repossession order with local council

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i received a letter today from council telling me about the rent increases, but within the chapter it then says "in your case however the council has obtained an order for possession from the court on the property which you occupy and accordingly a notice of variation of rent will not be sreved upon you." then it says i would like to inform you however that if you had still been the tenant of the property on the date on which the rent increase takes effect it would be as follows...... then in a next line it says i hereby give you notice that if notwithstanding that your tenancy has ended, you remain in occupation of the property after the date upon which increase of rent comes into affect the council will claim mesne profits from you at the interest rate of your continued occupation of the property. what does this mean , i know i am in arrears 1000 but i rang council said i would pay 600 depending on husbands first wage from new job , but when he got paid it was not as much as we had hoped for so i paid 400 and told them i would clear it by end of this month which i will do. so why now have they done this to me, i am really scared they have done this before to me when i lost my job and got in arrears but they stopped it in court when i paid it. i have four children and my husband does not know of this what can i do i am going mad inside will they do it even if i pay it in full and then ask for them to take my rent by direct debit so it gets paid, i am off sick from work since oct03 spinal injurie find it hard to get to town sometimes this is how it has happened and my husband getting new job and then having to be paid monthly so he had to work 6 weeks in hand. please help me

-- nicola jayne jones (jonesfamily1969@fsmail.net), February 23, 2004

Answers

Mesne profits is an alternative terms for what you call rent. Put simply, the council is not allowed to claim "rent" off you from the date of the possession order (which you need to find out if you do not know, is the order suspended or not? If suspended, then it wil be on terms that you pay x per week off the arrears plus the ongoing weekly rent) - the council claim mesne profits instead (in other words, the ongoing rent each week but as I explained, it is called mesne profits after the possession order date.

You need to urgently contact the council and find out what the status of your matter is because if you don't, and the order is not suspended, the next thing you will get is bailiffs calling to evict you!

You might well find that since the council probably have a duty to rehouse you because of your 4 children, they are not going to be too hasty to evict you, and an approach to the council's housing officer will probably result in an agreement for you to pay the arrears off over a period of time - so long as you keep to this, you will not lose your home.

Find the papers from the court and phone the council today. Also, call in the local beneifits office and see if you can get help - and apply to the local housing benefits office to see if you might qualify for HB. Also, are you getting child tax credit - are the CTC office aware of your current circumstances - are you owed any arrears.

One or all of these approaches might get you enough money to sort the arrears out.

Best of luck.

David

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), February 24, 2004.


In addition to David's advice it might be an idea to call in personally to your local Citizen's Advice Office. They will have experience with this type of housing issue and will at the same time do a benefits check. This would save you running around to the Benefets Office, Housing etc. I would advise you to be at your local CAB before they open to ensure you are first in the queue. Be prepared for lengthy but helpful session with them If you have any council tax arrears and/or other debts they will write to your debtors and organise a repayment plan at a level you can afford. All this will be free!

Good luck and all the best.

Moira

-- Moira (Anderston828@aol.com), February 26, 2004.


It is very unlikely that they would evict you as that would make you homeless and therefore in priority need on the basis that you have 4 children.The local authority have a duty to help the homeless, if you did not have the children then of course this would be a different matter. the best strategy would be to continue to pay off the rent arrears as quick as you can with out spiralling into further debt.

When it is reduced this should make you fairly secure. However one would need to see the possession order and whether or not that the order is or is not a suspended possession order, if it is the latter it would be very unlikely that you would be removed from your current home as you are paying towards the arrears which is all what the court wants.

Most certainly you need to get down the local Citizens Advice Bureau, they are quite used to this sort of thing and would be able to help with, as stated abouve with Benefits, Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit. Remember you do not need to be on Benefits to receive this, especialy if your on a low income with yourself or partner working, which is when one should start to look at whether or not you are receiving the correct amount of Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit.

Good luck

Justask

-- justask (justask@btinternet.com), February 26, 2004.


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