It has just been announced that the Government are holding a consultation on the enforcement of possession orders.
At present there are two routes to possession; the High Court route and the County Court route, both with different legislative and administrative processes. The consultation is looking at the differences in each approach and how the two might be better aligned.
Of the two processes, we believe the better option for a landlord who wants swift possession of their property is the High Court route due to the length of time landlords can wait for a County Court bailiff to attend for an eviction. There is obviously a higher cost to the High Court route and this is put forward in the wording outlining the reason the consultation is being held.
The comment below comes directly from the consultation documents:
The CPRC (Civil Procedure Rule Committee) recognises that there is a balance to be struck; for example, on the one hand there may be a landlord who is owed several month’s unpaid rent and who may also be in debt as a result of the rent arrears, and on the other hand tenants or other occupiers who ought to know if and when they are to be evicted to enable them to make other provision or make their own representations to the court. All parties should be treated fairly and with respect. Although this issue arises mainly in the residential context, it extends also to commercial premises but where different considerations may be thought to arise.
It is positive that the disparity between the two options given to landlords is being looked at and a favorable outcome would be that landlords are given the option from the outset as to the type of enforcement they decide to proceed with. This would mean that there would have to be some changes implemented and hopefully this consultation will mean this can happen and won’t just be used as a mouthpiece for tenant rights groups to bring about further delays to landlords who will have already suffered rental arrears and need a swift solution that isn’t heavily laden with bureaucracy.
You can participate in the consultation here.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance