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Hey, you asked…


For some of us internet old timers, who were on usenet before the WWW existed and were hand coding websites in the mid 1990s, it is still a surprise how people treat search engines as something to put a fully fledged question into. January has been a bumper month for searches arriving at this site that involved what, when, who, how, why and where questions that had something to do with housing law, albeit all apparently coming from e.e. cummings.

In a karma appeasing reverse of my occasional sniping at strange search terms, I decided to be helpful. In order to avoid having to return as a cockroach yet again, here are Nearly Legal’s brief answers to your civil litigation and housing questions. Naturally, nothing of what follows should be taken as legal advice and no action should be taken without obtaining full legal advice.

defence and counterclaim struck out what happens now?

Depends on whether you are the claimant or defendant. I’d expect the Claimant to have applied for judgment, sought directions and the case to proceed to trial. The Defendant is stuffed, except on the issue of quantum.

how long before a possession order is unenforceable

After 6 years the claimant has to get the court’s permission to enforce, but assuming that the conditions still continue (e.g. rent arrears and costs not paid off), the order is potentially enforceable for another 6 years.

can landlord evict without a warrant

Depends – but if it is a tenancy and falls under the protection from eviction act (as most do), no.

should homelessness appeals move from county court to tribunal

Ohh, an abstract point of principal type question. My short answer is that, as issues of public law are often engaged, no.

how many months notice do i need to be evicted

The usual answer is the minimum notice in tenancy agreement or statutory minimum notice if longer – these vary depending on the current status of the tenancy. Then, before eviction, there is the issue of possession proceedings, plus hearing and possession order, plus expiry of any time limit in the possession order, plus time taken for landlord to apply for warrant of possession, plus time for availability of bailiffs for settting date of eviction in Notice of Eviction, which depends on how busy the court is. Depending, I’d say roughly 4-6 months, could be more, could be less. Of course, if there is already a possession order, it is just down to how busy the court/bailiffs are – maybe a few weeks or less.

what happens when a tolerated trespasser clears arrears and court cost

Nothing. That is the problem. No new tenancy and no ability to apply to revive the tenancy. Changes may be afoot. Watch this space.

how many times has the section 11 landlord and tenant act of 1985 been in the uk?

Once. But it has been used in claims a lot. I’m running something like 25 cases at present.

are contingency fees illegal?

Yes. Conditional fee Agreements (AKA No win No fee) are not contingency fees and are legal.

what differences does it make if my ex partner give up tenancy to my property i own


can i evict an illegal subtenant

Assuming that this is a private tenancy, if the tenancy has been ended, the subtenant has no continued right of occupation and a possession claim against a trespasser can be brought. If the tenancy hasn’t been ended (by Notice to Quit or Possession order), but the tenancy is a assured periodic, the landlord can bring possession proceedings against the illegal subtenant under Ground 12 Breach of tenancy. But get advice, pronto. If this isn’t a private tenancy, then any RSL or Council housing officer should know about this, really.

what is the impact of the disability discrimination act 1995 on possession claims brought under the accelerated procedure?

My view, in the absence of significant case law, is that Malcolm applies. See this post.

can you appeal a house possession claim

Yes, but for heaven’s sake get advice. You can’t just get the claim re-heard.

case law on joint to sole tenancies

The only legal mechanisms are i) on the death of one joint tenant for assured shorthold (private), secure (Council) tenancies and Assured (Housing Association) tenancies, (which – if it happened post 1980 – counts as a succession for secure tenants) or ii), if it is a relationship breakdown or children are involved, the Court may in some circumstances order the re-assignment of the tenancy under the Family Law Act 1996, Children Act 1989 or as part of a divorce – see this post. For cases try Gay v Sheeran & Anor [1999] EWCA Civ 1621 or Newlon Housing Trust v. Alsulaimen and Another [1998] UKHL 35; [1999]. Local Authorities and some Housing Associations have relationship breakdown policies, where a new sole tenancy may be created, but basically, this issue is very, very messy.

how to get an ex partner s name off of a tenancy

If they are a joint tenant, see above. if not, and you are the sole tenant, it doesn’t matter at all, the landlord should remove their name.

typical billable hours to defend landlord against mold

Ah, mold is a tough claimant. But assuming this is defending a disrepair claim, an indeterminate piece of string comes to mind. How far does the case go? Settlement? Trial? Disclosure issues? Interim applications? And so on and so forth. I’d expect multiples of tens of hours to be quite possible.

will i be evicted if my rent arrears have gone back to court

If you have breached the terms of a suspended or postponed possession order for rent arrears, you could well be. Get advice now.

what does only or principal home mean?

Basically, where you live all or most of the time. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be living elsewhere for some periods of time, but there must be clear indications of the intention to return. Occupation by a spouse will count as occupation by the tenant.

the preaction protocal has failed to get a reply

Then surely it is time to consider issuing the claim, assuming you have the evidence. Otherwise – pre-action disclosure application?

how to break a shorthold assured joint tenancy

As landlord or tenant? Has there been a significant breach of tenancy agreement by the other party? Or misrepresentation prior to signing the agreement? That may or may not help, depending. If not, you are probably stuck – this is a contract after all.

the appellants had been defendants to an application for possession of their flat. there had been several court hearings and opportunities made for them to present their counterclaim as regards the state of the financial account and in order to make a counterclaim themselves for damages.

Don’t stop there, I was just getting interested.

And lastly,

lpc is it worth it for mature

I’d have to say yes, for me it certainly was. but it isn’t going to be easy at all to get a traineeship. Do a lot of research and thinking.

There, that should be enough karmic balance for at least a few more weeks of sneering at small children and general misanthropy.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. denise staniland

    my partner and i have been together for 6.9 years. i moved from the north to the south to be with him, so gave up my home, job, car, and compromised family life. i moved into the flat that he has owned for 2 years and we lived their for 4 years. before moving to this house over 2 yers ago. i pay him 300.00 per month as i do all the food shopping also which is around 200. to 300 pm. 4 months he asked me to leave. the mortgage on the house is in his name only. he said that he can get me evicted in 1 hour. he has given me 28 days to leave. but not is this only my home but i also work from home. which means for me to leave i have to find somewere else to live, and a job. is it right that he can get me out within 1 hour…

  2. Nearly Legal

    Hi Denise,

    I’m afraid I can’t give advice on individual cases via the blog. However, from what you say, I don’t think it is necessarily as simple as your partner says. I very very strongly suggest you talk to a specialist solicitor (either a housing or family solicitor) as soon as possible. There is a link to find legal aid solicitors at the top right of my blog – put in family or housing specialist and your postcode.



  1. Family Lore - Inspired bythis excellent recent postby Nearly Legal, and in the same spirit of philanthropy, I thought I would do something…

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