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Rent arrears and court action.

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Hi.

 

Due to not paying any rent for a few months (due to being ill), the local housing are going to serve me with a notice of intent to seek possession.

 

I've contacted that and have mentioned that I'll be claiming unemployment benefit (Universal Credit), and that they only pay housing benefit after 6 weeks (their rules). I've also offered to pay a small sum each week, but they have refused the offer, and mentioned that they'll proceed with going to court.

 

Would appreciate any advice as to what to expect, and how to proceed.

 

Thanks.

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Hi

 

You say they are going to serve a Notice of intent to seek Possession but have you actually received the letter?

 

Have you received letters/contact from the Housing to this to discuss the matter and make a payment arrangements plan before this happened?

 

How large are the Arrears?

 

Have you previous to this ever had arrears before this scenario and made a payment arrangements?

 

Now they will be using certain Policies within the Housing to initiate this process so you need to write to them and ask for copies of the documents:

 

Customer Care Policy

Arrears Management Policy/Rent Arrears Policy - (this one is important as it is what they will be using)

Rent Statement from before this happened to date


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Hi.

 

Yes, a letter was received re the Notice of intent to seek Possession.

 

No to any payment plan.

 

Arrears are just under £1k.

 

I've had a similar scenario years ago (15 yrs) where I owed a similar amount, and a payment plan was accepted.

 

I'll ask them for the documents that you've mentioned.

 

Many thanks.

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Update: they're going to also charge me the full cost of the court application. Is this allowed?

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Yes they can the fee is £170-£280 depending on route.

 

https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/blog/bad-news-landlords-and-tenants-court-fees-possession-rise-60/

 

If you haven't already talk to SHELTER

 

Book an appointment or go and see your Councils - Housing Options team - they're there to prevent homelessness and should attempt to mediate between you and your Landlord. You Councils website will have their exact name and contact details.

 

If you have a local advice service/CAB/Law Centre talk to them as well if you need help with representation/legal work.

 

The fact that you've tried to mediate and are expected to get some money to reduce the arrears soon will go in your favour if it gets to a Court hearing. You really want to prevent that if at all possible so talk to Shelter then hit the Council.

 

I'm not sure if you can get and advanced Universal Credit payment or the Council could award a DHP (Discrtionary Housing Payment) or grant etc but it's always worth asking.

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Thank you SF. I will do that, good advice.

 

Also for the present rent, my HB came through and was awarded so another bonus.

 

I'll keep this thread updated, just in case someone is going through similar circumstances.

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Well thats a bit more positive!

 

I got the fees wrong as they've gone up http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2016/03/23/much-cost-evict-tenant/

 

At the time of writing the court fees for evicting tenants are

 

£355 – County Court standard fee

£325 – Possession Claims Online fee (can only be used for rent arrears claims)

£110 – Bailiff’s fee

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Yes, the letter said court fees up to £325.

 

I have another issue. I tried all week to contact Shelter, and the lines are all tied up so I can't get any advice. Also spoke to the council's housing options team, and they said they'll get back. What I really need to know is when it goes to court, will I have a chance to put my side of the story to the judge? Or is it all done via post? I'm concerned that it's all done automatically, without any input from myself.

 

Thanks.

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Have you told the LA that you are applying for UC? If you have put in a claim already you must infom them asap as there are protocols in place once you have been awarded UC.

 

Don't forget to apply any notify the Council tax dept. as well. Since you may get awarded UC you will also receive your housing component in your payments as well.

 

You can also apply for an advance of your first payment to help tide you over.

 

Secondly if you get any letters regarding your new claim take them to the LA and go to the document scanning desk and gets copies sent to the HB/CT sections as well as tenancy management and your housing Officer!

 

Once all departments know then they will work with you to help you budget and things like this! There is a lot of useful information online within the benefits section of the .gov site. Finally I would also say that a notice of possession is also used as a tool to get you to contact them to arrange a payment plan. More on this if you need it?


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Thanks, I'll bear that in mind. I just need some input re courts and what to expect.

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OK to give accurate advice can you post up your letter suitably redacted in a pdf format so we can see exactly what you have.

 

Your notice could be one thing and mean another so can you post it up?


If I have been of any help, please click on my star and leave a note to let me know, thank you.

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I'm unable to scan it but at the top of the letter is:

 

Application to the county court for possession of your home.

 

It then outlines the total debt, and that's it really.

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