SECTION 21 NOTICE AND POSSESSION

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ANDY54
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ON 28/08/2013, I GRANTED A 6-MONTH ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY TO A COUPLE WITH SPANISH/EU RESIDENCY AND THEIR TWO TEENAGE CHILDREN AS NAMED OCCUPANTS. SUBSEQUENT TENANCIES WERE GRANTED UNTIL 28TH MARCH 2017.
SOMETIME DURING SEPTEMBER 2016, AFTER ISSUING THE LAST TENANCY AGREEMENT (WHICH WAS NOT SIGNED OR RETURNED), I DISCOVERED THAT THE COUPLE HAD GONE TO COLOMBIA (THEIR ORIGINAL HOME COUNTRY) IN JUNE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR THE WIFE’S BACK PROBLEM. THEY LEFT THEIR 19-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IN CHARGE OF THE HOUSE AND SENT HER GRANDPARENTS TO LIVE WITH HER. THE SON HAD LEFT THE HOUSE ABOUT A YEAR AGO TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY. I WAS ADVISED BY THE DAUGHTER THAT HER PARENTS’ ABSENCE WAS TEMPORARY AND THAT SHE WAS EXPECTING THEM BACK IN A FEW MONTHS.
I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THESE DEVELOPMENTS, SINCE THE GRANDPARENTS HAD NO RIGHTS OF OCCUPANCY. IN ADDITION, ON AT LEAST 2 VISITS TO THE PROPERTY, THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF PROBABLE SUB-LETTING, ALSO IN BREACH OF THE TENANCY AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, I WAS UNABLE TO TAKLE ANY ACTION DUE TO SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES AT THE TIME.
TOWARDS THE END OF DECEMBER 2016, I WAS INFORMED BY THE DAUGHTER THAT HER PARENTS WERE UNLIKELY TO RETURN TO THE UK. ON 11TH JANUARY 2017, I ISSUED A SECTION 21(1) NOTICE (ADDRESSED TO THE TENANT COUPLE) TO EXPIRE ON 28TH MARCH 2017, WHICH I PERSONALLY HANDED TO THE DAUGHTER AND OBTAINED A SIGNED ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE.
DURING THE NOTICE PERIOD, WHEN ASKED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS HOW SHE WAS GETTING ON WITH FINDING ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION, THE DAUGHTER ASSURED ME THAT SHE WAS DOING EVERYTHING SHE COULD.
ON 28TH MARCH, THE DAUGHTER RANG ME TO TELL ME THAT SHE HAD BEEN UNABLE TO FIND ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION, THAT SHE HAD BEEN TO THE LOCAL COUNCIL AND THAT THEY HAD ADVISED HER TO STAY PUT IN THE PROPERTY UNTIL SHE HAD BEEN SERVED WITH AN ORDER FOR POSSESSION AND THAT, EVEN THEN, SHE COULD REMAIN IN THE PROPERTY UNTIL THE BAILIFFS ARRIVED TO EVICT HER, AT WHICH POINT THE COUNCIL COULD CONSIDER HER SITUATION.
MY QUESTIONS ARE:
(1) CAN I GO AHEAD WITH A REQUEST FOR POSSESSION UNDER THE ACCELERATED POSSESSION-EVICTION RULES?
(2) IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE ABOVE SCENARIO THAT MAY CAUSE ME A PROBLEM WITH OBTAINING POSSESSION?
(3) CAN I ASK THE JUDGE FOR MY COURT COSTS TO BE RETAINED FROM THE TENANCY DEPOSIT?
YOUR COMMENTS AND/OR ADVICE WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. THANK YOU.

07/04/2017 15:43

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