Vantage Legal Services deal with a large amount of possession matters each year. We have found that there are common mistakes made in some cases, details of which will be set out below:
- Serving of the prescribed information
The landlord should ensure that the prescribed information has been served on the tenant and it is imperative that this is served on the tenant within 30 days of the deposit being protected.
If a landlord fails to protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information within the prescribed time, there is a risk that the tenant will pursue the landlord for the breach. If this was to occur, the Court could Order the landlord to pay to the tenant three times the deposit amount as compensation in addition to returning the original deposit.
- The serving of notices
It is important that if a landlord decides to serve the section 8 and/or section 21 notice themselves, that they do so in accordance with the law. If a landlord has any doubts with regard to the serving of the notice, it is always best to instruct a solicitor to serve it on their behalf. This allows a landlord to have peace of mind knowing that the notice has been served in the correct form and manner.
- Try to resolve as many issues as possible before proceeding to Court
Legal action should always be viewed as a last resort. A landlord should always make every attempt to resolve any issues prior to a claim for possession being issued. Even if all of the issues cannot be resolved, it still assists
in narrowing down the issues which in turn assist the Court in dealing with matters in a timely manner. If the tenant raises any issues regarding property disrepair, the landlord should make all reasonable attempts to ensure the issues are resolved in a timely manner. If a landlord fails to deal with any alleged property disrepair issues, they put themselves at risk of the tenant pursuing them through the Courts for compensation which the tenant may wish to then offset against any rent arrears.
It is imperative that a landlord or any proposed landlord fully understand their legal obligations to the tenant. It is important to also remember that ignorance cannot be relied on in Court as a Defence. If you require any landlord legal services in regard to landlord and tenant law, please contact Vantage Legal Services on telephone 0116 243 7862.