Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina underscores the ongoing challenges faced by landlords in the protracted process of regaining possession of their properties. Despite reform pledges, unacceptable delays persist, impacting landlords seeking resolution in various cases.
A notable instance highlighting the severity of these delays is the case of Dr. Reneé Hoenderkamp. In January 2023, she filed an eviction notice against a tenant who not only failed to meet rent obligations but also caused damage to her property. This specific example reflects the broader issue, indicating that despite efforts, the hurdles in possession proceedings continue to affect landlords navigating the intricacies of the legal system.
Over the course of thirteen months, Dr. Reneé Hoenderkamp has encountered a protracted ordeal in her pursuit of regaining possession of her property.
The timeline unfolds as follows:
– October 2022: Dr. Hoenderkamp initiated the process by serving her tenant with a Section 21 notice. By January of the following year, the tenant had not vacated the premises.
– January 2023: Faced with the tenant’s non-compliance, Dr. Hoenderkamp filed an eviction notice with the court.
– March 2023: The County Court responded, scheduling a hearing date for June. At the hearing, the tenant failed to appear, leading to an adjournment as the court required essential documents.
– September 2023: A second hearing took place, resulting in the court granting possession and giving the tenant a 14-day notice to vacate. Unfortunately, the court’s delay in sending the seal court until the following month further prolonged the process, and the tenant did not comply with the eviction order.
As of October 31, 2023, the sealed court order was finally received, prompting the landlord to proceed with the bailiff order payment. However, as of February 2024, there has been no indication of a scheduled bailiff appointment, and the tenant continues to occupy the property.
Dr. Reneé Hoenderkamp, reflecting on her unexpected journey as a landlord, expressed the challenges she faces. Despite her fair and accommodating approach, allowing the tenant below-market rent and addressing property issues promptly, she finds herself dealing with a trashed property, unable to initiate necessary repairs. When seeking assistance from the helpline, she was informed by Willesden County Court that they couldn’t pursue a bailiff appointment until 17 weeks had elapsed—an aspect she deems disgraceful.
Paul Shamplina highlights that numerous landlords share this frustration, encountering extensive delays in securing court dates and, subsequently, possession orders. The prolonged waiting periods pose significant challenges for landlords seeking resolution in a timely manner.
After obtaining possession, landlords encounter additional hurdles in acquiring the essential sealed court order required for the bailiff eviction process. The delay in receiving this critical document further prolongs the already cumbersome proceedings. Bailiffs, crucial for eviction, refrain from scheduling appointments until landlords possess the sealed order, compounding the frustration in an already extensive process.
Paul Shamplina expresses dismay at the extended challenges faced by landlords striving to regain possession. The current state of the system is deemed a crisis, with inefficiencies within the court system causing undue hardship for landlords exercising their legal rights. Even with the requisite documentation in hand, landlords encounter fresh obstacles as they discover a shortage of available bailiff appointment slots for several months ahead.
The delay in bailiff appointments compounds the challenges for landlords who have endured lengthy waits in the court system. Notably, these are Section 8 evictions arising from tenant breaches, not Section 21 no-fault evictions. Despite court-granted possession, landlords face prolonged waits to reclaim their properties. Paul Shamplina advocates for substantial reforms, proposing the option for landlords to engage High Court Enforcement Officers in cases of significant arrears, exceeding six months. This, he argues, would alleviate the backlog and establish a balanced resolution mechanism for both landlords and tenants. Despite the urgency, such reforms remain infrequent.