I want to sue my builder, but he hasn’t finished the job what can I do?
Take legal advice as soon as you can. Make sure you have all written documents e.g. contract, quotation, list of payments. Take photos and make a list of the problems/defects. At some point you will need a report from a buildings expert but it is usually better for this to be obtained in conjunction with your solicitor. A ‘Letter of Claim’ needs to be sent by your legal adviser to the builder to start a formal process to enable the dispute to be resolved.
How long will a claim against a professional take?
Each case is different but as rule of thumb, up to six months for a negotiated settlement or one which is mediated. If court proceedings are begun, then it will take longer - usually up to 18 months or so.
My tenants have left, but not handed back the keys. Can I change the locks?
If you believe, or have reasonable cause to believe, that your tenant has ceased to reside in the premises, you are entitled to change the locks without serving notice or getting a court order. We would always urge you to seek advice though, to avoid any potential claims for unlawful eviction.
What if the tenant still doesn’t leave when the possession order says they should?
In this case, you will need to instruct a bailiff. Again, we offer a fixed fee to assist you with this. A bailiff appointment can take four to six weeks to obtain.
How long will it take?
This will vary depending on if the tenant raises a defence/ counterclaim, and how quickly the court deals with the matter. Typically, both proceedings can take four to six months.
How much does it cost?
We offer fixed fees for drafting and serving either a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice. We also offer a fixed fee for assisting you with Section 21 and Section 8 proceedings. Please contact us for further information.
What happens after the notice has expired?
If the tenant doesn’t leave, then we can help you to issue a claim for possession at court.
How do I get my property back?
Whether your tenants have rent arrears, have caused damage or you simply need it back, the first step is to serve them with either a Section 21 Notice or a Section 8 Notice (under the Housing Act 1988).
Whats the difference?
A Section 21 Notice must be in writing and give two clear months’ notice. There are also additional requirements depending on when the tenancy started. The tenant doesn’t have to have breached their tenancy.
A Section 8 Notice must be in a prescribed form and gives two weeks’ notice. It applies when the tenant has breached their tenancy in some way, usually by building up rent arrears.
What is TWOC?
TWOC stands for Taking Without the Owner's Consent. It covers the scenario where a person takes a vehicle, without the owner's permission, for his or her own use. The offence is often referred to as ‘joy-riding’ and is less commonly charged these days, presumably because vehicle security has improved. It carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment. A suspect could expect to be charged with theft of the vehicle, which has more serious sentencing consequences, if he or she intended to keep it. A passenger can also be charged if knowingly carried in a vehicle taken without consent.
I have had an accident and left the scene, should I go to the police?
Leaving the scene of an accident is ill-advised and has serious sentencing consequences if you are charged with an offence. We would advise you to make immediate contact with the police to explain the circumstances. A member of our team will be able to help you coordinate this and attend the police station with you.