Enforcing suspended orders - new court forms released21/12/16
Problems caused by the Court of Appeal decision in Cardiff CC v Lee; where strict interpretation of the rules, have meant that permission is needed before issuing a warrant after a breach of a suspended possession order. That decision had meant that landlords were being forced to issue separate applications and pay the necessary court fees.
The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has met twice to discuss this issue already and will be consulting in 2017 to discuss the system and protection in place for occupiers/ tenants. In the meanwhile they have issued what they call a “work around".
In rent cases (and mortgage cases) where the landlord wants to issue a warrant, following breach of a suspended order, they must now use the new form N325A. The form is available as a pdf download from the Court Website here
A statement must be attached showing the payments due from the tenant and those actually made. The form and statement will be placed before the District Judge who will decide if the warrant can be issued. If so, an order will be drawn up and the warrant issued by the bailiff. The fee is just the standard fee for issuing the warrant (currently £121). No additional application fee is required.
In other cases, e.g. where the suspended possession order was based on breach of tenancy or anti-social behaviour, the landlord will still need to issue an application on Form N244 with supporting evidence and pay the fee.
In addition a new form has been prepared for Re-issuing a warrant following breach of a suspended order, presumably following an earlier stay. This is the new form N445 which can be found here. Again in rent cases the form should be accompanied by a statement of payments due and made.
No additional fee is payable.
Outright possession Orders
The new court forms do not apply to outright possession orders as in those cases permission is not required to issue a warrant.
How can Capsticks help?
Please contact Daniel Skinner, Michael Owen or Bridget Stark-Wills or Capsticks’ highly experienced Housing Management team who can advise you on the use of the new forms and adapting your own policy and procedures.