Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction in England & Wales

About our Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction in England & Wales by Tenant Eviction Solicitors

We offer an Inexpensive, Quick and Effective Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction by Solicitors for Landlords, Letting Agents & Housing Associations

Are you looking for an inexpensive, quick and effective solution to your tenant eviction problem in England & Wales?  If so we can help, by offering our Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction service to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Association, anywhere in England and Wales.

Why us?

We offer inexpensive fixed fee billing for our Tenant Eviction service in all of england and wales

For a straight forward possession involving the usual one court hearing, we will act for you for a fixed fee:

The process of tenant eviction for most situations is that a notice is served telling the tenant to leave. If the tenant does not leave, a possession order must be obtained from the court. Obtaining your possession order will involve issuing proceedings, preparing for and attending a court hearing. If the tenant still doesn’t leave, bailiffs are instructed to evict them.

The Tenant Eviction Fixed Fees

A brief telephone consultation about your tenant eviction or related matter (up to 10 minutes) is Free.  

After that initial free call our Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction service costs;

  1. Tenant Eviction Notices: £65 for one notice, £85 if both section 8 and section 21 notices are used. There is no vat to add.
  2. Tenant Eviction – Full Service: £575 start to finish, from issuing your claim through preparing your case to obtaining your possession order including representation at court (1 hearing) (any court in England and Wales), all court fees and vat. That’s just £295 plus the court fee.
  3. Tenant Eviction Enforcement: : £165 including bailiff fee, there is no vat to add. If the tenants don’t leave when the possession order says they must, we can issue a warrant and the bailiffs will evict them, by force if necessary.
  4. Accelerated Possession Procedure: £450 including court fees. That’s just £170 plus the court fee.

We offer quick tenant eviction

If we have the necessary information from you and are instructed before 5 o’clock on a week day, we can often get the notice in the post and begin your tenant eviction on the day that we are instructed. We will, where possible, give you the option to have your possession order transferred to the High Court for enforcement. The procedure facilitates a very quick eviction. We can’t make any promises though, the necessary order is at the discretion of the judge and not always granted.

We provide effective Tenant Eviction

We have dealt with over 10,000 possession matters, many on behalf of banks, building societies and very large landlords. We know how to get the best from the system for you. Further more, we are a firm of solicitors and are properly qualified to carry out all aspects of your tenant eviction work.

We can go on the court record as your solicitors, the court will correspond directly with us. This means that we can manage the process of your tenant eviction for you and deal with any issues promptly and properly.

Instruct us as your tenant Eviction Solicitors because:

Unless you are very experienced, trying to carry out the work yourself will not only be time consuming but a small error can be costly.

The law takes tenant eviction very seriously. The process must be conducted diligently. Judges will rarely overlook procedural errors in the tenant eviction process. An apparently minor error can result in an adjournment or even the case being struck out so you have to start the whole process again.

Delays can be expensive if they extend the time that your very valuable asset is not earning it’s keep.

We are specialist Landlord & Tenant solicitors. Non-solicitor firms undertaking tenant eviction work are unable to go on the court record, the court will not deal with them. We are qualified to carry out your tenant eviction work. Solicitors are heavily regulated and have to comply with far ranging rules which govern client care, confidentiality, treating clients fairly and putting client’s interests first. There are also legal regulators and ombudsmen who you can complain to if you are dissatisfied with the service you have received. In addition, solicitors are required to have professional indemnity insurance which is far more comprehensive than any insurance likely to be held by a non solicitor firm. You are very well protected against anything going wrong if you instruct a solicitor.

We also use our own advocates to represent you at court, trained and supervised by ourselves. They will try to deal with any issues on the day to avoid adjournments. They have a right of audience before the court. Non solicitors cannot represent you at court.

In spite of all these advantages we are no more expensive than non-solicitor tenant eviction firms and cheaper than many. Why wouldn’t you instruct us?

Additional Assistance: We can help you with any landlord related issue such as recovering arrears from tenants or guarantors, drafting documents, defending claims against you, and even possession claims against landlords due to mortgage arrears for example.

Contact us for a Free initial telephone consultation. We will try to answer all your questions and you will be under no pressure to instruct us.

Areas covered for our Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction services:

We can supply our Fixed Fee Tenant Eviction service to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Association all over England and Wales including:

Tenant Eviction in Wales

We can provide tenant eviction services to Landlords, Letting Agents & Housing Associations in South Wales, South West Wales, South East Wales, Mid Wales, East Wales, West Wales and North Wales.

Tenant Eviction in England

We can provide tenant eviction services to Landlords, Letting Agents & Housing Associations in South West England, South East England including London, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West England and North East England.

Simon J Vollans & Co Solicitors

Nationwide Legal Services including:

Tenant Evictions – Property Law – Repossession – Rent Arrears Recovery – Debt Collection

Tenant Eviction and Costs for England & Wales

Re-post of an earlier message…

How much of your costs can you expect to recover when your tenant eviction claim is successful?

Firstly, legal fees are not generally recoverable unless there is a tenant eviction solicitor on the court record. Certain disbursements however may be recoverable even in the absence of an eviction solicitor, for example, the court’s issue fees or reasonable travel expenses.

The court has a wide discretion in tenant eviction matters as to the method it will use to decide who pays what to whom for costs. Costs orders in tenant eviciction claims can be either fixed costs, assessed costs or contractual costs.

Civil Procedure Rules

Fixed costs are laid down in the Civil Procedure Rules. The Civil Procedure Rules provide for fixed costs in relation to claims to evict tenants, at paragraph 45.1(2). The rules indicate, among other things, that fixed costs are for totally uncontested claims.

In reality, fixed costs are the default position for the majority of district judges hearing claims to evict tenants; even where there is a strong argument that a different basis of calculation is appropriate. It can be difficult to persuade some judges to deviate from simple fixed costs no matter how your tenant eviction claim unfolded and how vigorously it was defended.

The rates for standard tenant eviction claims amount to £69.50 to issue the claim and, generally, £57.25 when judgment is entered. In addition, the court’s issue fee of £280 (soon to be £350) and reasonable expenses should also be recoverable.

No one suggests that these costs are intended to accurately reflect the actual costs of bringing a possession claim to evict a tenant. Initially taking a landlord’s instructions regarding a problem tenant and advising how best to evict the tenant can knock a big hole in an hour. Remember that there are a number of different types of tenant eviction notice, three types of tenant eviction proceedings, and two types tenant eviction enforcement. Further, we seldom see a tenant eviction matter that does not have an additional problem or two. Common examples of additional problems, are a lack of a written tenancy agreement, tenancy deposit problems, disrepair issues, questions about who is the appropriate person to bring the claim, the list is endless.

Having established all the facts, provided appropriate advice regarding the issues and charted a course through the tenant eviction options, it is then necessary to serve the appropriate notices, draft the claim in the best way to suit the tenant eviction circumstances, file the eviction claim, deal with any defence and or evidence, and attend the hearing. Just attending the hearing, including travel and hanging around at court (there is a lot of hanging around at court) will likely take the best part of half a day. This is true of all courts, be they in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Newport, Sheffield or Swansea.  Fixed costs are nowhere near the true cost of tenant eviction proceedings.

The fixed rates have not been altered for many years, (court fees will, when the new increases come into effect, have increased by more than 350% (yes, more than 350%) since fixed costs were last reviewed for tenant eviction cases.

Fixed costs in tenant eviction claims are a mere token contribution and many might see them as a further insult to the landlord who has already lost a great deal of money because his tenant is stealing the housing benefit and / or trashing the property. The landlord has then been forced to further lose many hundreds or even thousands of pounds just waiting for the system creak to it’s leisurely conclusion. It commonly takes five or six weeks (sometimes more) for a tenant eviction claim to come before a judge. Currently, the courts in London seem generally to be the slowest for tenant eviction claims, but no courts are particularly speedy.  Eviction notices of up to three months will have gone before the eviction claim was even issued in the court and even then, the court will usually give the tenant at least two weeks (sometimes more) to vacate the property. Further, if the tenant simply ignores the order, it will take another few weeks to actually get possession with the help of the bailiffs who will actually evict the tenants.

For all these reasons, it is important to try and get a more just and realistic order for costs in tenant eviction matters where appropriate.

If you are not acting through a solicitor (non-solicitor “eviction specialists” don’t count) or you are attempting the d.i.y. route, you are not going to be entitled to costs at all, save for the court issue fee and reasonable expenses such as travel to court.

If your tenancy agreement is silent about costs and no defence was filed, the fixed costs are the appropriate order and the landlord is lumbered with them.

In any other circumstances, it will be appropriate to seek a different costs order in your tenant eviction matter.

Assessed cost would be appropriate where for example, a defence has been filed but the claim has succeeded. A court should undertake a summary (rough and ready) account of the work done, the conduct of the parties and any other factors relevant and make an order settling the liability and amount of costs.

The key point here is that you will need to refer the judge to the appropriate passage in the Civil Procedure Rules paragraph 45(1) 2 to support your submission that fixed costs are not appropriate in a defended tenant eviction claim. The landlord should also have prepared (the landlord’s solicitor will do this) a schedule of costs. The difficulty will be that many district judges default to fixed costs no matter what the circumstances. They have an over busy eviction list and are concerned to not get behind. The judge is likely to be extremely reluctant to spend time dealing with costs.

Nevertheless, the application for assessed costs should be pressed. The landlord has waited a very long time and paid an exorbitant fee to the court for his or her five minutes in front of the judge. The landlord should not be made to suffer more injustice by being deprived of their rightful costs because the court hasn’t got time to deal with them.

Whilst it is accepted that the court has discretion it is suggested that there should be a reason to exercise that discretion in such a way as to deprive a landlord of their appropriate costs. If on the other hand, the court derogates from the landlord’s entitlement for reason, for example, poor behaviour in the conduct of the claim that would be a different matter. The decision may still be challenged depending on the circumstances, however, the decision to revert to fixed costs (or lesser or no costs at all) is on a sound footing.

Contractual costs are payable when the tenancy agreement says that the landlord is entitled to his costs of enforcing breaches of the agreement.

If the tenancy agreement makes no reference to eviction costs, then fixed costs would normally be the default costs position in an undefended claim.

The court has a discretion regarding the allocation and amount of costs.

All simple enough at first glance, however, on slightly closer scrutiny, like anything connected with evicting tenants, it can be a lot more difficult than it looks. Consequently, this note will look at a situation where the landlord succeeds in a straightforward standard possession claim. The key point here is that your solicitor will need to refer the judge to the appropriate passage in the Civil Procedure Rules paragraph 45(1) 2 to support your submission that fixed costs are not appropriate in the circumstances.

Where the contract provides for the tenant to pay the landlords legal costs, it is submitted that costs that are reasonably incurred and reasonable in amount should be ordered in favour of the successful landlord.

The Civil Procedure Rules 48.3 and PD 48 s. 50 confirm the position in Gomba Holdings (UK) Ltd v Minories Finance Ltd (No 2) [1993] CH 171 that where the tenant eviction costs are payable by contract they are presumed to be reasonable. Church Commissioners for England v Ibrahim [1997] 1 EGLER 13 confirms that this approach to costs applies to landlord and tenant possession claims.

Occasionally, tenant’s representatives will raise a defence to the effect that contractual costs are a breach of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.  This is wrong.  Not only is there ample authority for the position that contractual costs are perfectly reasonable in themselves, (see the previous paragraph) but the Office of Fair Trading has published specific guidance on unfair terms and conditions in tenancy agreements in Sept 2005  (Now Published by the Competition and Markets Authority).

The guidance as far as is relevant to this particular issue is as follows:

Paragraph 3.47 objects to legal costs on an “indemnity basis,” because of the potential to claim “unreasonable legal costs” However, it is suggested that this position misunderstands the principle of indemnity costs as a court is not obliged to order any costs that are unreasonable or exceed what has actually been expended.   There is no objection in the guidance to claiming costs on a contractual basis if entitled to do so by the tenancy agreement as long as those costs are reasonable.   The guidance makes clear that the objection is to Landlords claiming more than it has actually cost them.  In other words, if the costs are reasonably incurred, reasonable in amount and reflect the genuine cost to the landlord, there is no objection.

Paragraph 3.5 of the guidance states that “Landlords are entitled to recover the reasonable costs they incur in obtaining outstanding rent or other amounts due to them, but should not impose arbitrary charges….”

Paragraph 3.55 indicates that costs shouldn’t be regardless of outcome.   Paragraph 3.55 of the guidance is controversial in that contractual costs would not be payable in any event (win or lose) if the guidance were followed.  This differs from the position in mortgage arrears cases, and the authority in Church Commissioners for England v Ibrahim [1997] is clear that mortgage arrears and landlord and tenant arrears cases are to be treated in the same way as far as contractual costs are concerned. However, it would seem open to argument that if the claim was lost, the costs might be unreasonable anyway.

The contract should be reasonably clear and understandable.

So, if there is a provision for contractual costs in the agreement, the landlord is successful in his or her eviction claim, and the court has a schedule of costs, then it is submitted that the costs of the eviction should be awarded on the contractual basis as long as those costs are not unreasonably incurred or unreasonable in amount.  The argument that a contractual costs term in the agreement automatically breaches the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 is without basis and contrary to all authority including the Office of Fair Trading’s own guidance.  It is for the tenant to show that the particular term is unfair for a particular reason.

The court ought therefore to grant contractual costs to the successful landlord who has the benefit of a contractual costs in the tenancy agreement.

Areas in Wales covered by our Tenant Eviction Service

We provide tenant eviction services to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in Wales to all areas of Wales including South Wales (Bridgend, RCT & Cardiff), South West Wales (Carmarthen, Llanelli & Swansea), South East Wales (Newport, Chepstow, Monmouth & Abergavenny), East Wales, West Wales, Mid Wales & North Wales (Bangor, Wrexham).

Areas in England covered by our Tenant Eviction Service

We provide tenant eviction services to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in England to all areas of England including South West England (including Bristol, Gloucester & Swindon, Plymouth & Exeter) & South East England (including Greater London, Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading & Brighton), East Midlands & West Midlands (including Birmingham, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Stoke, Coventry, Derby & Leicester), North West England (including Manchester & Liverpool) & North East England (including Leeds & Newcastle).

For more on Tenant Eviction please follow the link.

Ending a Tenancy in England After 1st October 2015

It was already complicated enough to evict a tenant at the end of a tenancy.  Legislators have now surpassed themselves and created even more obligations to be satisfied before a landlord can end a tenancy.

To navigate the dark recesses of tenant eviction law you need to know that there are a number of new laws and amendments to old laws strewn around the statute book.  It is now both tedious and laborious to come to a view about how the law will apply to any situation.  The many new obligations are triggered by various conditions so may be relevant in one situation but not in a slightly different situation.  There are various penalties for getting it wrong, including criminal sanctions or an inability to bring possession proceedings.  It really is a nasty cat’s cradle of new law.

Housing lawyers have already identified ambiguities in the law. No doubt more issues will come to light when the courts are required to try and clarify exactly what some of the new legislation actually means.  We confidently anticipate a repeat of the tenant deposit fiasco and have no doubt that perfectly innocent and decent landlords will again lose large sums of money as a result of poorly drafted legislation.

We are going to set out the main new requirements.  Please don’t rely on this, we may not have everything clear yet, and not every obligation applies to every situation.

For tenancies that start after 01.10.15, it is no longer possible to serve a s. 21 notice at the beginning of or in the first 4 months of a tenancy.  Further, a s. 21 notice is now only valid for 6 months.  If proceedings haven’t been issued within 6 months of the service of the notice, a new s. 21 notice will need to be served.  If the expiry date of the notice is required to be more than two months from the date of service, then the limitation period will be 4 months from the expiry date.

Again for tenancies commencing after 01.10.15, a s. 21 notice will be invalid if the landlord has not provided the tenant with a copy of a Gas Safe Certificate, an Energy Performance Certificate and the government’s “How to Rent” leaflet.  This is all in addition of course to the tenancy deposit regulations.

There is now a requirement to use a special prescribed form of s. 21 notice.  Although the new law says that you can choose to use the new prescribed form for older tenancies, you shouldn’t do so.  The new form refers to requirements that do not apply to older tenancies and so it would be inappropriate to serve a new notice for older tenancies.

It is now the case that where a tenancy ends during a period and the tenant has paid rent in advance, then a proportion of the rent must be re-paid to the tenant.

A complaint from the tenant about a disrepair issue can top a landlord serving a s. 21 notice.  If a local authority has served an improvement notice, a s. 21 notice will not be valid for 6 months from the date of service of the notice.  A notice will also be invalid where, before a s. 21 notice is served, the tenant made a complaint in writing about the condition of the property to the landlord, and the landlord did not provide an adequate response within 14 days or served a s. 21 notice in response to the complaint, and the tenant subsequently makes a complaint to the local authority who then serves a notice.

Properties must now have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  This applies to all tenancies in England. The landlord must ensure that they work properly at the beginning of the tenancy, and get them fixed of the tenant reports an issue after that.

The law surrounding assured shorthold tenancies is now so complex that this is surely the end of the road for the amateur landlord.  The professional landlord will now need to rely more heavily on professional advisors.  The do it yourself lawyer (with or without a DIY kit bought off the internet) is now at much greater risk of going wrong and wasting very significant amounts of time and money.  We predict that even some professional advisors are not always going to get it right.

They key is to get everything right at the outset.  Some breaches cannot be undone and the sanctions avoided.  Get advice from a proper solicitor who specialises in housing litigation when you wish to end a tenancy agreement.  A proper housing solicitor will be more likely to get it right, and will be properly insured, regulated and subject to an ombudsman if anything goes wrong.

Tenants and their advisors now have a bewildering wealth of technicalities to try and exploit in order to keep tenants in properties at the landlord’s expense.

We can help you at any stage in any part of England and Wales.

As always, this isn’t legal advice, it’s for information only.  We don’t guarantee that everything above is correct.  If you have an issue, you should get in touch and we can consider the actual problem in detail.

 

Simon J Vollans & Co., fixed fee help evicting tenants whether it’s in London, Cardiff, Newcastle, Plymouth, Birmingham, Newport, Swansea, or in fact anywhere in England or Wales.

Areas covered in England for our Ending a Tenancy in England service includes; South West England, South East England, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West England & North East England.