Case synopsis on an accelerated procedure claim
Our Client sought to recover possession of her property via the accelerated procedure. The claim was commenced and a Defence was subsequently filed. The first and second hearings were both adjourned due to the Court having insufficient time to consider the issues. A final one day hearing was subsequently listed.
The Defendant in this case tried to raise multiple points of dispute, although a majority of these were dismissed as he had failed to obtain permission from the Court to include these. Therefore, there were two main issues in this case which are as follows:
1. Although the Defendant acknowledged that he had been provided with the ‘How to Rent’ guide and had signed an inventory confirming he had received it, the Defendant argued that he had been given the incorrect version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide (the signed inventory did not specify which version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide he had been provided with); and
- The deposit in this case was protected via the insured scheme. The Defendant paid the deposit by way of debit card i.e. he telephoned the letting agency and made payment over the phone. However, the Defendant argued that the deposit had been protected too early i.e. before funds had left his account and therefore the deposit was not protected in accordance with section 213(1) of the Housing Act 2004 i.e. “Any tenancy deposit paid to a person in connection with a shorthold tenancy must, as from the time when it is received, be dealt with in accordance with an authorised scheme.”
At the second hearing, the Court gave permission for parties to obtain expert banking evidence given that there is little to no case law regarding the deposit issue. Therefore, our Client obtained a detailed report from a banking expert explaining the debit card method of payment and providing an opinion on when payment is deemed to have been “received”.
At the final hearing, the Court focused on the two main issues. Regarding the ‘How to Rent’ guide, the Judge determined that pursuant to the witness evidence of the letting agent, on the balance of probability it was likely that the correct version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide had been provided to the Defendant.
Regarding the point concerning the deposit, the Judge took into account the opinion of the banking expert and determined that the deposit had been protected in the correct manner. One major point considered was that the receipt printed at the point of the transaction taking place provided evidence of the payment being “received”.
In light of the above, the Judge determined in favour of our Client and granted the Possession Order. Costs in excess of £13,000.00 were also awarded to our Client.
Our Client subsequently instructed bailiffs to evict the Defendant once the deadline to vacate had lapsed. The Defendant made an application to stay the eviction as he intended to Appeal. His application was heard a few hours prior to when bailiffs were due to attend to execute the warrant. The Court dismissed his application and the Defendant decided to drive to the High Court to file an application (to be considered by a Circuit Judge) to stay the eviction. However, no stay on eviction was obtained in time and the bailiffs duly executed the warrant and evicted the Defendant (in his absence) and all other occupants from the property.
Once eviction was complete, the Defendant filed an application seeking permission to appeal and for permission to appeal out of time. The Circuit Judge granted the application for permission to appeal out of time but dismissed the application for permission to appeal due to it having no real prospect of succeeding thus bringing both lengthy and costly litigation to an end.
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