Tenant wins possession case because the right documents had not been served at the start of the tenancy.

Posasession cases can be won on technical defences

Our client was renting from a private landlord. The landlord decided they wanted our client to leave. However, there are very strict rules about the information a landlord must give at the start of a tenancy. If they fail to do so they may not be able to get possession.

The tenancy

Our client had rented a one bedroom flat for himself, his partner and his young son. The rent was £260 a week fully paid by Housing Benefit. The tenancy began in November 2016 for a period of 6 months. Another tenancy agreement was signed in April 2018.

Our client and always made sure housing benefit was paid direct to the landlord. Through no fault of our clients the benefit was disrupted. Realising the importance of regular payment, he resolved the problems with Housing Benefit and the rent was fully paid. Despite this the landlord served a Notice Seeking Possession. As soon as this expired he issued accelerated possession proceedings and within a few weeks obtained a Possession Order.

Eviction looming

The client came to Moss & Co facing eviction. We looked through the paperwork and it was clear that the landlord had not served all the required information at the start of the tenancy or before service of the Notice to Quit.  The missing information and documents were:

  • No “How to Rent”, booklet or Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) had been served contrary to the Deregulation Act 2015
  • No Gas safety certificate had been served

Accordingly, we advised that there were grounds to set aside the Possession Order on the basis that the Notice was defective.

The trial

In Court the client gave evidence and the landlord was cross-examined. The landlord admitted not serving the How to Rent booklet or the EPC.  The Possession Order was set aside, and the possession proceedings were dismissed. The landlord was ordered to pay the client’s legal costs. The client retained his home.

Narinder Moss conducted this case

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