High Court Enforcement | Possession Orders | A Political Hot Potato

Updated: Apr 27

In the last week, it’s just not BREXIT that politicians have been debating in Parliament (just in case you wondered what else there is to debate).  Alongside this controversial topic, there is another smaller one brewing, and that is the age-old argument about the fairness of high court, county court enforcement vs bailiff and when they should be used.

We think it fair to say that these debates have been ongoing since the Payne Report of 1971 – and probably before that if anyone dug out the archives going back deep into our political history.   As we have said Sheriffs have been part of the English system since 992 A.D. being the second oldest secular office next to the Crown itself.

High Court Enforcement of Possession Order

The usefulness of such debates on the enforcement process within the legal system is for another blog post.  Enforcement itself is “a-political” which means it has no political affiliation and must be entirely neutral in its process and deployment.

We think by and large that is exactly how enforcement agents and their teams operate.  Of course, in any profession, there are bad apples, and when they are identified, they must be reprimanded in whatever way is appropriate.

As every High Court Enforcement Officer knows, the enforcement by the law of a Writ of Possession is one where the approach must be one of firmness but fairness.  Eviction by its very nature is highly controversial and unpopular.  The world at large is now much more aware of what eviction looks like as a result of the “Can’t Pay, We’ll Take It Away” TV series in which our CEO has been a consultant for the last 4 years.  Paul Bohill himself became a national treasure because of his TV presence on this show.  He's willing to help the people who were being evicted BEHIND the camera is a well-kept secret but we saw at first hand the way he tried to make a difference to the folk involved.

Guide to enforcement of possession orders

Possession orders are used by property and landowners, private and public sector, to remove tenants and trespassers from property or land.

Residential trespassers

Squatting in residential property is now a criminal offence under the Legal Service, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Residential repossession

The landlord can apply to the court for an order of possession to repossess his property from his tenants. Most private tenancies started on or after 28th February 1997 are assured shorthold tenancies (AST). Orders for possession can be enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer, Agents, Sheriffs, County Court Bailiff (CCB).

Commercial repossession

A commercial