Tenant eviction and regaining Possession from problem tenants form the majority of our work but we also assist landlords in a wide variety of property issues.
Legislation – Landlord defence.
We advise and can represent Landlords who are subject of counter claims by tenants. One of these areas is in failing to protect a Tenants Deposit. Possession Friend has successfully mitigated against claims by tenants often assisted by legal representation.
Rent Repayment Orders ( RRO’s )
Tenants can ( and do, increasingly ) bring a claim before the First Tier Tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order of up to 12 months worth of Rent. Typically, where a rented property should be licensed either as a House in Multiple Occupation ( HMO ) or under Selective Licensing introduced [ and increasing ] by certain Local Authorities, tenants can bring a claim for up to 12 months worth of rent to be repaid. We have successfully represented Landlords before the First Tier Tribunal.
This is increasingly used by tenants who are assisted by a plethora of tenant support groups and organisations dedicated to Their interests.
An RRO may also be brought for illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers. This is one of the many reasons a Landlord should seek our specialist and pragmatic assistance in dealing with difficult tenants. Most of our clients could have saved money by engaging us sooner.
Civil Penalties under the Housing and Planning Act, 2016.
Local Authorities ( L.A’s ) have been given the option to impose Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 per breach of [certain] Housing regulations as an alternative to prosecution. The difference between being prosecuted, versus the issue of a Civil penalty are ;
Prosecution or Civil penalty will usually follow an invitation by the L.A to attend for an interview under caution in compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984 ( PACE )
Possession Friend advise and have on occasions negotiated with an L.A. dispensing with the necessity for an interview under caution.
A prosecution will likely result in a criminal conviction – record and may lead to a Banning Order or entry on the Rogue Landlord database. Also a fine and court costs.
A Civil penalty differs in that the amount of the penalty is determined by the L.A that goes back to support the cost of Housing enforcement work by that L.A. The government ( MHCLG ) have produced ‘broad’ ( our emphasis ) guidance here to L.A’s on issuing and determining the amount of the penalty.
In our experience, L.A’s are setting the penalties significantly in excess of a fine a court would impose. We have negotiated, mitigated and assisted Landlords in appeals against penalties both at an initial Notice of Intention stage and at First Tier tribunal.
Landlords are from time to time in dispute with contractors or letting Agents. We have successfully brought civil action against solicitors who have acted for landlords under negligence claims.