rapid eviction of tenants from residential property Q&AMake Text Bigger
Questions from webinar on rapid eviction of tenants from residential property on 22nd Feb 2018.
What are your costs for obtaining possession (other than court fees) and how does it compare with the county court?
The court fee for the writ of possession is £66, whereas the warrant of possession through the County Court is £121. A High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) will provide you with an estimate for their fees so you can decide whether to proceed. The fee will vary according to the complexity of the case.
The court told us recently that because the tenant was ‘not known’ they could not process the application to transfer up – is that correct?
If the order is against “persons unknown” you can transfer up the possession order without requiring leave from the court. If there is a tenancy agreement, then the tenant will be known, and you can apply to transfer up.
What tracing facilities exist to locate ex-tenants who owe rental arrears?
We have access to extensive tracing facilities for tenants and debtors. Please contact us to find out more. We offer free desktop tracing along with an enhanced option should it be required.
What’s the form for the High Court?
The form used to request leave to transfer the order for possession to the High Court is N244. You can read more about the whole process here.
Are HCEOs able to trace potential monies for monies ordered to be paid using copies of bank statements provided by a tenant on entering a tenancy?
If you wish to recover money from the tenant’s bank account, you will need a third-party debt order, which you submit to the bank (or building society) asking them to transfer the funds to you. However, the money must be in the tenant’s account at the point of asking. If there are insufficient funds at that point, you will have to start the process again.
An HCEO can enforce the money order on the writ of possession by taking control of the tenant’s goods, if any can be located. Notice must be provided before attendance.
If you seek authority in the hearing to ‘transfer up’ and it is granted but then your client decides they want a County Court bailiff – is this possible?
No, once the judgment has been transferred up, the County Court loses jurisdiction.
If a tenant owes 3 months’ rent, can the landlord reclaim it after eviction?
Yes, the landlord can recover rent (whatever time period, up to 6 years). The best way to do this is to add an order for money to the possession order. The HCEO can enforce this at the same time as the eviction under a writ of control. 7 clear days’ notice of the enforcement of the writ of control must be served on the tenant.
Can all the costs be transferred to the tenant?
The costs of the enforcement of a writ of control (court fees, enforcement fees and judgment interest at 8% per annum calculated daily) for the recovery of money are recoverable from the tenant, but not the costs of the enforcement of the writ of possession.
Our judge refused to transfer under sec 42 stating that ‘county courts have their own bailiffs’. We wanted to use HCEO as much better service but were not allowed, any comment – this was 2 weeks ago.
The decision to grant leave is at the judge’s discretion. It can help if you make a strong case based on speed to reduce loss of revenue and prevent damage by tenants. If the county court bailiffs are experiencing delays in your area, that will also strengthen your argument.
View this article to see the wording we recommend using when applying for leave.
You can request retrospective leave after the possession order has been awarded using N244 and a further fee of £100.
What is the time frame in respect of obtaining the writ of possession if the judge does not grant permission to transfer in the first instance and an application is made to obtain permission – is there any way to shorten this time?
In getting leave to transfer to the High Court you are entirely in the hands of the Court and subject to their timetable. However, once you have the Order, and are ready to instruct us, we can obtain the writ and take possession of your property in approx. 2 weeks.