Evicting tenants using The Sheriffs Office – the landlord’s experienceMake Text Bigger
Neil Mukherjee, landlord, kindly shared with us his step by step experience of using High Court enforcement to repossess his property from tenants who had ignored a court order to move out. We were able to evict the tenant quickly and hope Neil’s experience will help other landlords to consider transferring their possession order up to the High Court for enforcement (under Section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984).
I issued a Section 21 notice and the N5b claim form. A court order was issued for the tenant to move out by 29th July 2014.
As the tenant did not leave by that date, I put my case on the Residential Landlords Association forum and started to gather information regarding my options. I found lots of good help and links on the forum. Basically at this stage I had two options.
One option was to use a N325 and use the county court bailiff, which normally takes two to three months. The other option was to use the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to evict the tenant, which can be done within a week once the writ 66 is issued by the High Court. So I decided to go via HCEO route rather than the county court route.
To use the HCEO route the case has to be transferred to the High Court by using the form N244. Normally one has to wait for the outcome of the N244 before submitting a N293A and the Writ 66.
In my case, I was using the St. Helens court, which is a combined court, i.e. district court and county court. The Sheriffs Office suggested I submit all the three forms together to speed up the process. That’s what I did,
On Thursday 7th August I submitted the three forms (N244, N293A, Writ 66) and paid the court fee. All the forms were filled in by The Sheriffs Office and emailed to me for signing.
On Saturday 9th August I received a report from the court to say that my case has been transferred to the High Court. Also at the same time they sent back the sealed Writ 66 and signed N293A. So I received all the necessary documents from the court on Saturday 9th August.
I posted the original N293A and WRIT 66 back to The Sheriffs Office using special delivery the same day and The Sheriffs Office received the original documents on Monday the 11th August. They made the eviction appointment for Wednesday, 13th August at 8am.
My wife and I went to the property at 8am on Wednesday, 13th August 2014. The Sheriffs Office eviction team and the locksmith were there. The enforcement agents knocked on the door a few times before the tenant opened the door. We were outside in the car.
Within 20 minutes the tenant was out. The locksmith changed the locks and the enforcement agent put notices on the door and the window and gave us the new keys. Everything was completed within 45 minutes.
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