‘Court Duty: A Reference Guide to Defending Tenants in the Possession Lists’ by Daniel Bacon


Paperback: 978-1-914608-49-0
Published: March 2023
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‘Court Duty: A Reference Guide to Defending Tenants in the Possession Lists’ by Daniel Bacon will be a comprehensive but easy-reference guide to the defences that may be available to common possession proceedings encountered on Court Duty, with references to legislation, case law and CPR provisions. It will also deal with matters of the court’s discretion and addresses other matters that always arise but can sometimes seem remote or opaque – such as the applicability of the fixed costs regime, the exceptional hardship test, and calculating deemed dates of service.

Developed from the notes the author uses in his own Court Duty practice, this guide is designed to maximise utility when time is short but thoroughness is still required.

Designed for the often-junior solicitors who carry out Court Duty, it is hoped that this guide will be of assistance to all duty advisers, the court itself, and even, perhaps, those acting for the claimants!


Daniel Bacon is a solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors in the City of London who specialises in housing law. He regularly acts as Court Duty adviser defending tenants on the possession lists. He also acts for landlords on a private basis. He holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Law.


Chapter One – General Discretion of the Court and Possible Orders
Chapter Two – Security of Tenure
Chapter Three – Reasonableness of Making a Possession Order
Chapter Four – Deemed Date of Service of the NOSP
Chapter Five – Actual Service of the NOSP
Chapter Six – Personal Service of the NOSP
Chapter Seven – Raising a Defence of Set Off Against Arrears
Chapter Eight – Gas Safety Records and the Validity of a Section 21 Notice
Chapter Nine – The Exceptional Hardship Test
Chapter Ten – Costs
Chapter Eleven – Introduction to Defences

Chapter Twelve – General Defences
– Standing
– Conduct of the Litigation and Rights of Audience
– Particularisation of the Claim
– Court Forms Used
– Verification by Statement of Truth
– Covid Notice
– Service of the Nosp
– Limitation
– Form and Substance of the Nosp
– Notice Period
– Lack of Capacity
– Equality Act Defences

Chapter Thirteen – Section 21 Specific Defences
– Service of the NOSP in the First 4 Months of the AST
– Expiry of the NOSP and / or Issue of Proceedings Within the Contractual Period
– The How to Rent Guide
– Gas Safety Record
– Energy Performance Certificate
– Deposit Protection and Prescribed Information
– Improvement Notice From the Local Authority
– Licensing Requirements (Selective Licensing for Rental Properties)
– Licensing Requirements (Houses in Multiple Occupation)
– Prohibited Fees

Chapter Fourteen – Section 8 (The Rent Arrears Grounds) Specific Defences
– Making Out Grounds 8, 10, and 11
– Section 48 Notice
– Defence of Set-Off by Way of a Counterclaim: Disrepair / Housing Conditions
– Begin Here if You Are Short of Time
– Defence of Set-Off by Way of a Counterclaim: Deposit Protection / Service of Prescribed Information
– Defence of Set-Off by Way of a Counterclaim: Breaches of the Equality Act (Discrimination and Harassment)