New streamlined procedures that make it easier for landlords to use a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to evict residential tenants came into force on 23rd August 2020.
On 7th November we held a webinar covering residential evictions, below are a selection of questions we were asked along with our answers.
What are the grounds a tenant can request the Court to delay eviction?
The tenant can apply for the possession order to be set aside, suspended or postponed or for the terms of the order to be revised. The tenant will attend the hearing and be given the opportunity to give their side of the story. The judges will make their decision to delay the eviction based on the evidence supplied. The possession can be delayed if the correct procedure hasn’t been followed, if the landlord doesn’t attend the hearing or if the rent arrears have been paid off. The landlord will then have to begin the process again.
Can you serve the gas safety certificate late (before serving the section 21 notice) or does it have to be served before the tenancy begins?
No, a gas safety certificate must be valid for the duration of the tenancy, gas safety certificates last 12 months. Gas Safety Certificates must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The certificate must be issued to the tenant within 28 days of the check being completed.
Is an email or text enough for a written request for repairs?
Yes, if the evidence that a repair has been requested can be submitted as evidence in court then it satisfies the request for repair work under the Deregulation Act 2015.
Do we just add a covering letter to an order for possession requesting permission to apply section 42 - and the judge can then give permission to escalate to HCEO right?
To apply to transfer the judgement up to the High Court, you must apply to the County Court for leave to transfer under section 42. You can do this by using a draft order or claim particulars and add this to the order for possession paperwork. Once permission is granted to transfer up you must pay the £100 and complete the N224 form.
Do you have to give a tenant the How to Rent booklet every time it is updated?
It is advised that you supply your tenant with the current version of the How to Rent booklet.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance