Adrian Brazier of our Community Law Department recently successfully represented his client to regain security of tenure. The Defendant (our client) is a single mother who was granted an Introductory Tenancy by the Claimant authority on the 21st September 2009. The Claimants served a notice in accordance with section 128 Housing Act 1996. Such notice was served upon the Defendant on the 29th March 2010, therefore within the 12-month period. The notice was served due to arrears of rent. Possession proceedings were commenced as at the 23rd February 2011 for arrears of rent and upon the basis that the Defendant had failed to take advantage of the council’s review procedure. Arrears of rent accrued as at the 21st September 2009 and continued to the date of the proceedings. The Defendant denied having been served with any notices by the Claimants, however, from disclosure, it was evident that such a notice had been served. That notice did not comply with section 128 of the Housing Act 1996 as it failed to inform the tenant of her right to request a review of the landlord’s decision to seek an order for possession and of the time within which such a request must be made. The notice clearly failed to specify the time within which a review of the landlord’s decision is to be made.
Furthermore, the notice did not provide adequate reasons for the landlord’s decision to apply for such an order in accordance with section 128(3).
The court, having no power to dispense with or to amend such notice, would therefore have to dismiss such a claim.
It was agreed by consent between both parties’ legal teams that the claim for possession be withdrawn and costs be paid subject to assessment.
This case only goes to enhance the importance of carefully considering the notice and proceedings with a view to benefit the client to maintain their home.
DJ Bowles approved the consent order on the 7th December 2011.