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Section 21 Landlord wants me to leave


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Hi I am being asked to leave at the end of my tenancy next March. Landlord has given me section 21 notice to coincide with the expiry date of tenancy agreement.

 

My situation is that I am a single parent father with a disabled child and I will become homeless in March. I have been on the housing waiting list for nearly 4 years now with no offer of any type of accomodation. I dont owe a single penny in rent and the reason for the Landlord wanting his property back is that the house is in a run down state and needs a lot of work done to bring it up to modern standards.

 

I am greatly concerned that if I remain in the property after the tenancy has expired I will suffer CCJs and court costs of many hundred pounds to satisfy the local council's test of becoming homeless.

 

If I leave at the end of the tenancy I will according to the council be 'intentionally making myself homeless' therefore they will then have no duty to house me in temporary accomodation. This seems very unfair to me as Why should I have to blacken my name in the courts by forcing the landlord to go to the lengths of threatening bailliff action to prove that I am homeless.

 

What concerns me more is the effect this will have on my daughters health. So much for this Governments claims that they care about children in poverty and the rights of disabled children.

 

Can anyone give me advice on how I can avoid court costs and CCJs coming my way and the best way to simply provide a roof over my head after the March deadline.

 

Dave T

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The first course of action by the landlord would be basically to get an order from the courts to evict you - this won't give you a ccj etc. As long as you keep paying rent or even if the landlord takes you to court for rent owed as long as you pay it within (can't remember exactly) 7 or 14 days you won't get a ccj either.

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Hi all!

 

Really sorry to read about your problem.

 

ANYWAY...

 

DaveatBristol,before I give you a reply please answer the following questions:

 

1.How long have you lived in the current property?

 

2.How do you pay your rent? Full housing benefit as a full time carer or otherwise?Please clarify.

 

The answers to the above questions should hopefully enable me to assist you further.

 

Above all DO NOT WORRY we will find a solution/options for you and you are not alone on this forum.

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I have lived in my present property for 10 years

 

I receive full housing benefit direct to me and then I pay the rent to an agency.

 

The agency have told me that if I wish to rent another property on their books then I will have to pay the following:

 

Approx 3 to 4 months rent up front - over £2000 + the rental sign on fees £200 + the increase in deposit as like I have said the rent that I now pay is below the average rent for a similar property in the same area so there would be a shortfall in the deposit.

 

Other questions that I need answering are :

 

If I stay in the property after the rental agreement finishes in March I will be liable for court costs when the Landlord applies to the courts to remove me. I dont like the idea of having to blacken my name and what happens if I am unable to pay court costs of many hundreds of pounds.

 

Where do I stand if I leave the property as requested and present myself on the doorstep of my local council as homeless with a disabled child - do they really class me 'intentially making myself homeless' and leave me to rot on the streets. How can they expect me to incur court costs and abandon all duty to look after vulnerable children.

 

Finally will they then take my daughter into care and leave me to rot which seems the more likely scenario ?

 

Who pays for storage for my belongings if I have to go to Bed and Breakfast accomodation ?

 

What happens to my deposit of £500 that they hold if I remain in the property after the deadline - I can see that money being totally lost.

 

worth adding that I have paid my rent without fail for 10 years and the deposit was my money that I saved up many years ago. I am my daughters full time carer as she needs daily injections every day so living on the street wont help matters there increasing the odds of the authorities taking her into care.

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DaveatBristol,in my personal view and the way forward with your problem:

 

1.You need to explore the possibilities of getting longer term accomodation i.e. through the council/housing associations etc because this sort of situation is unacceptable and very unsettling for you and your child.

 

2.You should go and see your local MP and highlight your plight.Hopefully your several years on the waiting list will become a few weeks and if not days.

 

3.This is because Local Authorities cannot stand pubilicity especially if you have a real genuine case.

 

4.Before the New Year - if possible try and find out if there is any chance of housing if the answer is no(Mainly based on the fact that the landlord has notified you well in advance regarding the eviction,together with the fact that you are a full time carer of your disabled child and your serious and justified concerns about your child) - go to your MP/make an appointment to see him/her at the earliest possible opprtunity in the New Year and explain your situation in detail.

 

Do not delay as time flies!

 

Let us know how you get on.I will help you all the way with guidance/options.

 

Anyway,I hope this helps.

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Dave i'm in bristol if you need any help with anything i.e visiting or writing to the council or m.p please let me know?

Dont worry you are amongst friends here:)

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DaveatBristol,

 

You should visit the Shelter website to educate yourself more regarding your rights:

 

 

1.Regarding Homelessness:

 

Shelter: Homelessness

 

 

2.Regarding help from social services due to the fact that you have a disabled child which could also include helping you with the deposit on a new property with a private landlord:

 

Shelter: Support for other groups

 

 

If you have any questions,feel free to ask.

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You can contact your MP thru WriteToThem.com - Email or fax your Councillor, MP, MEP, MSP or Welsh, NI, London Assembly Member for free there is no way a Local Authority should let you get to the point of eviction to class you as homeless I thought all they needed was the Sect 21 as evidence, they can and almost alyways will leave it until the last minute but with a disabled child this should not happen.

 

I hope your MP is as good as mine as we were in a similar situation and got so close to an eviction notice and one call from our MP to the housing director made an empty property suddenly appear...funny that.

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Dave,

 

I am on here as claiming back bak charges but thought I'd pop in to this forum as my dad is an expert in regluations and legalities surrounding tenancy agreements - he works in the business.

 

I have sent him details of your thread and asked for his advice on whether the letting agency is correct in its action with regards to the costs they expect from you to rent another property to you, and he will also be able to advise the process that the agency will follow, should you not leave the property in March.

 

Hopefully I should be able to post a reply for you tomorrow,

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My local MP Steve Webb is well aware of the fact that local councils do not class you as homeless until the arrival of bailiffs is imminent. I have articles in my local paper here from 2 years ago and remember that he raised the matter in parliament back then as he obviously feels it is unfair. ( I have confirmed by visiting a few councils websites in the last few days that the situation above remains )

 

I have a straight choice of either

 

1. Staying in the property and forcing the landlord to go through the courts and solicitor costs which he will undoubtedly deduct from my £500 deposit being held. I then have to hope that I am not kicked in the guts in the process either by the landlord himself by way of CCJs or ramping up the costs as he wont give two monkeys about me. Another point to raise about staying is that I will have no tenancy agreement therefore the council will not pay any housing benefit, but with the landlord ramping up the costs of unpaid rent with me staying put in his property who knows what the final total costs could build up to after 6 months of holding out simply to please the damn councils rules and regulations.

 

2. I move out on the date my tenancy finishes. I stick by the principle that the council are wrong to regard me as 'intentionaly making myself homeless' by moving out. From reading Shelter's website I could well be stuck with nowhere to live and the social services aparently have a duty to protect the child but not the family so there would be a real risk of losing my daughter to the care system.

 

3. I try to find about £3000 to move to a similar property in my area allowing my daughter to continue her education at the same school. You ask why £3000. Simple. The Agency know that I claim Housing Benefit - they also know that I have not defaulted a single payment for 10 years but they say that any prospective landlord would only take me on if he was guaranteed the rent as they normally would not accept someone on benefits.

 

I dont blame the landlord for simply wanting his property back nor the Agency who are simply acting as middle men. I am fearful of the brick wall ( local housing office ) I now face and the stress that it will bring on me and my daughter. As I am my daughter full time carer receiving disability premiums - I have now also discovered that these benefits will be void if I am homeless. I saw my local MP about a year ago when the landlord was considering seling the property so most of the above facts are clear inm my mind - fortunately the landlord backed out of selling.

 

The only difference from last time is that my daughter is now disabled so I am hoping that the authorities decide to think again before treating me as useless fodder that they can disregard as I am seriously considering option 2. as I dont see why I should become financially slaughtered due to the council not providing sufficient housing stock. Hopefully my local MP when I see him can exert some sort of pressure although he has already raised the unfairness of it in the house of commons so it is the legislation that needs changing hence a brick wall situation.

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Hi Dave

Are you on the council list?

My understanding id when you have been served NTQ you can then present yourself as homelesss to council - it will not go as far as baliffs although I understand court proceedings have to be initiatied.

Make an appointment wiht SHelter - they are very good and have helped me in the past.

Are you bristol city council or surrounding authorities?

Which area would you like to live?

Nightmare for bnks is one of our resident experts on renting so keep him updatee and he wil help as much as poss.

There is no way your daughter will be takne into care because of this - Pm me if you want further clarification - it is my job.

And it is ixmas - enjoy it with your daughter - don't worry things will work out.

Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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I am on the council waiting list ( South Gloucestershire ) and have been for 4 years now as a single parent. Privately they have told me that whilst I am in rented property I will never be housed as I was no 70 on the list for my locality 4 years ago and am still no 70 now on the list.

 

What really annoys me is that it is so plainly obvious that the council rules and regulations are designed so that it prevents tenants from simply not paying their rent and waiting for a section 21 to be rehoused.

 

So people like me that pay my rent on time and have no arrears get caught up in the system. When my tenancy runs out I will present myself as having nowhere to live with a disabled child and they can do what they like with me as I am NOT going to suffer the disgrace and financial slaughtering that courts will dish out as I may not have arrears now, but will soon build up a huge debt if I stay put after the tenancy ends.

 

The council obviously wont pay these debts but they damn well should if they cannot rehouse me as I am unable to work as I am receiving carers allowance for looking after my disabled child and they should have a duty to protect me and the child.

 

A homeless application cannot be made until less than 28 days is left on my tenancy so at the moment they dont even want to see me.

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Dave,

 

As promised I have forwarded the details of this thread to my dad who knows all the regulations and legalities surrounding landlord and tenant agreements and regulations surrounding these, as this is actually his job. From my brief conversation with him this morning he has some advice which he will be posting this afternoon for you.

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Hello Dave at Bristol

 

I am Catherine 3106 Dad and as promised will give you a very lengthy reply to your queries and problems.

 

On the one hand you cannot defeat a possession action against you because it will be a mandatory action and the only way you can defeat it is on a legal basis. But I will have something to say on that as well.

 

There is a lot you can do though, ranging from telling the agent you will refer their tenancy agreement to the OFT for a determination under the Unfair Contract Terms regulations (my guess is it will be defective all over the place) through to involving the Council now over the issues of defective premises and repairs needed.

 

Don't despair, there is a lot you can do and the one advantage you do have is that you have plenty of time before end March to get yourself organised.

 

Actually you have two advantages - under The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 you cannot LAWFULLY be excluded from a property other that with a Court Order. That action cannot start until the notice served on you has matured, which to me sounds like early April soonest, and then if you dig in and have to be winkled out it will take the Landlord another 10 weeks at least to gain possession, probably longer.

 

So if you don't feel like it and cooperate you will be in your current home until at least end May/middle June I'd say.

 

My daughter flatteringly says I'm an expert, hopefully this first string will give you a flavour. Be back to you as soon as I can with detail on all the relevant areas of current law, the property condition, agent actions, Landlord actions, the Local Authority, what you can do to help yourself and Court proceedings.

 

Don't worry about those, you could walk out the day before the action is listed for a hearing and still not have a blemish against your name. Beware of thinking a property action does not lead to a CCJ though, it does - for the legal costs awarded. But you'd have 28 days to clear it anyway so it wouldn't be recorded.

 

The advice to involve your local MP is very sound you need him to write to the Housing Department as no one likes getting letters from their MP telling them he is interested in something they are not curing, but could. So too would be getting the ear of a sympathetic local journalist.

 

More follows soon

 

The Legal Eagle

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Hi DaveatBristol

 

I was emergency housed by Bristol City Council as the house I was in was being sold and I had received a 'notification to quit' the property. I was a single parent with a 6 month old child. I was also on full housing benefit as I was still on maternity leave.

 

The council found me a property (I wasn't on the housing list) fairly quickly and I overstayed my tenancy by a couple of weeks, obviously I still paid my Landlord for those couple of weeks.

 

Please don't despair, it WILL get sorted.

den3371:p

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I had a similar problem over a year ago. It look an e-mail to my MP before community gateway association (formerly Preston City Council properties) got the flat I was promised 2 months before ready and in a fit state to move into.

 

In the meantime I had to defy a notice to quit, attend a court hearing and finally moved into my new home on the day the posession order came into effect. And you don't want to get me started on the problems I've had since I moved into this flat

 

Anyway hope it all works out for you

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daveatbristol just a quick point re s21 notices and intentionality should you leave before the expiration of the notice and court action.

 

Yvette Cooper the housing minister sent notice to all local authorities that those presenting as threatened with homelessness due to a s21 notice should be accepted as homeless whereby there will be no defence to the notice. if the s21 notice is correct and has been served correctly (i.e the dates are correct, there are no faults on the notice) then there is no defence and you should not be forced to endure court action before a LA decide to find you homeless. It has to be confirmed that you landlord will be going to court so prove there is no agreement between a landlord and tenant to be evicted to get relief under part vii

 

I know some LA's have a scheme whereby they will pay a persons court costs, but from what you say i doubt yours does, likewise LA's are not allowed to adopt a policy of declining all s21 homeless presentations until court action has been taken.

 

I would speak to you local law centre or housing advice centre who can support you in your application for assistance as a homeless person. however at the moment you advise you will become homeless in march? the correct definition is contained in s175 of the housing act 1996, and unfortunately at this moment in time you are not homeless from what you have said, you become threatened with homelessness under s175(4) 28 days before the homelessness will happen. for example, a person who does not know their rights regarding s21 notices may believe that they ahve to leave when the notice expires, thus 28 days before the ned of the notice a person may present at their local homeless team and think they are threatened with homelessness.

 

likewise the homeless office advising that you will not get temporary accommodation, to an extent this is wrong, duties towards those that are found intentionally homeless and in priority need are such that temporary accommodation should be sought for a reasonable period of time. this used to be 28 days but recent caselaw has advised that every case should be assessed and a reasonable period of time should be based on your case and how easily you can secure accommodation taking into account your daughters needs.

 

co-incidentally, you mention that you are on the housing waiting list, have you been given reasonable preference due to you child? again i would speak to a law centre or housing advice centre to ensure that you have been granted as much preference in your application and you do have some degree of priority. at the same time i would show the housing expert the s21 notice and confirm that it is a correct notice.

 

im sure you will receive assistance and further advice from the forum, but do ensure you receive advice at a local level face to face and that they work on your behalf.

Thanks

 

 

 

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this is a great website and i'd firdt likr to dsy i've just had a phone call from the HALIFAX....initially said they cant repay my bank charges.. i dug my heels in and three offers later they coughed up the full amount!!!

 

any way onto the subject at hand.. my questions and NOT personal opinions are.

 

why not give the lanlord hid house back? it is rightfully his, albeit, you've been a great tenant..

 

if you had loaned something long term to someone and then asked for it back, you are entitled to it surely??? i really do understand the situation is more difficult with your circumstances.

 

reason for my questions above are.. i am currently renovating properties but unfortunately up north near middlesbrough, surely there must be a host of private landlords arounf your area desperate for great tenants like yourself.. if you lived closer to me then i'd surely have you as a tenant.. my concerns for myself are similarly that i may rent out one of my houses, then a couple of years want it in my pssesion again as IT IT MINE AND MY MORTGAGE!! but may come across a difficult sitation of gaining posession with (as someone else qouted "digging your heels in", ............please be aware, the landlord will also be very stressed as it is normal for humans to get frustrated at difficult situations, no matter if your on the recieving end or not!!!!

 

take a look on other websites and hunt for landlords wanting great long term tenants ,, hope you get sorted, singingpigs.co.uk is good for investors but must also provide contacts for those with houses in your area!!

 

 

regards

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The OP is worried because he has a disabled daughter to think about and doesn't have anywhere to go at the moment. It's not really a case of 'giving the LL his house back', he's just trying to find out what options he has. Thanks for the link, though, that could prove useful to some people.

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I want to leave at the end of my tenancy.

 

Unfortunately my circumstances have changed from when I first moved into the property. If I approach another landlord it doesnt matter how good a tenant I have been - I am on benefits and as a carer I would be regarded as neglecting my daughter if I went to work. Most landlords would prefer to let a property to an AXA sunlife worker or a Council employee! no matter how much sympathy they might have for me they dont want me.

 

What I want is somewhere to live so my daughter can continue to go to the same school as care plans are in place and she has only just started at the secondary school. Seems like a normal request to me but after reading my next post it seems like their is absolutely no support mechanism to achieve this basic request.

 

What I dont want is a B & B for 6 months miles away from her school due to the council having a Lack of funding for their housing stock. I also dont want to have to dig my heals in to please the council and be left to pay the legal costs of such action.

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Hi Thanks to everyone that have posted and offered help and advice - it is interesting to see what has happened to others in a similar situation to me.

 

since xmas I have:

 

Presented myself at the local council housing department where they have photocopied the S21 and covering letter which clearly asks me to vacate the property by the end of the tenancy agreement in March. The advisor I saw quoted that I would probably end up in a bed & breakfast in bristol which is 12 miles away from where I live.

 

Also I have seen an advisor at the CAB open door as appointments are 6 weeks wait. The advisor struggled to find me any advice or a way around the problem and seemed to be less knowledgable than me on the situation although she did feel that the fact that I am a carer and my daughter is disabled should have some impact.

 

Shelters website has a lot of information even the section below on supporting the children and not necessarily the whole family. I will be attempting to see them tomorrow afternoon on an open door situation and might learn more about my fate then. The council point you in the direction of Shelter, so do CAB.

 

Link concerning Help from ( social Services - Homelessness with dependant children ) Shelter: Support for other groups

 

I have dependent children

 

Where the whole family asks social services for help, social services only have a duty towards the children and young people in the family (unless the adults have special needs).However, they should aim to help the young person remain with the family. This means that they can provide accommodation for the whole family. Whether they do this or not depends upon them balancing your needs with the demands upon them to help others. If social services decide not to help the whole family they may instead offer to help the children only by providing accommodation in a care home. If this happens, get advice immediately.

 

I will be contacting social services who were involved with my daughter for many years whilst she lived with her mother on a child protection list due to alcohol & drugs. When my daughter came to live with me 4 years ago she came off the child protection list and has enjoyed a stable up bringing. Any support or help vanished due to her coming off this list

 

Our old friend Lack of funding again

 

Needless to say the mother has a nice house with a housing association!

 

As for priority on the housing waiting list - I gave up hope of being offered anything years ago as whilst you live in rented property you can whistle all you like but you never get offered anything in the way of housing. Last time I rang them was to inform them that my daughter was disabled and whether that changed my priority and was asked whether she could climb the stairs - I said Yes - and he said well it doesn't give me any extra points so made - no difference.

 

I will contact the Law centre this coming week and see what they say but it seems that everyone pases the buck onto shelter.

 

Anyone else had any dealings with shelter ? what sort of help or influence do they have on the council ? because it seems that if they cant do anything no one can !

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Dave

 

i deal with Shelter on a regular basis, they have a very good advice service. if you do access one of their NHAS drop in sessions then they should explain how they can assist you further. There are options pre-eviction such as looking into other housing options, whether LA, housing association, private sector. They can also support you in applying for assistance as a homeless person closer to the eviction, and they can support you in getting assistance from SSD as well as the housing dept.

 

Both Shelter and your local law centre will be able to give you basic advice, through to representation at court so they are qualified in what they do, also they are also community legal services funded so their advice has to be of standard.

 

with respect to the person advising that because your daughter can climb stairs you wont get a greater priority. im sorry but i would raise this with the housing adviser, as there is more to consider than just whether someone can walk up a flight of stairs.

 

good luck

Thanks

 

 

 

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