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FAQ

What do you do that the landlord cannot do themselves?

Recovering Property and Rent Arrears is all about following a set procedure. We at Landlord Assist are experienced in arranging for the preparation of the paperwork and in providing attendance by qualified personnel at court in front of a judge. The solicitors that are used in this process ensure that the correct procedure is followed thereby returning your property back to you as quickly as possible.

What happens in Court?

If the tenant does not attend Court it is normal that the Judge will award possession and a judgement for the debt in their absence. 

If the tenant does appear in Court they would need to be able to defend their position to an extensive degree to stop the Judge awarding in the landlords favour under mandatory grounds.
If the tenant submits a defence and counterclaim the case may be adjourned and require further work to be undertaken by a solicitor prior to possession being obtained.

What happens once the court has granted me possession?

The tenant should vacate and pay the rent arrears by the date specified by the Court. Should this not be the case then we invoke our stage C; which is the arranging of an appointment of a bailiff to remove the tenant from the property.

How long does the process take?

Generally the timescales work as follows:

  • Expiry of Initial Section 8 Notice 14 days
  • Court Date and hearing approx 6 weeks
  • Date for tenant to vacateapprox 2 weeks

Total Time from Landlord Assist being instructed to securing possession approx 3 months.

Can I instruct a private bailiff to remove my tenant from the property?

Only the County Court Bailiff and a High Court Enforcement Officer are able to remove a tenant from a property. These are the only bailiffs permitted to execute a warrant of possession.

What happens if my tenant leaves before they are formally evicted?

We have a standard cancellation policy whereby we refund attendance fees and the like in the event that a Client cancels a court hearing. We believe we are the least cost option in dealing with tenancy problems.

What if I do not have a written tenancy agreement?

Do not worry! We can still assist you. Contact us and we will help you through your tenancy problems.

Why do I have to lodge the deposit with a Government approved Scheme?

The 2004 Housing Act provides that all deposits for assured shorthold tenancies should be protected and that the prescribed information be issued to tenants. We can assist with the lodging and reclaiming of deposits. The Localism Bill has introduced some further obligations. Call us and we will be happy to assist you.
 
My tenant has not paid his rent this month.
 
Under normal circumstances you should work with teh tenant to resolve the issue, If the second months rent falls due then we can issue notice on the tenant.
 
Can I get the housing benefit paid to me or my agent?
 
If a housing benefit tenant is 8 weeks in arrears you can request the housing benefit office direct the payment to you. They are supposed to do this under the 1996 Housing benefit Regulations.
 
My tenant wants to deduct the cost of repairs they have done in the property from their rent.
 
The tenant must have reported the disrepair to the landlord first. If the tenant undertakes works that the landlord is unaware of then they will not be able to reclaim those costs. They are only entitled to claim the costs if the landlord has failed to undertake teh repair, they have informed the landlord of the need for the repair and have provided the landlord with at least three estimates for the repair.

You have given me different advice to another firm

We are experts in our field and have years of experience in dealing with tenancy problems. We have a team of solicitors and barristers together with 200 legally qualified advocates to ensure that the advice you receive is correct.

Can you tell if someone will be a good tenant?

Whilst situations such as employment and marital status can impact a tenancy we think it is essential that all prospective tenants are thoroughly vetted. We offer a tenant referencing service from £9 plus VAT.

What happens if my tenant lodges a defence and counterclaim against me?

We will arrange for a response to a basic counterclaim without additional charge. More technical issues can also be dealt with via a pre agreed fee. Our pledge is that we will continue to assist you until the property is returned to you.

Will I ever see the money?

This largely depends on whether the debtor has or can procure the money. There are a variety of debt recovery measures that can be used. Contact us for further details.
 
Do tenants need to be referenced?

Tenants should be thoroughly referenced via Landlord Assist. You can do this online by visiting onlinereferencing.co.uk
 
My tenants have adverse history, does this affect their tenant referencing?

If a tenant has a CCJ or an adverse credit position and are honest in their application it can be looked upon more favourably. Sometimes minor credit blemishes can be acceptable with a suitable guarantor.
 
What is Legal Expenses Cover?

Our Legal Expenses cover insures you against the costs and fees that would be incurred in the event that you need to evict your tenant.
 
What type of tenants can you reference for us?

Professional Individuals, those on Housing benefit, Local Authority Referrakls, International tenants and Asylum Seekers.
 
What do I need to do to get rid of Squatters?

Contact us and we can help you through the process.
 
What is the limit of annual rent for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

Currently it is £100,000 per annum. Anything in excess of this would be a Common Law Agreement.
 
What is an Excluded tenancy?

generally a tenancy which does not fall under the Housing Act as an assured shorthold tenancy. A common example is where there is a resident Landlord within the building.
 
Can I turn off the Electricity to make my tenant leave?

Absolutely not! This would be a criminal offence. The only way a tenancy can be brought to an end is by the tenant giving notice or the landlord obtaining a court order. Call us and we can help you through the process.
 
Is it true there are two types of Section 21 Notice?

Yes, one is used during a fixed term tenancy and the other once the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy. Call us and we will help you with the process.
 
My tenant wants to leave early and has found a replacement

Note that you should not sign up the replacement tenant until the existing tenant has actually vacated because if they suddenly change their mind you will be in bvreach of contract with the new tenant. Give us a call and we can advise you.
 
Tenant has not paid and seems to have left the property

If the keys are not returned and there are items left at the property then the landlord should get a court order before changing the locks at the property.
 
There is a Forfeiture Clause in the tenancy which states I can re-enter the property if the tenants is in arrears

Note that for assured and assured shorthold tenancies the remedy of forfeiture is specifically excluded by the 1988 Housing Act and for those types of tenancy you would have to obtain a court order. Contact us if you are unsure.
 
Is it true that tenancies can end because it is not possible for them to continue?

This is what is known in legal terms as the doctrine of frustration. It is not common in landlord/tenant circumstances however if the property burned to the ground or fell off a cliff into the sea then the tenancy would certainly be deemed to be frustrated.

Can I evict my tenant without having protected the tenancy deposit?

You will be unable to serve a section 21 notice until such times as the deposit has been protected and the prescribed information issued to the tenant. The rules are slightly different for a claim for rent arrears. Contact us and we can help you.

Which claim for possession is most likely to succeed?

A claim under Section 21 of the Housing Act is most likely to succeed as if issued correctly there is no real defence that the tenant can raise.

My tenant pays by cheque yet I have requested he pay by standing order, can I refuse the cheque?

No. You must accept payments of rent from the tenant. In the event that you do not wish the tenancy to continue then you should consider serving a section 21 notice.

I did not sign a tenancy agreement with my tenant. Can they leave at any time?

Generally No. There is an implied tenancy arrangement once the tenant takes possession of the property and starts paying rent. If the tenant leaves without notice then they are likely to owe the landlord rent in lieu of notice. This is certainly something we can help you with.

Question still unanswered?

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