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Section 8 eviction - will the court find in tenant's favour?

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I have a family living in my property - the tenant, her husband and kids, and sometimes the 18 yr old son's GF stays over. There are 3 adults, excluding the GF, 2 kids under 10 and 5 kids between 10 and 18. It's a 4 bed house, so it's verging on being overcrowded. They've caused a fair amount of mostly cosmetic damage, and also they are in rent arrears.

I have not wanted to put 8 kids on the street regardless of their parents' shortcomings. But I had no choice. The council have nowhere to house them, so last year when I served them a S21 notice on advice from CAB, the council offered to pay off their arrears. We set it up that the arrears would be paid in instalments, because obviously the council didn't want to pay me a big lump sum and then find I'd evicted the family anyway. While this process was ongoing, the tenant stuck to the arrangement and paid her contribution.

Probably predictably, once that arrangement had come to an end, the Princess stopped paying her contribution regularly (her HB is paid directly to me and she's made a couple of payments, over 5 months). At that time she made me aware of quite a few repairs; some are because the person I bought the house from made it look very nice, but skimped on the quality; a few are fair wear and tear; some because with so many people in the house, it gets damp; some are outright vandalism.

Frankly, I've had enough of them, but the council are involved. We've looked at the repairs and they have specified which things they want me to attend to. One handyman did some (not brilliant) work, and then I tried to get the electrical stuff done. Princess cancelled the electrician the evening before he was due, I think she had an emergency meeting with social services because it was the week after there was a police car and some shiny black cars parked outside. We set it up again, and this time she "just popped out". I got 2 other handymen to inspect the place. One refused point blank to work there when he found out who lived in the house - he knows and despises them - and the other came up with a fairly lame reason for turning it down.

My plan is to serve them with a S8 notice. Reasons for not using S21, for one thing, Princess will try to get the council to block it by saying it's to avoid doing repairs. It isn't, although the repairs are taking far longer than they should, because of the tenants. I also don't want there to be any doubt that I'm evicting them because of their failure to keep up with rent and their treatment of the house.

My one concern is that a court may decide they can stay there. I've read that courts are taking a sympathetic view of social housing tenants who are in arrears, and possibly also of private tenants. They're not eight weeks in arrears. I'd be using grounds 10, 11 and 13. Has anyone used these grounds successfully, or had trouble evicting someone using them? Any information or tips appreciated!

21/10/2019 22:14

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