Guidance For Tenants Facing Eviction: What Happens If You Receive A Notice Seeking Possession? (2 May 2024)

Duncan Lewis & Co Solicitors


Duncan Lewis Solicitors is an award-winning and Times 200 ranked law firm offering expert services in 25 fields, including family law, business immigration, high net divorce, personal injury, commercial litigation, property law, motoring, education and employment.
If you receive a Notice Seeking Possession from your Landlord.
UK Real Estate and Construction
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If you receive a Notice Seeking Possession from your Landlord:

Please call Duncan Lewis on the general help line at 033 3772 0409. You will be referred to one of our Case Handlers, who will advise you. Normally, we will advise you to await the Possession Proceedings from your local County Court.

If you receive Court Possession Proceedings from the Court:

Make a note of the date, time and venue of the hearing, on the day go to the Court, arriving about 30 minutes before the hearing is scheduled to begin. It is important to tell the Usher that you wish to see the Duty Adviser/Solicitor - an experienced advocate specialist in housing matters. The Usher will then take a note and inform the Judge that you are consulting the Duty Adviser/Solicitor.

Take with you a printout of the Claim Form, Particulars of Claim, the Notice you received before the proceedings were issued. It is also important to bring any correspondence you may have received from your Landlord or Mortgagee.

We recommend that you prepare a brief summary of your income and expenditure so that, if you intend to make an offer to pay off the arrears, you will have evidence to show that you can afford the additional payments.

Similarly, in landlord and tenant matters, if there are any disrepair issues, make list of them so that they can be raised with the Landlord and in Court during the hearing. You should also show the list of disrepair issues to the Duty Adviser/Solicitor.

Armed with the above, you will make the Duty Adviser's job easier in that they will use the time to read and understand what you require them to do for you and what to discuss with the Claimant and the Judge in the hearing. As hearings are usually listed with a time estimate of 10 to 15 minutes, having a summery that the Adviser can use before the judge, especially if you wish to raise disrepair issues, is incredibly useful.

The Duty Adviser will advise you as to what is relevant, how they can help you, and will also represent you in Court, so that you do not have to speak or present your reply to the proceedings. If you wish to speak to the Judge, you must do so through the Adviser.

An Order will be made in the hearing by the Judge.

Types of Order:

The Judge will hear the claim and the representations made by the Duty Adviser to decide whether it is appropriate to make a Possession Order or not depending on the evidence.

  1. The Judge can adjourn the hearing to another date for further information from you or the claimant and decide the matter at the new hearing.
  2. If the Judge considers that it would not be reasonable to make a Possession Order, they may adjourn the hearing generally with permission to restore at some future date if there is a further breach by you.
  3. The Judge may make a Possession Order, but suspend it on terms that you pay the current Rent/Mortgage Instalment and an additional amount towards repayment if any arrears.
  4. The Possession Order may be outright, in other words, the Court has no discretion and must make the Order, giving 14 days to vacate, after which time a warrant can be issued.
  5. If the Judge is satisfied that a counterclaim should be allowed, then a Directions Order will be made setting out the dates by which your defence and counterclaim should be sent to the Court and to the claimant, and the claimant's reply sent to you and the Court. Our Housing teams can assist you in preparing the required documents and in making an application for Legal Aid.

After the hearing, the Duty Adviser will advise as you on the next steps as a result of the Order. After around two weeks, you will receive a copy of the Order and a brief letter from the Duty Adviser confirming your Order requirements. The letter will also repeat the advice on what, if anything, will happen next.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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