Edward’s story

CHAC helps single man who had lost his job delay eviction and avoid repayment of rent arrears

 Edward was the sole occupier of a house in Canterbury. He had first taken occupation of the property in 2004 and paid a deposit of £500. He had been granted a new tenancy of the property in 2010 but the deposit had not been protected in one of the government’s authorised schemes nor had the prescribed information in relation to the deposit been given to him within the statutory period.


New tenancy agreements were sent to him in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He had signed two of these tenancy agreements but not returned them to his landlord and one agreement had never been signed although, in all cases, he had paid the increased rent envisaged by the tenancy agreements.

The landlord had served a section 8 notice and started proceedings for a possession order. A defence was put into court and a counterclaim made for a penalty for the non-protection of the deposit within the statutory period and for the failure to serve the prescribed information in relation to any of the tenancies. The amount of any penalty ordered by the court is at the court’s discretion and in view of the amount of the arrears it was still likely that the landlord would obtain a possession order based on the section 8 notice.

When the case came to court in December 2017 rent arrears were just under £8,000. The judge adjourned the case for a full hearing in March 2018. CHAC negotiated with the landlord’s solicitors and it was agreed that vacant possession of the property would be given at the end of January 2018 (by which time the rent arrears had increased by a further £1450) and the counterclaim would not be pursued in return for the landlord not pursuing Edward for the rent arrears and that each side would bear its own costs.

At the time the possession proceedings were instituted Edward was not in full-time work but fortunately found full-time work early in 2018 and was able to move in with friends whilst looking for new accommodation.

This case demonstrates the importance of CHAC’s assistance in possession proceedings – while the landlord has employed solicitors, many tenants are unrepresented and do not know their rights, allowing landlords to wrongly evict, including where they haven’t complied with their statutory obligations relating to tenant’s deposits.
— Paul Wilkinson, manager