Possession proceedings case studies

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Possession proceedings case studies

Manjit assisted an exceptional vulnerable client whose landlord wanted possession of his home due to his inability to keep his property tidy. As a result of our intervention Social Services carried out an assessment of his needs and a plan was put into place for our client to receive assistance in redecorating his property, for a carpet to be laid and the walls painted. A worker was allocated to come and help him clean the property regularly to avoid this matter reoccurring.

Manjit says ‘This is a good example of ensuring that both housing and Social services Departments work together to ensure that whenever possible a tenant should be supported to allow them to continue to live in the community independently…with joined up work it is possible to come up with solutions that can not only improve the quality of the life for an individual it can help save costs for the local authority in the long run’.

Manjit successfully defended a local authority landlord’s possession claim against the client whose rent arrears were in the region of £11,000. Manjit had to undertake work to involve the Official Solicitor as the client lacked capacity. Instructions were taken on the issues of  housing benefit and disrepair. The trial was vacated with the rent arrears being reduced to nil and the client was able keep his home. In addition support was put in place for the client to manage his tenancy in the future.

Manjit comments ‘This matter took two years to conclude given that criminal proceedings had also been issued in relation to be benefit fraud allegations. There were also outstanding appeals with the Benefits Tribunal Service which needed to be resolved. The outcome of the matter was particularly satisfying given that all matters were resolved and the client’s rent account ended at a nil balance with the local authority agreeing a schedule of works’.

The client’s local authority landlord issued possession proceedings arguing that the client was named on two tenancy agreements both granted by it. It tried to allege that the client had provided false information to obtain his current tenancy and therefore it was entitled to recover possession of the property he currently occupied.

Manjit comments ‘Our client was deeply distressed by these false allegations made by his landlord and risked losing his home where he and his wife and young child. As a result of our intervention his landlord accepted that it had in fact made an administrative error and accepted that our client had provided the correct information at the time of making a homeless application for his current tenancy. The local authority agreed to drop its possession claim against our client.”

 Possession proceedings resulting from anti-social behaviour

At trial the client was found to have caused anti-social behaviour to other residents in his block for a prolonged period of time. However, through negotiations with his landlord it was agreed that in accordance with its policy supported accommodation would be provided to the client. This included consideration of a residential detox treatment programme for the client’s alcohol addiction.

Manjit comments ‘This was a particularly challenging case to deal with due to the nature of the allegations against our client. Despite not being able to keep his home we were able to assist our client obtain the correct support he needed as it became apparent that our client needed to live in supported accommodation. He benefited from a range of medical assessment, social service assessment and alcohol support agency intervention. Our client was not put on the streets following his eviction as the local authority agreed to provide supported housing for him.

The local authority claimed possession of the client’s property due to allegations of breach of tenancy due to cannabis plants having been found during a police raid at his home. The firm was instructed and as a result, the matter was settled with the client giving undertakings to the Court without losing his home.

Manjit comments ‘Although it is accepted that this was a serious breach of the tenancy agreement, the local authority failed to properly consider its vulnerability policy when reaching a decision to evict our client. As a result of our intervention and representations the Local Authority agreed to give our client a further opportunity of keeping his home and no order was made against our client’

The local authority issued possession proceedings against the client due to allegations of anti-social behaviour based on various drug raids at her property. This firm was instructed in this matter and as a result of our intervention not only did our vulnerable client and her family keep a roof over their head but they received the support they needed to keep their home. In addition we brought a disrepair counterclaim against the local authority who agreed to carry out the necessary repairs to the property including replacing the boiler at the property and pay our client compensation which reduced her rent arrears to nil.

Manjit says ‘This was a particularly satisfying result because our client and her family had been asking for support for some time and had been ignored until instructing this firm to assist them. As a result of our intervention our client not only managed to keep her home she received the support to avoid Social Services considering removing her children from her’.

We were instructed by a vulnerable client who had mental health impairment in relation to her landlord’s possession claim. The client had been convicted in criminal proceedings for harassing her neighbour. The client made counter allegations in relation to the landlord’s claim. We obtained an expert opinion in relation to noise complaints. This information was served on the local authority and the matter was referred to the exceptions panel who agreed that the client should be granted a management transfer from the property. They also agreed to stay the possession claim to allow the client to bid for alternative accommodation.

‘This was an exceptionally good outcome for our client given the strength of the evidence against our client. It was particularly satisfying that the local authority was willing to recognise our client’s health problems and wider issues such as sound insulation and took steps to assist our client keep a roof over her head’ – Manjit says.

Posession proceedings resulting from sub-let of property

A local authority issued possession proceedings against the client alleging that he did not occupy the property and instead his daughter occupied his property. This firm was instructed in this matter and as a result of serving witness evidence the local authority dropped its possession claim against the client and agreed to pay Osbornes costs.

The local authority issued possession proceedings against the client alleging that he had sublet the property. Manjit Mandair was instructed on behalf of the client and as a result of work undertaken and a detailed Defence being filed on behalf of the client,  the Housing Association agreed to dismiss its claim against the client.

Manjit says – ‘By working swiftly we were able to bring this matter to a conclusion very quickly avoiding unnecessary costs of proceeding to trial in this matter and our client kept his home with no order having been made against him’.

Manjit successfully negotiated a package on behalf of the client whose landlord required possession of her home. The client was an assured tenant but the lease that had been issued to the client’s landlord by the freeholder had come to an end and they were not prepared to extend the same. The client has moved into suitable alternative accommodation and received compensation from her landlord.

Possession proceedings after breach of quite enjoyment

The client’s landlord issued possession proceedings in relation to her Assured Shorthold tenancy and alleged unpaid rent. We assisted the client to issue a counterclaim against the landlord for breach of quite enjoyment and harassment. The parties settled matters with an agreement that the landlord dropped his claim for £8,000 rent arrears and in return the client vacated his premises. 

Manjit comments “…With a depletion of social housing there is an inevitable increase in the number Londoners living in private sector accommodation. It is important that landlords understand their lawful responsibility towards tenants and understand that they must comply with the law when evicting clients.

‘Tenants are entitled to enjoy the use of premises peacefully and to exercise their rights as a tenant.”


Written by Shilpa Mathuradas