For many landlords, agents are an essential requirement for good property management. Some landlords can live hundreds, or even thousands of miles from the property they own, and so rely on the agent to perform repairs, inspect the property or even apply for HMO licences.
This week one of our members, an agent, called in regards to a section 21 notice they had served for a landlord who lived in Hong Kong.
The landlord had recently bought the property with sitting tenants, and employed the agents to handle the property for them.
We checked that they had complied fully with the requirements for serving the notice correctly, which the agent had done and we informed them that their landlord was now free to apply court for possession.
The agent then informed us that the landlord would not be applying to court as they lived in Hong Kong. Instead the agent planned to fill out the N5B form themselves.
Unfortunately, we had to inform the agent that this would not be possible, for a couple of reasons.
- Firstly, as the landlord was not the original landlord when the tenants moved in they could not use the paper based accelerated possession route. Instead, they would have to apply for a court hearing instead using the N5 and N119 forms.
- Secondly, at this hearing the agent would not be able to attend or sign the documents on behalf of the landlord as they had no right of audience as they are not the claimant. If they did attend for the landlord the court would have no choice but to dismiss the case, wasting money and time for the landlord.
What we advised this agent to do
In this case, the agent was advised that they should have the landlord instruct a solicitor so they could complete the forms and attend the hearing for them, so they could ensure possession was successful.
Rupinder Aujla, Landlord Advice Team Manager, said ‘It’s great that our many agents are so keen to help their landlords with everything, but it’s important to know their limits. Applying to court when you aren’t allowed to will only cause more trouble and delays than employing a solicitor or informing the landlord they have to attend the hearing themselves.’
Learn more about court forms and gaining possession
- RLA members are able to download various court forms on our website, including the N5.
- Want to learn more about Gaining Possession, including Section 8, Section 21 and the various court forms? Sign up to our Gaining Possession classroom course, with dates this year around the country.
- If you have a question relating to court forms or gaining possession, get in touch with our Landlord Advice Team today.