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Legal action taken by council without notice


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Hi all,

 

There is a portion of land at the rear of my property that belongs to the local council…it is a 'dead' piece of land as it is accessed wither from my garden or from a conservation parkland area at the rear…there is no public access onto this land.

 

I moved in in 2001 and at that time a lease had been in operation for 25 years and I took this over from the previous owner…at the end of this lease the council have variously tried to sell the portion of land at an exorbitant cost which I refused and after involvement from my then MP the matter was dropped…they then tried to set a new and very expensive lease in place which I have been resisting for some years and last year they said that they would commence legal action to recover the land - I disputed this and that was the last I heard of it until Friday last when I received this email from the council….

 

The Council obtained a Possession Order in XXXXX County Court on 12 February 2014 in respect of the allotment land which was previously leased to your predecessors in title at XXXX. District Judge XXX ordered possession forthwith and ordered you to pay XXX in respect of costs and use and occupation charges.

 

We will be reclaiming possession on site shortly and will be dismantling the shed and placing it and any of your belongings in your garden. If you wish to have a representative attend on site when we are reclaiming possession please let me know.

 

In addition if there is any substantial further expense to the Council regarding removal of fencing or reinstatement of the boundary we will be claiming same in addition to the XXXyou have been ordered to pay by the Court.

 

I have received no notice of court action or anything from the court…they have my email so I think they may have just sneaked this through…. I really need to know what my rights are if any and whether they have acted illegally in taking this stealth action.

 

Any advice gratefully received…

 

GIB

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The Court will not e-mail papers, the Court only post them out.

 

Have you called the Court to confirm what address the papers were actually sent to?

 

Thanks very much for your reply Ganymede - you're right of course although I meant from the council really.

 

best

 

GIB

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If you have the court references, then telephone them and ask them to send you copies out.

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Hi all,

 

There is a portion of land at the rear of my property that belongs to the local council…it is a 'dead' piece of land as it is accessed wither from my garden or from a conservation parkland area at the rear…there is no public access onto this land.

 

I moved in in 2001 and at that time a lease had been in operation for 25 years and I took this over from the previous owner…at the end of this lease the council have variously tried to sell the portion of land at an exorbitant cost which I refused and after involvement from my then MP the matter was dropped…they then tried to set a new and very expensive lease in place which I have been resisting for some years and last year they said that they would commence legal action to recover the land - I disputed this and that was the last I heard of it until Friday last when I received this email from the council….

 

The Council obtained a Possession Order in XXXXX County Court on 12 February 2014 in respect of the allotment land which was previously leased to your predecessors in title at XXXX. District Judge XXX ordered possession forthwith and ordered you to pay XXX in respect of costs and use and occupation charges.

 

We will be reclaiming possession on site shortly and will be dismantling the shed and placing it and any of your belongings in your garden. If you wish to have a representative attend on site when we are reclaiming possession please let me know.

 

In addition if there is any substantial further expense to the Council regarding removal of fencing or reinstatement of the boundary we will be claiming same in addition to the XXXyou have been ordered to pay by the Court.

 

I have received no notice of court action or anything from the court…they have my email so I think they may have just sneaked this through…. I really need to know what my rights are if any and whether they have acted illegally in taking this stealth action.

 

Any advice gratefully received…

 

GIB

 

You can state that the hearing was unfair, in that you could not put forward your case.

 

However, do you have a case? If the previous lease has expired and you aren't able to agree a new lease with the council, on what grounds do you intend to oppose their application for possession?

 

Is it worth getting the possession order set aside if they will just go back to court and get another, this time with you aware of proceedings?

 

In effect, has your continued occupation of the land since the lease expired been both lawful and fair?.

 

 

I doubt you can claim their actions were unlawful or unfair ..... Since they warned you they would take legal action to gain possession : though the court should have sent you notice of the case and not having an opportunity to be heard may allow you to have the hearing re-heard.

 

If you have no grounds to oppose their application then you may be liable for costs if the court decides you had no realistic prospect of success and were causing "wasted costs".

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