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Updated Guidance and Document Templates for Residential Possession Proceedings

February 2017

Simply-Docs offers a comprehensive suite of documents to help residential landlords obtain possession of their properties on the ground of rent arrears using the “Standard” Possession Procedure.

We have updated our guidance notes and created additional documents to take account of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Cardiff v Lee late last year. Landlords should now follow the steps set out in the amended guidance notes.

New rules for suspended possession orders

The case of Cardiff v Lee has confirmed that, when a Suspended Possession Order (as opposed to an Outright Possession Order) is made, the landlord cannot simply apply for a Warrant for Possession (i.e. enforcement by bailiffs) if the tenant breaches the terms of the Order. Instead, the landlord must first seek the court’s permission to apply for a Warrant.

To minimise the administrative burden of this additional step, the court service has introduced a new form, Form N325A, “Request for warrant of possession of land following a suspended order for possession”. This form effectively constitutes both the application for permission and the application for the Warrant itself.

Using Form N325A

Form N325A should be used for rent arrears cases, but not in cases where possession is sought on other grounds, e.g. anti-social behaviour.

It is very similar to Form N325, the form used to request a Warrant for Possession where the court has made an Outright Possession Order. The difference is that Form N325A refers to an enclosed Statement of Payments Due and Made. This Statement must be sent to the court with Form N325A and will enable the court to decide whether to permit the application for the Warrant.

The court will consider the application and may agree to the issue of a Warrant for Possession, reject the landlord’s application or list the matter for a hearing.

Future changes?

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee is due to issue guidance on the impact of the Cardiff v Lee case in April 2017. There may then be further changes to the Standard Possession Procedure. Once the guidance is available we will review our templates and guidance notes and make any necessary changes.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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