Recently, we had successfully managed to obtain possession of a Landlord’s property. And in doing so, we ensured that a payment plan was set up as part of settling the possession claim. This allowed for the Landlord to successfully recoup the arrears owed by the Tenant. All without the need to issue a separate claim for a money judgement or enforcement proceedings.
We were instructed by the Landlord’s insurance company in this matter.
The Landlord’s property was let to a single mother, who fell into arrears. This is not uncommon with the post-pandemic effect and the cost-of-living crisis. In fact, property possession claims on the basis of rent arrears may rise due to the cost-of-living crisis.
In this specific case, we issued a standard possession claim on the basis of rent arrears. Which the Tenant attempted to defend on the basis of disrepair. Again, this is not uncommon due to current affairs. It has been proving difficult for Tenants to come up with funds to be able to get rehoused in separate private accommodation or pay the arrears off to the landlord in full.
This Tenant was in arrears in excess of £10,000.
The Landlord themselves was residing abroad and wanted their property back as soon as possible. They instructed us to reply to the Tenant’s defence, which we did. Following on from our Reply, the Tenant vacated the property and handed back the keys.
To ensure that the Landlord was able to recoup her arrears and that the counterclaim was not left open, we negotiated with the Tenant’s solicitors. And on the Landlord’s instruction, agreed to write off £4000 of arrears. The rest was to be paid in instalments by the Tenant. The payment plan was drafted into the settlement terms of a Tomlin order. Which was then filed at court and sealed by the Judge.
The benefit to the Landlord:
By settling the claim in this way, the Landlord did not have to separately look to bring a claim for arrears and once a judgement was obtained then look to enforce it, further reducing costs and time spent.
Some of the takeaways for landlords from this success story are as follows:
- Taking out insurance for legal costs in respect of residential landlord and tenant claims can be extremely beneficial.
- Due to the cost-of-living crisis, property possession claims based on rent arrears are likely to increase and ensuring an open approach to tenants and seeking legal advice as soon as possible can be greatly beneficial.
- Litigation is not always the best approach and even when we litigate, negotiation out of court can make the court process run a lot more smoothly.
At Woodstock Legal Services our Legal Team takes a very hands-on approach to our cases.
We encourage landlords to communicate with their tenants and provide tools and contacts to assist the tenant in unfortunate circumstances. Our ability to empathise with the Landlord and the Tenant means that we are able to look at the best approach to reduce costs, and time and ensure that our Landlord obtains their properties back as soon as possible.
We also have a specialist debt team dealing with obtaining judgment for arrears and dilapidations as well as enforcing these and hence we have the complete tool kit required to meet Landlord’s needs.
Written By Sharfaa Kerkache