- Every day we are asked to help landlords enforce their Orders for Possession as the County Court system buckles under the weight of business it has to deal with. What we offer is a faster system to evict tenants who have been ordered to leave. We charge straightforward fees for our services. We have even found that when balanced about the cost of not using our services it could end up costing landlords more in the short, medium or long-term. Read our latest blog to see if we can help you – it fits on one side of A4 – or just about!
- Q | Is it possible to transfer an order for possession involving a residential tenant from the county court to the high court?
A | The simple answer is yes – and this is a step by step FACTSHEET on how to do it.
- Q | For the lawyers and advisors – 101 on the procedural rules allowing transfer?
A | As you may know possession proceedings are governed by Part 55 and Part 70 of the Civil Procedure Rules which deal with possession proceedings and the enforcement of judgments and orders. Advisors should also refer to CPR Part 83.13 in relation to the requirements for notice to be given to tenants that a landlord intends to transfer a possession order to the High Court for enforcement. Don’t worry we take care of all of this in our process.
- Q | How does a claimant take advantage of the High Court enforcement procedure?
A | Claimant landlords should include in their claim for possession a request for the order for possession to be transferred to the High Court for enforcement so that the landlord’s interest in the property can be returned to him/her/it as soon as possible. This is a step towards giving the claimant options to use the system of High Court enforcement instead of county court bailiffs and Warrants of Possession. We give landlords fixed dates for the eviction within 10 days of the Order being made.
- Q| Will the District Judge in the county court agree to my possession order to be transferred to the High Court?
A | Judges have to balance the competing interests of the parties when making a possession order. If they are informed about the adverse consequences of a delay in the enforcement process they can use their discretion to make an order transferring the possession order to the High Court. The decision to make an order allowing a possession order to be enforced in the High Court is in the discretion of the judge. Our experience over 10 years of managing this transfer process is that judges will be persuaded to help a claimant landlord with this request in 9 out of 10 cases where the request is made in the claim form.
Q | The “Magic Words” For Transfer
A | We call them the “Magic Words” because we know they work. So to make the application, we recommend that in every Claim Form and Particulars of Claim which is filed in a County Court possession action, the following wording should be included as a standard procedure:
“AND the claimant intends to make an application for leave to have the matter transferred to the High Court pursuant to section 42 of the County Court Act 1984 for enforcement”
If the judge wants to know why the request is being made it is always worth checking in advance of the hearing the likely time it takes in that particular court for a Warrant of Possession to be enforced. A delay of more than 3 weeks in Greater London (6 weeks outside of Greater London or the M25) is a general rule of thumb on how to show that the claimant landlord will be out of pocket if the order is not made.
- Q | What to do next if permission is granted?
A | If an Order is made in the terms above (it may vary slightly but broadly it should follow our Magic Words) you can send us your possession order and we will do all the follow up work to enable the eviction to be planned a few days ahead. You can upload your possession order on our website. Alternatively, you can send it or email it to us and we will do ALL the necessary paperwork to complete the transfer process.
- Q | What Will it Cost to Transfer?
A | To get an early eviction date, we charge £499 + VAT and court fees of £166 (which are set by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, so they may change). That’s it. Once you have your possession order send it to us and we will work to get you as early an eviction date as possible, complying with all the court rules on service. This is where landlords can start to see the cost benefits of adding the “Magic Words” to their claims.
- Q | What if the “Magic Words” are not included in the claim for possession?
A | If you didn’t know about the special wording in advance of hearing, we recommend:
- Updating your process for possession proceedings so that EVERY claim you make for possession has the wording – you may not need it – but at least you will have it in your claim form and particulars of claim
- Contact the court where the eviction will be carried out to find out the time it will take to enforce a Warrant of Possession
- Have that information available for the Court at any hearing
- Calculate your loss of rent and tell the judge about this if he or she asks you about what would happen if you had to wait for a Warrant of Possession to be enforced
- Use our Post Possession Order application to get an Order allowing you to transfer to the High Court for enforcement but budget in an extra £499 plus VAT and £166 High Court fees to see if this makes commercial sense
If you don’t include the “Magic Words” in the claim form it is still possible to apply to the Court for an order AFTER your possession order has been made. BUT please be aware at this stage the judge is more likely to scrutinise your reasons for seeking an order and we find that the success rate in transferring to the High Court drops to about 5 out of 10 cases.
However these applications become important if a landlord is losing rental income on average of £350 in Greater London (or £170 outside of London). It doesn’t take long for a landlord to be out of pocket if it is going to take the Court 3 weeks or more to evict the tenant(s) in Greater London, or 6 weeks outside the M25. Other reasons for delay might include a tenant who is wilfully damaging a property, or where a landlord needs to complete an important contractual obligation for sale or re-development.
We can offer you a service to make a Post Possession Order application at flat fee of £499 plus VAT which includes the £255 fee on making the application to the Court.
- Q | How can all this help landlords?
A | The whole point is to save claimant landlords losses in rental income. See our comparison table below on how it can make financial sense (and reduce stress levels) for a landlord to transfer the enforcement of a possession order to us rather than waiting for a county court bailiff to enforce a Warrant of Possession.
A landlord starts to break even on the cost of transferring a possession order to the High Court for enforcement at anytime after 3 weeks from the Order being made. In the County Court the optimum period is 8 weeks. In both cases the actually weekly rents can be used to assess the real cost to the landlord.
|COUNTY COURT EVICTION COSTS|
|Average Weekly Rent in London based on Homelet figures||£366.00||Average Weekly Rent Outside London based on Homelet figures||£178.84|
|# of weeks waiting for eviction||3||# of weeks waiting for eviction||8|
|Cost of Delay waiting for eviction date||£1,098.00||Cost of Delay waiting for eviction date||£1,430.72|
|Plus CC Court Fees||£110.00||Plus CC Court Fees||£110.00|
|Bailiff Fees||£0.00||Bailiff Fees||£0.00|
|Real Cost of County Court Eviction||£1,208.00||Real Cost of County Court Eviction||£1,540.72|
|COMPARE TO HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT|
|Average Weekly Rent in London based on Homelet figures||£366.00||Average Weekly Rent in London based on Homelet figures||£178.84|
|# of weeks waiting for eviction||1||# of weeks waiting for eviction||6|
|Cost of Delay waiting for eviction date||£366.00||Cost of Delay waiting for eviction date||£1,073.04|
|Plus Shergroup Enforcement Court Fees||£166.00||Plus CC Court Fees||£166.00|
|High Court Enforcement Officer Fees||£499.00||Bailiff Fees||£499.00|
|VAT on HCEO Fees||£100.00||VAT on HCEO Fees||£100.00|
|Total Cost of High Court Eviction Process||£1,131.00||Total Cost of High Court Eviction Process||£1,480.36|
|POTENTIAL SAVING TO LANDLORD IN CASH TERMS||-£77.00||COST OF DELAY||-£60.36|
|PLUS, LANDLORD IS ABLE TO RE-LET PROPERTY AND START EARNING RENTAL INCOME WITHIN DAYS OF ORDER||NB | Saving to Landlord may be higher if VAT registered||PLUS, LANDLORD IS ABLE TO RE-LET PROPERTY AND START EARNING RENTAL INCOME WITHIN DAYS OF ORDER||NB | Saving to Landlord may be higher if VAT registered|
Figures for average rents are taken from the latest figures published by Homelet – https://homelet.co.uk/assets/documents/HomeLet-Rental-Index-Jan19-LO.pdf
Use the above table to plug in your own figures and see it makes financial sense to transfer your enforcement to the High Court. Remember our fabulous TEAM save you time and stress as we do everything from the moment you have your Order to carry out the terms of the Order.
Q | What if the District Judge refuses to allow the request to transfer?
A | If the application to allow the proceedings to be transferred to the High Court for enforcement is refused by the District Judge, then unfortunately the landlord must issue a Warrant of Possession in the normal way and wait for the bailiff department of the local county court to set a date for the eviction.
Of course the money part of the judgment if over £600 can be transferred to the High Court for enforcement but this cannot involve any eviction action – only the taking control of goods is allowed.
This type of application makes financial sense where either:
- a very long date is given by the county court bailiff department for an eviction date
- the weekly rent is in London or the property has a significantly higher average rent
The table above will help you work out the real cost of delay. Against that you have to factor in the cost of making the application for leave to enforce in the High Court if you haven’t already got permission.
Q | How much does it cost?
A | If you don’t have the “magic words” in your possession order and want to enforce the order as quickly as possible then you will need to make an additional application to seek permission of the Court to transfer to the High Court. There is a cost to do this which is set out below. We are here to help you make the decision which really comes down to one of time and money. If the county court bailiff department gives you a date for an eviction in the near future we don’t recommend going down this path unless there is a very clear reason for doing so.
|ENFORCING ORDER FOR POSSESSION||WITH THE
|Charge to Make Post Possession Order Application*||£0.00||£499.00|
*VAT is chargeable at the standard rate
Need more help?
If are concerned about making the right choice, please feel free to have a no-obligation chat with our TEAM who will guide you on how to work out the cost of delay and whether you can or should transfer your possession order to the High Court.
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