Court call centres fuelling possession delays says Landlord Action

Since reporting a year ago that under-resourced county courts were overwhelmed by the number of possession claims being put forward, Landlord Action says the problem has not improved and is now being compounded by the use of call centres run by inexperienced temporary staff.  They warn other practitioners “If you want an answer quickly, be prepared to chase.” Twelve months ago, Landlord Action employed a full-time member of staff solely to follow up claims made to the courts. They wanted to ensure they continued providing clients with an efficient service, despite the challenges via third party delays.  However, with further court closures, it now transpires that some county courts are operating call centres, where temporary staff, with little or no experience, have been appointed to process claims and correspondence. In a recent routine phone call to follow up a case, an operator informed Julie Herbert, Head of Legal at Landlord...
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1.5 million tune into Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

Into its fourth week, Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ is growing in popularity with viewing figures of last week’s episode hitting 1.5 million. This week, a serial bad tenant and a subletting scammer will highlight the need for landlords to take action at the first sign of things going wrong. Landlords Terry Sartin and Helen Miller have both been unfortunate enough to have had dealings with the same nightmare tenant who doesn’t pay rent.  Landlord Terry has been trying to get rid of his tenant Sophia for five months and she now owes him £8,000. Eviction day finally arrives and despite a standoff with Sophia, he finally gets his property back. However, Helen Miller can be seen still battling to get her out. Four months ago, while still living at Terry Sartin’s, the tenant took out a tenancy with Helen also.  Aside from paying the £900 deposit, she hasnt...
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"Court delays costing landlords thousands" says Landlord Action

Landlord Action says under-resourced county courts are exasperated by the number of possession claims being put forward, resulting in costly delays for landlords.  The leading tenant eviction service says it has become such a problem in the last 3 months, that chasing up cases with the courts is now a full-time role for one member of their in-house legal team. The vast majority of residential possession claims are dealt with in the county courts and enforced by county court bailiffs.  However, Government spending cuts, an ever growing number of possession cases (predicted to be up 15% on last year, according to Landlord Action) and the enforcement by some courts that bailiffs must no longer act alone, only in pairs, have combined to create serious delays in the eviction process, according to Julie Herbert, Head of Legal at Landlord Action. “We are forever chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice...
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Many more landlords using Section 21 Accelerated Proceedings this year

Since we started in 1999, which incidentally is also the year the accelerated Section 21 procedure was introduced, we have never had so many instructions from landlords and letting agents wishing to proceed to court to obtain possession orders under Section 21. Last year, there were 34,080 claims issued under the accelerated procedure, which was an all time high since its inception in 1999. I believe 2014 will be even higher. In quarter one of this year, there were 47,220 claims issued at court for standard procedures with hearing dates and accelerated Section 21s.  In quarter two, there were 38,509 claims issued. The total number of claims issued for all procedures in 2013 was 170,451. This was 20,000 more than in 2012. Recovering Possession This trend of more and more landlords opting to recover possession using the section 21 entitlement, where a hearing date is not required, is because most...
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Landlord Action welcomes Government clarification of the deposit protection law

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, the leading legal services company helping landlords with problem tenants, comments on planned Government changes to the current deposit protection law. Mr Shamplina comments “These are very welcome changes to the tenancy deposit legislation allowing landlords and agents to file the deposit within 30 days of receipt, compared to the current 14 days.  Still at Landlord Action, we experience many landlords that do not know or understand the deposit scheme when instructing us to carry out an eviction of their bad tenant, but hopefully this will go some way to clarifying this to landlords. “I am also in favour of the abolition of the mandatory three month penalty to landlords if the deposit is not correctly registered. We have seen a huge rise in the number of tenants making applications to the court in an attempt to gain three times the deposit with one...
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Record rent arrears case featured on ITV Tonight ‘Nightmare Tenants’ programme.

[caption id="attachment_1549" align="alignright" width="139" caption="Record rent arrears case featured on ITV Tonight ‘Nightmare Tenants’ programme. "][/caption] Landlord Action founder, Paul Shamplina, will be featuring on ITV Tonight Programme, ‘Nightmare Tenants’, on Thursday 26th August at 7.30pm. Mr Shamplina will be exposing rogue tenants and showing live cases, where desperate landlords are owed thousands of pounds in unpaid rent by rogue tenants. The programme is a stark warning to landlords about the dangers of letting their properties to rogue tenants. One of the cases that will be featured is the largest rent arrears case that Landlord Action have been instructed on - £85,000. Landlord Action was instructed on the case in April 2010, when rent arrears were standing at £65,000. After taking on the case, Mr Shamplina successfully obtained a seven day possession order and an eviction date in early August. The programme will show Mr Shamplina serving bankruptcy documents on the...
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