The Clarke Willmott LLP Housing Management team recently secured an outright possession Order forthwith against a tenant of a Housing Association in the Bristol county court.
The case involved issuing and pursuing Possession Proceedings against a tenant whom the Housing Association believed had not been residing at the property as his only or principal home. The tenant resisted proceedings arguing he was living at the property but had long stays in hospital due to ill health. The Housing Association gathered a wealth of evidence to counteract the tenant’s assertions. This included meticulous recording of any visits to the property and any correspondence with the tenant. The Housing Association provided photographic evidence that the gas and electricity meter readings had not changed from 2009 to date. A neighbour of the tenant came forward to provide evidence in support of the possession claim and stated in his witness statement that any stay by the tenant was intermittent and he had not seen the tenant whatsoever since August 2011.
The Housing Association also instructed a private investigator to carry out research into the tenant’s electoral role records which determined that he has been registered to vote at a number of different properties in recent times. The Defendant was found to be linked to a number of properties and also provided no succinct medical evidence to support his case and any medical evidence provided stated his current address was different to that of the property of which he was a tenant.
The matter was listed for trial which the tenant failed to attend. He made an application that the hearing be adjourned however the Judge dismissed the application and chose to consider the evidence in his absence. The overwhelming evidence gave the judge a solid foundation in which to make an outright possession order on the day of the trial.
This case demonstrates the importance of meticulously gathering the evidence required when you have a suspicion that a tenant is not living at their home or may even be sub-letting the property without your consent. Meticulous preparation of cases ensures success in the county court.
For further information, please contact Senga Howells