A landlord battling to evict his nightmare tenants using a Section 8 order is exasperated that county court bailiffs encouraged them to stay put.
The Cumbrian-based landlord had been granted a possession order, but his tenants – on bail for alleged drug offences and owing £3,000 in rent arrears – were then advised by bailiffs to ask for the application to be delayed.
“When bailiffs arrived at the house, the woman was under the influence of drugs, but her behaviour was such that the bailiffs considered her vulnerable and she said she wasn’t moving,” he tells LandlordZONE.
“Their response was to contact the court and advise her to submit a N244 form asking for further time to stay.” He adds: “I saw the application and it would have been thrown out.”
The tenant’s housing benefit now only pays for one room in her four/five-bedroom property as her children have been removed. Although the landlord is sympathetic, he’s angry that her response to the notice was to put up Christmas lights, demonstrating she had no intention of leaving.
Unfortunately, following the latest hearing, the landlord has now been told he’d filled in the wrong form for a Section 8 (which the previous judge did not pick up on) which means he’ll have to reapply and probably won’t get the tenant out until the new year, racking up nearly £1,000 in court fees.
However, he remains outraged that tenants are able to stall in this way. “Is it any wonder landlords are unhappy with the way the system treats them and why perhaps so many are selling up? I’ve been a landlord for 32 years and I’m thinking of doing the same.”
A few years ago, former Housing Minister Brandon Lewis issued a notice to councils advising them to stop routinely advising tenants to stay put after a Section 21 notice had been served and the bailiff arrived before they could be accepted as homeless.
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