bullet to solve the problem then give up now.

 

Lawdoctor

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