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Court Claim Non payment of Rent (So LL says)


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Hi, we received a County Court claim form from the Bulk Centre at Northampton.

 

The claimant is our LL.

 

the Particulars of claim are as follows....

 

The defendant entered into a tenance agreement with the claimant on the xx/xx/xxxx for the property known as ########################, the rent as per the tenancy agreement is ####### per calandar moneth. THe defendant is currently in arrears of ######## which is equivalent to 4 months rent.

 

The claimant has tried on several occasions to obtain the rent and has been unsuccessful, The tenancy agreement also allows for a late penalty charge if rent is unpaid and this amount totals £150.00.

 

The defendant was served a section 8 notice to vacate the property on the 16th June 2011 or bring the rent upto date. However the property was not vacated and the rent was not brought upto date, It is evident that the defendant is unwilling and unlikely to pay the rent that is legally due to the claimant and the claimant would like to recover the monies legally and contractually due to him as per the aforementioned tenancy agreement.

 

 

Now, we have responded with our AOS, with we intend to defend all this claim, and i intend to contest juristiction.

 

We used to pay via standing order, on 6 occasions we had to pay in cash and had the LL sign a receipt, which the LL thinks we have lost, hence the claim (We had lost them, but just recently they were recovered from the back of an old draw)

 

We are not in arrears by 4 months, more like 3 weeks, so the section 8 notice on the grounds they are relying on are invalid.

 

 

My questions,

 

1) If we didnt have the receipts would this claim be just for the money, or could the judge order an eviction, or would that be a seperate court case?

 

2) We do have the receipts (the question above is just theoretically) so what is our next stage, do we put in opur defence that we dont owe the money because it has been paid and have receipts to prove, and in the defence ask that the claim be struck out??

 

THan ks for advise in advance

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My comments apply only if the premises are entirely within England and Wales, and only if you were granted a shorthold tenancy (under which you - and your spouse/partner/children, if any - had exclusive use of a seperate dwelling, which was not shared with another tenant nor with the landlord), and only if you were over 18 years of age when the tenancy was granted.

 

This posting is supplemental to the information in this forum's "sticky" threads and is NOT to be read in isolation.

 

 

 

we intend to defend all this claim, and i intend to contest juristiction.

 

 

Are you able to indicate on which basis you are contesting jurisdiction?

 

 

 

We are not in arrears by 4 months, more like 3 weeks, so the section 8 notice on the grounds they are relying on are invalid.

 

 

You haven't actually indicated the grounds on which the landlord might be relying. But even if the rent is in arrears by less than the equivalent of two monthly installments, the landlord may still be able to obtain an eviction order.

 

Read about the grounds in the FAQ: Shorthold Tenancy - posession, eviction and notice

 

In particular, the following grounds might be relevent:

 

• Ground 10: That some rent was in arrears, both when the landlord gave the section 8 notice and when the court proceedings were begun.

 

• Ground 11: That the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent.

 

 

 

1) If we didnt have the receipts would this claim be just for the money, or could the judge order an eviction, or would that be a seperate court case?

 

 

In a possession action under section 8 of the 1988 Act, the landlord can claim both possession of the premises and arrears of rent in a single case/claim.

 

 

 

2) We do have the receipts (the question above is just theoretically) so what is our next stage, do we put in opur defence that we dont owe the money because it has been paid and have receipts to prove, and in the defence ask that the claim be struck out??

 

 

You will have to file your written Defence at the court, within the time limit.

 

In it, set out your defence. You might need legal advice from a Solicitor. Certainly, do give full details of all rent payments made since the start of the tenancy, with amounts and dates of payment; and do deny the alleged total amount of arrears.

 

But do understand that you may be losing the case by doing so. If there were rent arrears at the date the court case began, you are reluctantly obliged to admit this inconveient fact - therefore if the landlord is relying on ground 10 [as to which, you have not said] you are in effect admitting his claim, in part, although there still is time for you to pay off the arrears before the hearing.

 

But if he is claiming on ground 11 too, paying the arrears now doesn't save you.

 

The court has a discretion to refuse to evict, and might be persuaded to exercise it in your favour, especially if there are no remaing arrears at the time the court hearing occurs.

 

 

Grounds 1 to 8 are mandatory: if the ground exists when the section 8 notice is served AND when the case is heard in court, the judge supposedly can't refuse possession; but in reality he will typically give the tenant extra time to comply with the requirements.

 

The other grounds are discretionary: the judge can decide that the tenant's breach of contract is not severe enough to warrant evicting him.

 

Section 8 procedure:

http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/ast_tenants_in_breach_of_contract/0-36

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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"We used to pay via standing order, on 6 occasions we had to pay in cash and had the LL sign a receipt,"

 

Did OP cancel the SO? Why did they have to pay 6 times in cash? over what period?

An intermittent payment history is implied.

 

Note rent is 'in arrears' the day after it is due (received, not sent)

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