Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

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Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby Dartmouth » Thu May 09, 2013 7:16 pm

I am a landlord and a court has just granted me possession of my flat on 21 May, subject to the outcome of a 20 minute hearing on 13 May to assess the tenant's defence, which requested a longer notice period.

The defence was submitted by the tenant's solicitor to the court within the time limit, however, the 'Statement of Truth' was not signed.

As the defence was not complete (being unsigned) would I be correct in asking the judge to disregard it and keep to the original date for possession?

Incidentally, the tenant, whilst he has continued to received £800 per month Housing Benefit for the flat, was already in arrears of over £3000 when I started eviction proceedings on 7 Feb, has continued to withhold payment throughout and this has added over £2500 (assuming termination on 21 May).

Could anyone advise me what I should say in court on Monday please?

Thank you
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby cobdale » Thu May 09, 2013 7:40 pm

I rent a couple of houses out and I,m actually renting a property myself,so I know both sides of the story,and being a landlord isent easy money.i doubt if the tenant will even land at court,have all your evidence ready and present it ,don't leave anything out,because if its a tenant with kids ,,the judges tend to give them as much leeway as they can.i got one tenant to sign for rent to go direct to me,she went to the housing a few weeks later and signed it back to herself, .wheres Nicholas hoogstratten when you need him lol.
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby Dartmouth » Thu May 09, 2013 7:52 pm

Thanks Cobdale.

The tenant is a single man in his mid-30's so I don't suppose the judge will be as generous to him as perhaps with a single mum with 2 kids.

I'm just hoping that the tenant's request for extra time is indmissible due to the formal defence not being signed - but I will certainly take your advice and make sure I've got every scrap of documentation with me at court.
Dartmouth
 
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby cobdale » Thu May 09, 2013 8:58 pm

Dartmouth wrote:Thanks Cobdale.

The tenant is a single man in his mid-30's so I don't suppose the judge will be as generous to him as perhaps with a single mum with 2 kids.

I'm just hoping that the tenant's request for extra time is indmissible due to the formal defence not being signed - but I will certainly take your advice and make sure I've got every scrap of documentation with me at court.

good luck
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby Dartmouth » Mon May 13, 2013 6:22 pm

UPDATE - UPDATE -

I went to court today for a judgement on the tenant's application for a 2 week extension of the possession date and it was dismissed because the judge said he was not prepared to grant an extension to someone who was receiving housing benefit and not passing it on to the landlord.

The problem I have now is that the tenant is trying to build a case against me for compensation for disrepair. He got the local environmental health officer round 6 weeks ago and he identified some dampness in the bathroom, which is caused by lack of ventilation, and a bit of a stinky whiff from the air admittance valve behind the loo.

Unfortunately, even though I asked the tenant to give access to my plumber 6 weeks ago to do the work, he won't give permission. Instead he just wrote to me to tell me that he was going to his GP to see if these defects in the property would cause him any short or long term health problems so that he can bump up his compensation claim against me.

Has anyone had any similar dealings?
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby despair » Mon May 13, 2013 7:11 pm

I trust your request for plumbers access was in writing
Always ensure all contact is written
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby Dartmouth » Mon May 13, 2013 7:29 pm

Despair - I'm afraid it wasn't - I texted him.

However, it may be a stroke of luck because he has just replied belatedly with a text acknowledging the arrears and asking me to make a proposal for compensation. I have just jumped on that with another text requesting access to do repairs, which he has so far ignored, but I will take heed of your words and send a written request tomorrow for sure.

Out of interest, is correspondence by text admissible in court?

Thank you.
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Re: Possession - is an unsigned defence admissible in court?

Postby arsie » Fri May 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Dartmouth I know that in criminal cases the Police can get records and data from mobile phone providers to use but I would be very surprised if this can be done in a civil case. What if someone deletes the messages or they have been automatically deleted?

I think all you can do is swear under oath (or make a Statement of Truth) and describe the exchanges. Save the messages to a computer and create a document with exact dates, times and message text.
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