Problem Tenant +Problem Agent +Problem Legal Representative

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R
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We've had a tenant in our apartment in Manchester since October he was consistently late with his rent. His references were false and had obviously not been checked by our appointed agent it appeared he had no job and had applied for HB. As he was 3 months late our agent eventually got a HB Cheque made payable to the Agent up to end Feb. We were advised in January that the agent had their own legal department we paid them 387.50 to start proceedings and pay court fees to get possession of the apartment on 4th March when his AST ended. He was issued with a section 21, but refused to move out. He was subsequenty issued with a Section 8 for rent arrears. He has been receiving housing benefit since but we have not had any rent. I eventually rang the HB office and ask if the tenant was still receiving rent and was told he was but our agent should have contacted them and they would have paid us direct once he was 8 weeks late? The agent had not rang and in fact informed us they did not know they had to?
We were told by the agents legal representative that it would take 6-8 weeks for the judge to rubber stamp the repossession order. It is now July and we have heard nothing? On Friday 3rd July I rang Manchester Count Court myself and ask if there was any sign of a date for our hearing unfortunately, nothing could be found for the address of our apartment, our names as landlords or the Legal Representatives Company name. We have ask the legal rep on numerous occasions to furnish with some information i.e. a Court Reference number but he has refused, he's now saying a Court Reference Number is only issued when a date is set. I ask the Court if it is usual to take this long (5 months)and was told 6 weeks is usually maximum, also we should have a Court Reference Number. I spoke to Eastern Landlords Association who we are also members of and they are very concerned for us they are worried that the legal representative is actualy entitled to issue proceedings as he is not a solicitor he has now told us he is an 'officer of the court' but we're concerned as he first told us he was a 'Barrister'. The agent has also told us there is nothing we can do but wait.
Our rent is now 6 months in arrears and we are in serious danger of losing the apartment. We obviously need some serious legal help, Can you suggest anything we can do? We are in West Wickham in Kent so need a local body to help us.
Really hope you can help!
05/07/2009 00:00

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