A new court form is available for use when tenants have breached the terms of their suspended possession order.
The form was published as a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Cardiff City Council v Lee.
Prior to this case, it was understood that when a tenant breached the terms of their possession order, landlords could simply apply for possession directly. This was done with the N325 form and required no proof from the landlord of the breach.
However across the various appeals, it was decided that suspended possession orders required a two stage process, meaning the courts must be given the opportunity to assess whether or not the tenant had breached the terms of their suspended possession order.
Without this, landlords may not apply for a warrant of possession.
In this particular case, proof of the breach was offered during the hearings. As a result, the landlord’s possession order was upheld and their N325 form was fine. However, it was made clear that there would need to be a separate form that landlords could use in the future.
This form has now arrived. The N325a will be required whenever a landlord wishes to gain possession based on a breach of a suspended possession order.
Landlords should provide evidence of the breach along with the form. This will allow the court to consider whether it’s a real breach and whether possession can be granted as a result.
Some county courts may issue a possession order directly based on this form. Others however, may simply grant you permission to apply for a warrant using an N325 form once they have assessed the evidence.