Changes to possession will cause more stress for landlords
Changes to the process of accelerated possession have put an end to so-called ‘seven day evictions’.
In reality there never was such a thing, says Paul Shamplina of evictions specialist firm Landlord Action.
Most landlords and agents make possession claims through the county court and these are enforced by county court bailiffs.
However, with a backlog of cases and a reduction of bailiffs, it can take several weeks for bailiffs to carry out an eviction.
In some cases, landlords can apply for their case to be transferred to the High Court once a possession order has been made, so that a High Court Enforcement Officer can carry out the eviction.
However, says Shamplina, the seven days started from the point at which a case was transferred up to the High Court, and not from when the landlord began the process.
Now, times are set to get much longer after the Ministry of Justice has changed the process for obtaining Writs of Possession, adding a further two steps to the application process and an additional £200 fee.
Landlord Action says this could add a further six to eight weeks in some eviction cases.
The process now involves an application (using N244 form) to the issuing County Court for permission to transfer up to the High Court for enforcement, at which point a fee of £100 is payable.
Once permission has been granted to transfer up to the High Court another application is required using form PF92 (Order for Permission to Issue a Writ of Possession in the High Court).
In addition, all occupants must now be notified that the application has being transferred to the High Court. Each party must confirm they have been given notice, in writing, of the application, by way of witness statement included with the PF92 application. This adds an additional seven days before an application for permission to issue the writ can be made, to allow for any applications for relief.
This is a further step not previously required.
The application turnaround is dependent on the issuing court and their workload, and this will add additional time to the eviction process.
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