Evictions

The City Council will always try to assist tenants with any tenancy issues they may have whether it is rent arears, or any other aspect of the tenancy conditions. However, there is considerable pressure on the Council to make the best use of it's housing stock and there are many households waiting for accommodation. Should tenants repeatedly breach their tenancy conditions we will take Court Action.

Where an appearance at court is necessary, you will be advised of the time and date of the hearing in plenty of time. If there is any problem whatsoever in attending court, the Council officer handling the case should be informed. Simply failing to turn up for whatever reason will only harm your case.

Further breaches of any court order issued can enable the Council to apply for an eviction warrant.

The Council will not hesitate to have the warrant enforced and tenants should be aware that having children will not prevent eviction despite what popular myth might say.

Once evicted, it may be that you would be defined as "intentionally homeless" and the City Council and other authorities may have no duty to provide any assistance.

At any point during the court process it may be be prudent to obtain independent legal advice from a solicitor or voluntary body such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Assistance at Court

County court housing advice and representation schemes aim to provide free, independent and confidential advice and representation to homeowners and tenants attending hearings in possession proceedings brought on grounds of arrears, who either have not previously obtained advice and/or are without legal representation.

Any cases against Tenants brought by Winchester City Council will be heard at either:

Winchester Combined Court Centre
The Law Courts
Winchester
Hampshire
SO23 9EL
Tel: 01962 814 100

Or:

Portsmouth Combined Courts Centre
The Courts of Justice
Winston Churchill Avenue
Porstmouth
Hampshire
PO1 2EB
Tel: 023 9289 3000

For more information on what help is available to those attending hearings and when, you should contact the Court direct.

Advice and Assistance

Advice and assistance can be provided by a number of different officers or organisations. Most schemes have been initiated by advice agencies and/or solicitors in private practice who attend court on a voluntary basis, but the impetus for some has come from the courts.

The way in which schemes are organised varies considerably. The main distinctions are:

  • some deal with either mortgage or rent cases - others with both;
  • activities at court are commonly limited to dealing with repossession cases, but some also provide help with other matters, e.g. debt problems unrelated to housing;
  • most involve duty advisers attending court on a rota basis on set days when cases are listed for hearing - only a few have a permanent or daily presence at court;
  • some are staffed by advisers from only one advice agency, others by advisers from several agencies, including local solicitors' firms.

As well as performing their core role, these schemes are well placed to identify other advice needs which might otherwise not be met. Few can meet clients' every need for advice, but duty advisers are often able to make referrals to agencies which can.