County Court hearing and defence Statement.
Tenant has treated our home with utmost respect and in turn have appreciated them looking after our investment. We allowed them to use deposit for rent and when major work was being carried out we never took rent at all. The partner painted house and again no rent was taken and has completed work round our own residence and another rented property. Pets have been allowed. We have issued rental agreements for higher amounts at the tenants request, but the fact is the only increase for rent was seven years ago. Difficult situation to raise rent when you are aware of peopleís circumstances and tenants always appreciated our relationship. How stupid we have been.
It was with regret that section 21notice was given after Tenant deceived us and nearly scammed us for £9500. We also became aware of a transaction a few years previous and for us the trust had been broken. With the trust gone and the rent well under market value, we were advised by a local estate agent to go to a solicitor to issue section 21.
We were then shocked at the allegations made by Tenant in her defence and letters to our solicitor. Overpayment of rent for 7 years, some of which should of been deposited in a government scheme, altering of rental agreements together with producing a letter ending tenancy agreement to which we have no knowledge.
Whilst we have remained very relaxed in our approach to the tenancy, have always maintained documentation correctly and been aware of new regulations prior to regulation dates. The tenants were issued with a pack relating to the property, which included the gov booklet. Deposit was secured and EPC Certificate issued iin accordance with new regulations. Letter retracting deposit . We also have five yearly certificates for electrics which is not required . The last rental agreement issued in2013 and the tenants under a periodic tenancy agreement.
We were advised by solicitor of a hearing for a possession order, in which we did not attend. Now we have been told we need to see solicitor next week and prepare a defence statement. No confidence in solicitor and he insists case was properly prepared as far as possible at this first stage and that the Court always retains discretion. If an allegation is made (truthful or otherwise ) the Court must hear it and now is the time to put in our evidence.
The tenant now four months in rent arrears and has not paid since section 21 was issued.
I feel like a criminal and right up to the hearing wasnít concerned because advised that untrue allegations had nothing to do with section 21. Well clearly this is not the case, unless there is a problem with section 21 and the solicitor has not advised us. Any advise would be appreciated. Have thought about changing solicitors, but at this late stage of proceedings donít want anything further to go wrong.
Any advise would be appreciated, but am fully aware of what an idiot I have been.
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