BUSINESS OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED
We provide a full range of professional services to support landlords. Whether you have a large or small property portfolio, our friendly and reliable team are on hand to help each step of the way.
We can assist you with the following:
Tenancy agreements are the landlords contract with their tenants and need to be drafted in accordance with the landlords needs. There are certain legal requirements for the agreements themselves and they can often be in the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or 'AST's'.
The Forbes Landlord Complete service offers advice to landlords and agents in the drafting of tenancy agreements, compliance with pre-contract obligations, advice on pre-existing or proposed tenancy agreements and advice on ancillary documentation such as inventories, checklists and rent arrears statements.
Whilst most possession claims are undefended, the tenant will have the opportunity to submit a defence to the claim. If a tenant submits a defence, they will have to set out clearly in writing why they believe the court should not grant possession. The defences we see range from allegations of breaches by a landlord to procedural or administrative errors rendering the claim invalid.
If a claim becomes defended or disputed, then the court will not decide the claim in the early stages, but instead will list direction and a trial to decide the matter. This will delay the outcome of the case typically by around 8 months from the date of issue. However, the trial date is very much dependent on the court's own availability.
If you have an occupier in your residential property who has entered and remained there without your permission, then you may be able to treat them as a trespasser and utilise a different procedure to remove them from the property.
There are also circumstances where occupiers have been allowed into a property (without a tenancy, for example as a licensee), but have outstayed their welcome. They can potentially be turned into a trespasser by service of a particular type of notice seeking possession. Thereafter, Court proceedings can be instigated.
It is a legal requirement to obtain a possession order before a residential tenant or occupier can be evicted. Even after a possession order is obtained, and if the occupier does not vacate voluntarily, the only way to actually evict the tenant is by the use of Court appointed or authorised bailiffs.
If tenants or occupiers are evicted without following the correct process, then the landlord is potentially subject to criminal and civil proceedings, including a fine, prison sentence or tenants being allowed back in to the property.
As such, landlords are well advised to be extremely careful to follow the correct and legal procedures to evict a tenant.
We can also assist with the recovery of rent arrears from former (or indeed current) tenants.
Rent arrears are, in effect, a debt claim against the tenant. They can either be included within the claim (if on the Standard Basis) or pursued separately.
If included within a successful (standard) claim, then the Order for Possession will also include an Order for Payment of the rent arrears and usually something towards your costs. That is enforceable in the normal ways as a County Court Judgment.
If the accelerated procedure is used for possession, then you will need to bring a separate claim to recover the rent arrears. That will generally involve issuing a letter before action and then, if that does not prompt payment, issuing a fresh county court claim against the tenant.
Our debt recovery team, Forbes Collect, can advise on the best approach to recovering rent arrears. Please contact a member of the team for further information.