Changes to the process of transferring up for High Court evictions have brought an end to the so-called seven–day eviction.
The changes – which add two further steps to the application process and an additional fee – may cause further pain for landlords with severe cases who are desperate to get rid of problem tenants.
More and more landlords are requesting cases to be transferred up to the High Court for a quicker eviction but judges are resisting.
This has come about after a backlog of cases built up in the county courts, as a result of a perfect storm of increasing numbers of evictions coming at the same time as court closures and a reduction in the number of bailiffs – resulting in waits of several weeks for bailiffs to carry out evictions.
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 – generally a much quicker process.
But now – following an increase in this type of application – the Ministry of Justice has changed the process for obtaining Writs of Possession.
There are now two additional parts to the application process and an additional £200 charge. Now an N244 form is used as an application to the issuing County Court for permission to transfer to the High Court. At this point a £100 fee is paid.
Then a further application must be made to the High Court or District registry for permission to issue a Writ of Possession. At this point you pay a further £100. Then another application is required using form PF92.
Also all parties need to be told about the application – with a witness statement to back this up – another process that wasn’t previously needed.
What people need to remember is that a so-called seven-day eviction was only ever possible from the point at which a case was transferred up to the High Court. It was never from the point at which a landlord instructed an eviction firm – which is why I believe the term was misleading. Despite this a number of firms built their businesses advertising this.
Now the added administration time and the time it takes to get approval could end up adding a further six to eight weeks to some eviction cases – causing further pain for those landlords whose tenants are not paying the rent.
Landlord Action is an RLA partner that specialises in legal advice for landlords and eviction services. For further details click here.