“Can’t Pay, we’ll take it away.” Ch 5 last night

“Can’t Pay, we’ll take it away.” Ch 5 last night

12:12 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago 55

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Quite interested to see on last night’s programme that a woman was evicted suddenly by High Court enforcement officers. They said, had the eviction gone through the normal court it would have taken six weeks but if you decided to refer it to the High Court they will do it within 24 hours! Can't Pay, we'll take it away

Does anyone have experience of this?

A friend is currently evicting none paying tenants and this was not something I’ve come across before.



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Monty Bodkin

14:27 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago


If the tenants are trying to get re housed by the local authority, letting them know you intend to do this may help cut through gatekeeping.

14:36 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I think link 1 is very useful. Thanks

Fed Up Landlord

19:46 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Without repeating what has gone before on 118. Comprehensive referencing and rent insurance. Now being offered for £73 a year per property by a well known insurance company. Excess is one months rent plus £250. So take that as a deposit. Report the none payment in 42 days. Me I do it within one month and one day (two months rent) and let them take all the pain away. No brainer really.

David Griffith

20:10 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I have used the HCEO route for an eviction due to the several months wait quoted by the local court bailiff.

Check with the HCEO before engaging them that they are prepared to do the eviction without giving notice, the company I used said at the last minute that they would be giving 7 days notice because they didn't want bad publicity if the press got hold of a picture of a single mother on the street surrounded by bin bags full of her belongings.

I am told that other HCEOs will do it without notice and that in some cases they have gained possession within 48 hours of being contacted.

If this route, with no notice, was used more often it might stop LAs telling tenants to stay put until the day before the bailiff is due and tenants may be caught before they have removed any valuables so money orders could be implemented at the same time.

David Asker

21:35 PM, 25th September 2014, About 10 years ago

We carry out hundreds of these so called speedy evictions throughout the UK every month.

In order to use an HCEO you need to apply to the court that the matter is transferred to the High Court for the purposes of enforcement using section 42 of the County Court Act 1984.

However I will say that not all transfers are granted and it is essentially at the discretion of the court. You can improve your chances but some courts are certainly worse than others,

A guide is available here:


Prices vary between each HCEO but usually range from £300 to £700 depending on who you use.

Paul Shamplina

10:55 AM, 26th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Gillian, in reply to your comment, you have to obtain leave from the Judge on the hearing date for the case to be transferred to the High Court from the County Court, on most occasions we have found from experience that judges do not like granting this leave and don’t like taking work/ fee income away from their bailiffs at their courts. It can be quicker, but you also have to rely on the admin process by the court to deal with the transfer, sometimes not quite simple and can take time. Obviously if you have big rent arrears and the court bailiff is setting down eviction dates for 2-3 months and you can get leave it’s a great advantage, but all dependant on the judge on the day of the hearing. Personally I think good practice from a High Court Sheriff who has a warrant is to give 7 days’ notice advising of the eviction date. They are empowered to carry out the eviction straight away, but tenants need notice to move out. We do offer this service to landlords if we obtain the leave to ‘Transfer Up to the High Court’.

David Asker

11:13 AM, 26th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Paul, fair comment.

All I would say is that over time we have developed the application process for our clients and now find that almost all applications are granted. As always, there are a few courts that try and retain the work in house but with delays increasing it is only right that all creditors have access to timely justice. As you know, landlords have been portrayed as the bad guys for far too long.

Tessa Shepperson

8:57 AM, 27th September 2014, About 10 years ago

A few points on this. As stated above you need to apply to the County Court Judge for leave to enforce the possession order in the High Court.

Not all Judges will agree to do this so it is not a given. For example Judges do not like the idea of tenants with families being evicted without notice so will probably refuse permission if they think this is going to happen. You will normally need to have a pretty good reason for requesting high court eviction.

Generally tenants do not move out because they want to be rehoused by the Local Authority and the Local Authority will not do this until there is a bailiffs appointment. But once a bailiffs appointment is made they will make sure the tenants get rehoused before the appointment takes place

If the sheriffs turn up without notice the Local Authority will not have had time to do this so there may be be practical issues such as tenants having to leave their possessions behind as they will have no-where to put them etc. You are then responsible for looking after the things and can be sued if you dump them http://www.landlordlaw.co.uk/horror/horror-story-they-were-abandoned-goods

I wrote a post about my experience of using the Sheriffs eviction service here http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2011/03/09/using-the-high-court-sheriffs-for-evictions/


10:28 AM, 27th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Decades ago I was informed the swiftness of the High Court enforcement was based on them being part of the court staff where as the County Court was based on independent bailiffs who could be of variable quality. Is this still a factor?

Industry Observer

10:39 AM, 27th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Yes cost was going to be my comment and if it is only £300 for a High Court enforcement that is cheap.

What you need to do though is ensure that your local Judge doesn't get distracted and hoodwinked into extended possession dates on the Order.

The reason you have all this "ridiculous" delay Gilly is because you are dealing with people's homes and not all Landlords are saints.

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