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Order for Possession - Given 14 days to leave (Please Help)


keiko315
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I am a private tenant and have been renting the property which I am currently living in with my wife and 2 year old son since April 2009. There is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement in place. The rent is up to date and there are no arrears.

 

Out of the blue on Friday just gone, I received a letter from a Solicitors firm (dated 25th November 2010) saying as follows:

 

“Dear Sir & Madam

 

We enclose by way of service an Order for Possession in relation to the property at (my address).

We understand from (my Landlord) that you have entered into a Tenancy Agreement with them in relation to your occupation of the premises. Please be aware that any arrangement as between you and (my landlord) has no bearing upon our client’s position and their entitlement to recover possession.

 

In the circumstances, our client is prepared to allow a further 14 days for you to make arrangements to vacate the property; in default of which the Court Bailiffs will be instructed to enforce the terms of the Order for Possession.

You may wish to obtain independent legal advice in relation to the content of this letter and any remedies you may have as against (my landlord).”

 

 

Enclosed with the letter was a copy of the N26 Order for Possession (dated 22nd September 2010).

 

I immediately telephoned the CAB and spoke to one of their advisors who directed my to the local housing office who I had a meeting with yesterday morning.

They instructed me to apply for assisted housing but were unable to help with any legal advice, although they were able to put me in touch with a solicitor who I have an initial meeting booked for tomorrow.

 

I feel that 14 days is unreasonable for us to find alternative accommodation. Even the housing association takes 3 weeks to process our application and furthermore were informed that our application will be impacted by the Christmas period.

I believe that I would require 2 months in order to find suitable accommodation and arrange moving.

 

I have recently gone self employed after being made redundant in February 2008 and am currently in receipt of some Housing Benefit along with Tax Credits & Child Benefit. Due to the above, there is a very limited expendable income.

 

Furthermore, on Saturday evening, I had a personal visit from my landlord. He explained that when he bought the house, the person who built it retained some equity in the property. Unbeknownst to him, there was a clause in that contract stating that he was not allowed to let the property without the builder’s prior consent. This is the reason the application for the Order for Possession was made and subsequently granted. He also claimed that the mortgage is up to date.

 

I believe that the builder has been aware of our tenancy since we moved in as his family lives next door but one to us.

 

I cannot believe that I have been made aware of the situation so late in the day. Surely there must be some legal protection for tenants within this situation? I took this property on in good faith and now have very little time to find a resolution.

 

The next rent payment is due on December 10th. Who should I pay it to - My Landlord, The Builder or The Builders Solicitor?

 

I would really appreciate any advice, comments or views on this very worrying matter. Copies of the letter and N26 are attached.

 

Thanks in anticipation.

 

Martin

Letter.jpg

Order for Possession.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi tawnyowl.

 

Thank you for your interest and I'm sorry that I haven't updated this thread yet - things have been a little manic this past couple of weeks and unfortunately we are no further on than we were when I first posted.

 

The solicitor we met with advised us that we have no rights whatsoever in this case as the tenancy contract we signed is null and void because of the court order. She has however written to the solicitors acting on behalf of the builder of the house, to ask that we be given more time in the current property in order to get our affairs in order. As of this morning, no response has been received.

 

We were also informed that there is no way that we could make an application to the court to stay the judgement as we are technically nothing to do with either party of the case. Our only hope is that some point of law within the proceedings was incorrect or not followed correctly, although we will not know this is the case until the solicitors that have been written to provide my solicitor with the case papers. That's if indeed they do, as they are under no obligation to.

 

The final thing that the solicitor said was that there may be some redress by taking legal action against our (original) landlord, although what exactly is being looked at by our solicitor.

 

With regards to finding alterative accommodation, we have had no luck with the local housing association. Our application is still being processed, and not expected to be completed this side of the Christmas holiday. However we were told that they currently have nothing suitable and are unable to help unless we are actually evicted. At that point, they would then provide us with 'temporary accommodation' until something did become available.

 

As another avenue, we have also been looking into renting privately again - albeit rather cautiously after our current predicament. However the price of private rentals is some £150+ pcm beyond our current budget.

 

So, whilst we have a little more information than when I last posted, we are no further on and still looking at ways at giving us a little more time to find somewhere else.

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Thanks for updating your position.Lets hope the landlord lets you stay a little longer.Maybe the solicitor may help you some way,i hope so.With your limited budget for a new house rental this is proving difficult for you at such short notice.As you are on working tax credit and a small amount of housing benefit maybe you could get help with a bond on a new home.I am putting on a online benefit checker for you.Maybe you have already checked your entitlements,i dont know.Put the average rental for your area in and just see if it would make much difference for you,i hope it will.If your credit record is not very good a private landlord may be best, local evening papers seem a good source.If its good finding somewhere will be easier,letting agents etc.As you have explained your situation so clearly theres nothing much i can say apart from wishing you all the best for you and your family and hope you get a break soon.Maybe it would be nice and create good feeling if landlords introduced longer tenancy agreements as i believe they do in other areas of europe,certainly many people would feel more secure instead of wondering after 6 months will i be given notice.Anyway i dont want to bore you heres the online benefit checker i hope its some use.Tawnyowl http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineByCategory/DG_172666 I have also included a link to explain bond help available, ,probably not your area but all areas seem to be covered.Just google away http://www.braintree.gov.uk/Braintree/housing/Private+Landlords/Rent+Plus+Bond+For+Landlords.htm

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Did you place a deposit on the current property and was it protected? I think your solicitor is correct in saying that you may have redress against your landlord as they will have to cover costs of your removal and also compensate you for unnecessary stress and maybe even the difference between your current deposit and the new one. Hopefully you will be given some leeway regarding moving within 14 days. If you have an eviction order in writing and give it to the local HA they are obliged to make you a priority and obtain accommodation as soon as possible. We did this when we ended up in similar circumstances and were given accommoation within a space of less than 2 weeks.

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Thanks for the links tawnyowl. Unfortunately it appears that I am already getting as much financial assistance as I am entitled. I have contacted the local council about help with the bond and await their response.

 

Surfer01: Thanks for your response. Once an actual eviction notice has been received from the bailiff, I shall do just that. With regards to the deposit, there was no deposit given so we're not losing out there. It's mainly the stress and the unfairness of it all.

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Hi Keiko315,I believe you should have had two month's written notice to expire at the end of the rental period.,a section 21.Is this not the normal way.Seems very harsh to have been told like that..It will be interesting to see the case papers if your solicitor gets them.I believe the section 21 is usually sent registered post .Perhaps if i am barking up the wrong tree someone can put me right.It certainly wasnt your fault ,you didnt know about the builder and all the confusion it has caused..Doesnt sound unreasonable to get more time to find somewhere its their fault,not yours.Good luck. Tawnyowl,,snowed in and the wifes watching the final of strictly come dancing and i am really interested in that,mmm,Lets hope for some good news soon Keiko315.

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Hi Marie, thanks for taking an interest. I am in the Halifax area.

 

To update you. A response has finally been received from the builder's solicitor stating that they are not prepared to allow us to stay in the house any longer and that they intend to apply to the court for a bailiff's warrant at the earliest opportunity. Although it looks like nothing can realistically happen with this until mid January with the court's Christmas opening times. Which is a good thing as this allows us a little more time to find something else.

 

From the response received, it would appear that they just want to sell the house as quickly as possible...something which I would have thought would be much easier to do if the house was occupied!

 

With regards the notice you mentioned in your post tawnyowl, they apparently do not have to give us any notice whatsoever. This is because we are seen as 'trespassers' because our rental agreement was in breech of the original contract between my landlord and the builder and as such is not worth the paper it's written on.

 

I have also been told that when the bailiff's warrant is issued, I may be able to apply to the court at that point for some more time.

 

So whilst it's not great news, at least it gives us a little more time to sort things out.

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Hi there, when the bailiff's notice arrives you can enter a N244 form at court asking for a hearing to request more time. We can help you with the N244 application - let us know when you get the eviction notice.

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good to see el-en on this ,just follow all advice given by el follow it to the letter and you can not go wrong ,,

patrickq1

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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Not that it is going to make much difference Keiko315,apart from illegal eviction i have not personally heard of anything as messed up as this.A Landlord who did not know that the builder retained some equity in the property,without whose permission was not allowed to let it..The builder who did not seem to know about it being let out despite his family living next door but one.Perhaps as you have only been there a short time he did not know.Yes that must be it,,nooooo you have been there since April 2009..There is something of the night about all this.Instead of serving you a section 21, on the agreement you had they go for possession instead,why.Did not tell you then just dropped through your door,late Nov notyfying you that 14 days or the Baliffs,charming.I bet that will cost a few quid.ABOUT 150 AT A GUESS.Can we really believe when the landlord bought the house his solicitor did not tell him this when contracts were signed that someone else still had equity in the house.Just seems to suit their purposes whether sale re letting whatever to possess at this time.As you said---

Furthermore, on Saturday evening, I had a personal visit from my landlord. He explained that when he bought the house, the person who built it retained some equity in the property. Unbeknownst to him, there was a clause in that contract stating that he was not allowed to let the property without the builder’s prior consent. This is the reason the application for the Order for Possession was made and subsequently granted. He also claimed that the mortgage is up to date.

 

I believe that the builder has been aware of our tenancy since we moved in as his family lives next door but one to us.I can only hope Keiko315 that your solicitor somehow manages to get some compensation for you and that wherever you move to you get peace and quiet and no more dodgy tenancy agreements.As Ell-enn is now aware of your situation when the Baliffs notice comes maybe just maybe if you need more time the N244 will please your landlord no end,or the builder or both,i hope.Best Wishes keep updating Tawnyowl.

Edited by tawnyowl
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I am wondering if on termination they find a million and one things wronmg with the house and will refuse to give back the deposit. Was the house previously let to someone else or are you the first tenant in the house?

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I agree with tawny owl on this,it seems highly likely that the landlord and the builder have put their heads together to get you out,i suspect a sale is already on the cards and they need you out,like yesterday.From the above posts it seems to me there is a little too much urgency to gain vacant possession for my liking and its a vile trick to play on a tennant.I also suspect that the landlord knew full well that the tenancy agreement was worthless (in law) and was drawn up with the full knowledge of the builder as a way of keeping a steady stream of income comming in until a sale could be secured,i would argue that this is not just some unfortunate mistake,but that you are a victim here of some sharp practice,thus i would be appealing on an N244 to the county court to buy as much time as i could,i could see a judge under the circumstances giving you at least another month,and i cannot see them getting a court date for an eviction notice before the 2nd week in Jan.I would certainly be looking at making enquires into whether it would be a viable option in terms of suing the landlord for removal and re-housing costs.

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I am wondering if on termination they find a million and one things wronmg with the house and will refuse to give back the deposit. Was the house previously let to someone else or are you the first tenant in the house?
Hi surfer01,i believe no deposit was given so at least that problem is not going to rear its head.
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Hi surfer01,i believe no deposit was given so at least that problem is not going to rear its head.

That does make the whole contract very suspect and I am now more inclined to start thinking along the lines of being in cahoots.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys...thanks for your input.

 

Surfer01: We are the first people to rent the property from the landlord. There was no deposit required (so as tawnyowl says, there will be no problem there) as we are known to them by association...which tbh compunds the whole situation. I don't believe that they are in cahoots with the builder (although that may just be because of my optomistic outlook on life, the Universe and everything!)

 

Still nothing in the post from anyone regarding eviction so we await the next royal mail post with baited breath.

 

We have also visited an Independant Financial Advisor about perhaps raising the funds to purchase the house ourselves. As I have said, the feeling that I get is that the builder just wants his money back as soon as possible and IMHO it would make sense to me if we could raise the funds and buy it ourselves...it would of course 'save them money with estate agents etc.' (or at least that's the spin we could put on it).

 

Over Christmas, I have secured 2 long-term contracts and so armed with that information it was a very promising meeting. However there was a rather nasty shock when we looked at my credit file: RBS have given me a Default Notice. This is despite the account being in dispute (Bank Charges Claim) and it being with the FOS. If that is removed then we would be elligable for a mortgage to cover the price of the house. I have been searching other posts on CAG to see about getting it removed but am not sure what the next step for me would be, nor indeed how long it would take. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be grateful.

 

I will keep trawling through the other posts and see if the information is contained within there. Failing that I shall start a new thread for that.

 

Thanks again for all of your comments...it's good to know that there's people out there who are willing to listen to my rants and help me where possible.

 

Martin

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  • 1 month later...

A further update.

 

We have been given an eviction date of 12noon on 3rd March. We have only received word of this through our own solicitor though and are still to receive notification from the court or the builder's solicitor.

 

That said, we have managed to secure a new property which suits both our needs and most importnatly our budget. We are due to move in by the end of this month which is before the said evection date. So thank you to those who offered to help with the N244, however I do not think this will be required anymore.

 

No luck so far removing the Default, but I will persevere until RBS admit they were wrong and remove it.

 

Thanks to everyone for their help and advice.

 

Martin

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