Expert Advice consultancy case study
Shelter's Expert Advice service assisted an advice agency worker whose client was going to be evicted after time abroad caring for a sick relative.
We explained the process a landlord must follow when seeking possession and a tenant's defences against possession. The client was successful in their defence.
An advice agency worker contacted the expert advice service about their client, a single person living in a private rented property with an assured shorthold tenancy.
The client contacted the advice agency after being served possession court papers relating to a possession claim for their home. Their landlord had given then a section 21 notice eight months earlier.
The client had been abroad caring for a sick relative and returned home facing the prospect of eviction. The possession paperwork mentioned some rent arrears.
The expert adviser gathered information, discussed the case in detail with the agency and explained the process for a landlord seeking possession of a property. They considered potential defences to a possession claim, including:
the time limits to start possession proceedings after the issue of a section 21 notice
a landlord's breach of tenancy deposit protection rules
The adviser explained the rules about the accuracy of claimed rent arrears in case the landlord tried to serve a section 8 notice when challenged on the validity of the section 21 notice.
The expert adviser suggested that due to the lack of clarity in the case it would be beneficial for the client to seek legal representation in court.
The client was successful in their defence of the possession claim.
The landlord was ordered to pay costs and carry out outstanding repairs on the property. There were in fact no rent arrears and the client was in credit on their rent account.