Get your unpaid rent and your property back! Commercial landlords may apply for a writ of possession to repossess land and property on that land.
The High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) enforcing the writ is not obliged to warn the building’s occupants that they are about to be evicted, but it is good practice to do so to avoid problems and prepare any special measures or support that they think they might need in order to execute the writ.
The HCEO is entitled to use force to enter commercial premises and may also use reasonable force to eject the occupants and other people found on the premises at the time.
So this will recover the landlord’s property. However, the writ of possession will not recover unpaid rent. In order to recover the rent, the landlord will need to apply for a judgment and a writ of control (previously called a writ of fieri facias) in order to be able to seize goods belonging to the tenant, so as to sell them to recover rent arrears.
In order to prevent a lengthy and more costly exercise of applying for two separate judgments and writs of execution, the landlord (normally via their solicitor) may seek a combined judgment for both unpaid rent and, as a result of the tenant being in breach of their tenancy, repossession of the premises and land.
A combined writ of possession and control may then be issued, allowing the HCEO to enforce both simultaneously, leading to a successful repossession and, subject to sufficient assets being seized, recovery of their rent arrears.
David is the former CEO of The Sheriffs Office.