‘’Make sure you attend Court………..’

11 October 2018

A few months ago I represented a friend of mine who had fallen significantly behind with his mortgage payments, and, of course, his mortgage provider issued possession proceedings against him. He has a wife and two teenage children.

I tried to reassure him as best I could. I have acted on behalf of Defendants in similar circumstances on numerous occasions over the years. Experience has taught me that Judges do not want to evict anyone if they can at all avoid doing so.

I was able to explain to the Court on behalf of my friend that the arrears had arisen whilst he had been out of work, but he was now working again and was able to make the mortgage payments once more and make a contribution off the arrears. So a happy ending, but nonetheless still extremely stressful for him and his family I am sure.

The most noticeable thing about that day was how busy the Court was. I had not seen anything like that in a County Court for many years. Every seat and meeting room was occupied by people. Some obviously had lawyers with them but many did not.

The penny soon dropped with me that the reason that it was so busy was because this was the day that the Court dealt exclusively with possession and eviction proceedings for both mortgage and rent arrears.

I looked at the Court list and it had many many names on it – which I found really depressing.

BUT, what was more depressing was the fact that as many people as there was in the Court precinct who had attended that day, significantly more had not attended.

In these circumstances, Judges are left with no choice but to make orders for possession and eviction.

I recently acted for a tenant who had possession proceedings against her for £2500.00 rent arrears. I actually got the Court to strike out the claim – ironically bearing mind what I have just said above and this was because the landlord failed to show up.

However, I was confident, after visiting my client’s house that I would have been able defeat those proceedings anyway by bringing a counterclaim because of the extent of the disrepair in her home.

I am really interested in speaking to clients who have had possession proceedings served upon them and have disrepair issues in their home.

I may be able to provide Court representation to make sure that you not only stay in your home, but the arrears are wiped out, and your home can be warm and dry for you and your family.

The most important message though is do NOT ignore Court hearings, speak to a lawyer, speak to Shelter, or the Citizens Advice.

George McLoughlin is a specialist Housing Disrepair Solicitor and Head of Housing at Curtis Law. He is member of the Liverpool Law Society Civil Litigation Committee; and a member of The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

I can be contacted at George.mcloughlin@curtislaw.co.uk

The above views represent my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Curtis Law LLP