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Getting evicted - really need help


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Hi, I have found myself out of work and I am now 3 months behind with the rent to a private landlord agency.

 

They sent me the following all by email saying:

 

1)

2nd February 2012

 

Hi XXXXX

 

Your Landlord has now applied for possession of the property as we have had no payment in from you at all in 3 months

 

Regards

Becci

 

2)

2nd February 2012

 

Hi XXXXX

 

I have been instructed by your Landlord that if we don’t have a payment in 7 days, we are to change the locks on your apartment

 

Regards

Becci

 

3)

3rd February 2012

 

We have been trying to contact you for some time by letter and telephone without success

and your Landlord is now comcerned that you have abandoned the property.

In such circumstances your Landlord is entitled to recover possession automatically and we

are therefore providing you with Notice that we will be calling with a locksmith to take

possession of the property at 9.30am on 23/02/2012

If you are still resident at the property you need to ciontact us immediately to prevent this

action and to avoid any additional legal costs.

We trust that this clarifies the position.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've contacted them by email tonight and said I am still in the property and it is not abandoned and that I believe it is unlawful for them to attempt to gain entry to the property without a court order.

 

I have had nothing in the post from them concerning eviction.

 

I have been here for about 2 years, on a 6-month shorthold tenancy, but when that expired no new tenancy agreement was sent out, just kept paying the rent.

 

I really need advice with what the Landlord/their agent can do, and whether they can just turn up and change the locks. If they legally can't, what should I do if they turn up anyway?

 

Thank you

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they can take possession if the property is abandoned without court order, however as you say you havent. I suspect its the Landlord just using a loop hole to get possession without court, I would personally say ring Shelter in the morning, they wil be very helpful, however others may have better advice. Just a thing this is the 4th case I've heard about with Landlord/mortgage company using same tactic to gain possession each time the person is either up to date with mortgage/rent and hasn't abandoned property in the last week. A new tactic to get a property on the cheap?

I know my rights Mr DCA I'm with the CAG......hello hello where you gone Mr DCA8)

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they can take possession if the property is abandoned without court order, however as you say you havent. I suspect its the Landlord just using a loop hole to get possession without court, I would personally say ring Shelter in the morning, they wil be very helpful, however others may have better advice. Just a thing this is the 4th case I've heard about with Landlord/mortgage company using same tactic to gain possession each time the person is either up to date with mortgage/rent and hasn't abandoned property in the last week. A new tactic to get a property on the cheap?

 

LL cannot just take possession if they think the property has been abandoned..

 

If the LL changes the locks without a court order,this would be illegal eviction,Criminal offence under 1977 protection from evictions Act

 

LL needs to serve the correct notices on Tenant,go to court to get a possession order and court set date for tenant to leave.

 

If the tenant does not leave by the date ordered,LL has to get bailiffs to remove tenant lawfully.

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Thanks, so unless a court orders me out, the Landlord doesn't have the power to enter and force me out?

 

Do any of the above emails constitute a Section 8 notice or is that something else?

 

Can I physically defend myself against unlawful eviction, i.e. physically prevent them from changing the locks?

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They need either a section 21 or a section 8 of the housing act 1988. They can not just throw you out. If they do try anything then call the police as they will be the ones breaking the law.

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Section 8 must be given to you then you have 14 days to leave voluntarily. if you choose not to go after the 14 days then the LL must take it to court at which point the court will tell you when you must vacate the property.

Normally takes about 2 months to go through court but can sometimes be quicker depending on how busy the courts are.

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Thanks, so unless a court orders me out, the Landlord doesn't have the power to enter and force me out? NO

 

Do any of the above emails constitute a Section 8 notice or is that something else? NO

 

Can I physically defend myself against unlawful eviction, i.e. physically prevent them from changing the locks? you can refuse to open the door and let them in and they have no rite of entry but i wouldnt chance physically defending yourself but the police should be called if things get a bit heated

 

..

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Thanks guys. It's annoying because the LL knows for a fact I haven't "abandoned" the property, I thought it may be an underhand tactic.

 

Have a read of this http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/harassment_and_illegal_eviction_by_landlord/what_counts_as_illegal_eviction

 

on illegal eviction from Shelter...

 

Did you sign on and claim JSA and housing benefit when you lost your job.

 

PS:the Agent/LL who sent you that notice,want shooting at dawn :mad2::-(

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Landlords will try anything they can to get the place back quickly. All the time there is no rent being paid its costing them money.

Send a letter to the agents and the landlord if you have his address as well stating the property is not empty and you are still living there. Send them recorded and keep copys for yourself so if it all kicks of you have proof that they were notified you were still living there.

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I claim JSA, and live with my student partner. Apparently I can't get Housing Benefit because I'm only 22 and the fact I live with an unemployed full time undergraduate student. I'm entitled to a room only allowance if I stop living with my partner. Bit unfair, especially when it isn't my fault I lost my job. Parents/family not an option so once evicted I'm truly stuffed.

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The difficulty for a landlord is the legal ambiguity surrounding the concept of a tenants abandonment. For instance a tenant may disappear and stop paying rent. It is often difficult or impossible particularly with an apartment to judge from an external inspection whether a tenant has left a property. If a tenant has left some of their possessions then a Court will often interpret that as “demonstrating an intention to return” and that the tenant intends the tenancy to continue. Should a landlord make a wrong decision in assuming that the tenant has left and then attempts to re-let the property only for the tenant to return then the landlord could be sued for damages.

:???: what me. never heard of you never had a debt with you.
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If a landlord believes a property has been abandoned but is not 100% sure then they should place an Abandonment Notice within the property allowing it to expire (usually following 14 days) before changing the locks if the tenant does not contact the landlord.

 

You MAY wish to inform the landlords representative that if they send a locksmith you will be contacting the police.

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If a landlord believes a property has been abandoned but is not 100% sure then they should place an Abandonment Notice within the property allowing it to expire (usually following 14 days) before changing the locks if the tenant does not contact the landlord.

 

You MAY wish to inform the landlords representative that if they send a locksmith you will be contacting the police.

 

There is No such thing as a Abandonment Notice,if a LL changed the locks and there No possession order and tenant came back,it would classed as a Illegal eviction... :mad2:

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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There is No such thing as a Abandonment Notice,if a LL changed the locks and there No possession order and tenant came back,it would classed as a Illegal eviction... :mad2:

 

Really!!! I'll think you'll find that specialist Landlord/Tenant lawyers are aware of them as are reputable letting agents. It may not be in a prescribed form nor part of any std legal procedure but they are used.

 

Agreed they should not be used in an attempt to get possession when the landlord KNOWS the tenant is still in occupation BUT if a landlord is uncertain whether a tenant still resides at a property and wants to ensure the security of their property then a notice upon the back of the front door stating that the locks will be changed within 14 days due to the landlord believing the property has been abandoned. The tenant if still in residence would contact the landlord on the number provided on the notice if they still reside there thus stopping any change of locks. There are other indicators as to whether a tenant is resident or not - talking to neighbours etc

Edited by R J Dearden
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Really!!! I'll think you'll find that specialist Landlord/Tenant lawyers are aware of them as are reputable letting agents. It may not be in a prescribed form nor part of any std legal procedure but they are used.

 

Agreed they should not be used in an attempt to get possession when the landlord KNOWS the tenant is still in occupation BUT if a landlord is uncertain whether a tenant still resides at a property and wants to ensure the security of their property then a notice upon the back of the front door stating that the locks will be changed within 14 days due to the landlord believing the property has been abandoned. The tenant if still in residence would contact the landlord on the number provided on the notice if they still reside there thus stopping any change of locks.

 

Really!!! No possession order and enforced by Bailiffs,Illegal Eviction....:-(

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Yes illegal eviction IF the landlord knows the tenants are still there!

 

What is abandonment?

 

Abandonment of the property is a situation whereby the tenant(s) has vacated the property without notification and without returning the keys during the tenancy.

If the tenant has returned the keys and vacated or notified the landlord that they have vacated, then the property has not been abandoned.

If the landlord has willingly accepted keys and/or let the tenant go, it may be deemed that the tenancy has been surrendered and no further rent is lawfully due.

 

How to determine whether the tenant has abandoned the property:

 

The landlord may be alerted to the property being abandoned by:

 

Tenant(s) missing rent payments

Tenant(s) not answering telephone calls/messages left/knocks at the door over a reasonable period of time

Communication with the neighbours who inform the landlord that they have not seen the tenant for some time

 

If all attempts to contact the tenant have failed, the landlord should send a letter stating that if no contact is returned, access will be made after 24 hours, following delivery of the letter.

Following the expiry provided, maybe possible to enter the property to check for signs of abandonment.

 

Checking for signs of abandonment at the property

Upon entering the property, check the fridge for fresh food, the wardrobe for clothes and check mail but do not open.

Unfurnished / part furnished property

Where the furniture is owned by the tenant, if all the furniture (and related belongings) have been moved out, it MAY be safe to assume that the tenant no longer resides at the property. In this case, the landlord is free to change the locks and re-let the property to mitigate losses.

If some or all of the tenant’s belongings are in the property the landlord should place an ABANDONMENT NOTICE clearly stuck on the inside of the front door so as to be seen by the tenant.

Fully furnished property

In a fully furnished property, it can be difficult to know whether the tenant has abandoned the property. It is recommended that an ABANDONMENT NOTICE is clearly stuck on the inside of the front door.

Once the abandonment notice has expired without contact from the tenant, the landlord is entitled to change the locks.

 

A golden rule: Landlords must not change the locks unless absolutely sure that the tenant has left the property permanently. The landlord could be sued/counter-sued for wrongful eviction.

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Yes illegal eviction IF the landlord knows the tenants are still there!

 

What is abandonment?

 

Abandonment of the property is a situation whereby the tenant(s) has vacated the property without notification and without returning the keys during the tenancy.

If the tenant has returned the keys and vacated or notified the landlord that they have vacated, then the property has not been abandoned.

If the landlord has willingly accepted keys and/or let the tenant go, it may be deemed that the tenancy has been surrendered and no further rent is lawfully due.

 

How to determine whether the tenant has abandoned the property:

 

The landlord may be alerted to the property being abandoned by:

 

Tenant(s) missing rent payments

Tenant(s) not answering telephone calls/messages left/knocks at the door over a reasonable period of time

Communication with the neighbours who inform the landlord that they have not seen the tenant for some time

 

If all attempts to contact the tenant have failed, the landlord should send a letter stating that if no contact is returned, access will be made after 24 hours, following delivery of the letter.

Following the expiry provided, maybe possible to enter the property to check for signs of abandonment.

 

Checking for signs of abandonment at the property

Upon entering the property, check the fridge for fresh food, the wardrobe for clothes and check mail but do not open.

Unfurnished / part furnished property

Where the furniture is owned by the tenant, if all the furniture (and related belongings) have been moved out, it MAY be safe to assume that the tenant no longer resides at the property. In this case, the landlord is free to change the locks and re-let the property to mitigate losses.

If some or all of the tenant’s belongings are in the property the landlord should place an ABANDONMENT NOTICE clearly stuck on the inside of the front door so as to be seen by the tenant.

Fully furnished property

In a fully furnished property, it can be difficult to know whether the tenant has abandoned the property. It is recommended that an ABANDONMENT NOTICE is clearly stuck on the inside of the front door.

Once the abandonment notice has expired without contact from the tenant, the landlord is entitled to change the locks.

 

A golden rule: Landlords must not change the locks unless absolutely sure that the tenant has left the property permanently. The landlord could be sued/counter-sued for wrongful eviction.

 

Where do you get this Rubbish from,Specialist letting agents in illegal eviction no doubt.

 

No possession order and enforced by bailiffslink3.gif,Illegal Eviction...

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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No ... specialist & renowned landlord tenant lawyers - yes there is the possibility that the tenant gets in contact following the change of locks and wants back in after going through the whole procedure - if so let them back in!!

 

So what do you do in the scenario I have set out above - take the tenant that you cannot find to court to get an eviction order? Taking months whilst your property is sat empty and you know your tenant is not there? At least if the tenant does come back hard at you, you have shown that you have done everything within your power to contact them and ensure that they no longer live there.

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No ... specialist & renowned landlord tenant lawyers - yes there is the possibility that the tenant gets in contact following the change of locks and wants back in after going through the whole procedure - if so let them back in!!

 

So what do you do in the scenario I have set out above - take the tenant that you cannot find to court to get an eviction order? Taking months whilst your property is sat empty and you know your tenant is not there? At least if the tenant does come back hard at you, you have shown that you have done everything within your power to contact them and ensure that they no longer live there.

 

More advice from Specialist letting agents in illegal eviction again :-x

 

You shouldn't be going into a tenants home in the 1st place and changing locks for what ever reason,unless Bailiffs have enforced a valid possession order......

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Hi again, thanks so far, been dealing with these all day. Basically, they say they served a Section 21 Notice on me 6 January 2012, now I genuinely did not receive this notice. They have now sent me a copy of that notice by e-mail, giving an expiry date of 27/03/2012. As far as I can see, the notice is in order, EXCEPT for the fact that I did not receive the notice until today by e-mail.

 

So:

 

Is the burden of proof on them to show they served the notice? What proof can I ask them to provide?

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Yes you can argue that you did not receive it. they should have either sent it to you recorded or special delivery so they had proof or they should have handed it to you in person.

I got given a section 21 some years back, or more to the point, i didn't get it and when i argued it the court said because they didnt have proof it was sent or handed to me then its not valid and they had to start the whole thing of again.

Mite not be rite but it worked for me.

Edited by nohope
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they say they served a Section 21 Notice on me 6 January 2012

 

For them to serve you something they would have had to hand it to you. Find out from them what means they used to get the section 21 to you.

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Hi, these muppets tried to pick the locks today whilst I was out. Fortunately whoever they got to do it weren't very good at it and didn't manage to get in.

Anyway, despite me telling them numerous times the property isn't empty, they are asking by email and they keep getting told the same thing. I've sent them this tonight:

 

09 February 2012

 

To Whom it may concern,

 

The situation has not changed as outlined in an earlier email as you were advised as recently as 3rd Feb 2012. The property is presently occupied by me and you will be informed if this situation changes.

 

No further email correspondence will be entered into to. Any future correspondence should be via post.

 

Following legal advice taken today, please note that attempting to evict me without a valid court order is an indictable criminal offence under Section 3 - Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and this will be pursued should you try to do so. As you have NOT served a VALID Section 8 or Section 21 notice on me, which you were advised in several previous e-mails, you would be unable to obtain a court Possession order. Section 21(b) of the Housing Act 1988 requires you serve a notice IN WRITING to me giving at least 2 months notice that the Landlord requires possession.

 

Please note that costs for the Defence will be requested at any court hearing if you attempt eviction without having first served a valid Section 8 or 21 notice on me, in the correct manner. As I have received neither of these documents, any court action you instigate will be contested by myself and a solicitor.

 

Furthermore, any attempt to gain access to the property will be a criminal offence and relevant charges pressed for. I retain the right under Protection from Eviction Act 1977 Section 5 to sue for trespass in a civil court and any other damages which may arise. Under Section 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, any person attempting to interfere with the property may be forcibly detained pending police assistance as the offences listed under the Protection from Eviction Act 1988 are indictable.

 

Section 1(3) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 further makes it an offence for you to try and make me vacate the premises or breach my right to "quiet enjoyment" of the property.

 

This e-mail notice will be used as evidence should the need arise. A paper-based copy will also be forwarded to you as soon as practical.

 

As advised earlier, no further contact will be entered into by e-mail.

 

I hope this clarifies the situation.

 

I'm getting really worried now, should I contact the police? Even if I do contact the police, are they even likely to know what I'm going on about... the police around here seem to believe TV License people have THE RIGHT to enter a property with or without a warrant, AND they'd never heard of a WOIRA!!! I'm worried they'd say you are behind on the rent, the landlord wants you out, away you go sonny.

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