I had the second eviction hearing today!
So the landlord and his wife did not comply with any of the instructions issued by the judge in the first hearing! They had failed to get a witness statement from the council. Instead what they got was a letter from the council. They hadn’t realised that ‘witness statement’ has a specific legal meaning! Before the hearing I was discussing with my solicitor the fact that I hadn’t received a copy of a witness statement in the post (it was news to me that I would’ve received one). I’d suggested to him that perhaps a statement wasn’t submitted, and it wasn’t!
The judge in this hearing started off in an almost-tirade at my solicitor. He looked as if he was about to dismiss the whole thing within two minutes, he was being so belligerent and on the offensive. My solicitor was reduced to trying to speak over the judge because the judge was interjecting whilst my solicitor attempted to answer. And because the judge interrupted he didn’t get his answer! And so on, for a few minutes. Was infuriating but I just had to watch in silence from the back. But in the end the judge did understand the facts and my solicitor’s point and then moved on to berating the landlord and wife, since what they had submitted was clearly not sufficient. That was extremely satisfying.
My solicitor fully succeeded in getting the judge to agree that since this particular eviction claim is a non-fault one, there is strictly an onus on the landlord of fully meeting the legal requirements because in this type of claim I am totally innocent— the landlord simply wants the property back because they want it back, rather than because I’ve breached the contract for example. So the cost is that they have to have the paperwork exactly correct and there is no movement in the law.
The landlord and wife also failed to send me a copy of the letter they did receive from the council. They went through this whole charade under questioning from the judge about whether they did serve me with it or not. They eventually settled on the excuse that they’d posted it to me and it therefore must have got lost. The judge suggested next time when they get an actual witness statement, they post it directly through the door 😂. I just love their constant incompetence followed with incoherent bluster when confronted with their errors. And you can’t argue back with a judge at that point.
From the council’s letter which the judge read out, it was clear they had printed out the latest version of the How To Rent booklet and stated that they’d served me with that. We’re not sure the council even realises the technicality behind these 3 similar versions that exist. But anyway, if that’s what they submit in their witness statement then I would expect to lose, whether or not they’re actually correct.
So the hearing is adjourned again! A new hearing will be scheduled on the first available date after April 4th. Amazing :D. Really glad I invested in that ironing board and iron now, but who knows if the world might blow up by then and make it a moot point anyway?
I’ll be phoning Launchpad in the morning to ‘touch base’ with them again :). Though at the moment the preference is for the council to house me because it’s shared place vs 1-bed.