Alternatively, to enforce an order of possession by asking the county court to give a possession warrant, the landlord in Chatham is asked to move the order to the High Court for the (HCEO) High Court Enforcement Officer's to enforce.
High Court Enforcement Officers are known as enforcement agents, certified Sheriffs, or bailiffs in Chatham.
The High Court can enforce the possession order in Capstone, Rochester, or Gillingham under the following conditions:
Hearing in the High Court in Kent is only possible if the circumstances are dire, for example, the High Court will deal with the case if the dispute is having any exceptional circumstances, otherwise, the possession order applied for by the Chatham landlord will be transferred to the County Court.
The landlord in Chatham specifically applies to the county court to get the process transferred into the High Court.
It is the county court judge that will determine if to transfer the enforcement in Rochester, Gillingham, or Capstone to the High Court or not.
During the proceedings of a possession order in the county court, the landlord in Chatham can plea enforcement to bed moved to the High Court.
Upon securing a possession warrant, the owner in Chatham will have to appeal to the county court to recommend that the case be forwarded for compliance to the High Court.
If there are any applications made by the Chatham tenant, such as a possession order appeal against, an application for move cannot go through.
If the total costs including the unpaid rent along with court expenses are over £600, the owner of the property can appeal for warrant of control for recovering the owed money in Rochester, Capstone, or Gillingham.
A control letter is proof for the debtor / tenant's goods to be taken over or sold in Chatham - this was earlier referred to as, and is still frequently called, a Fieri facias letter or a fi facias letter.
If the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) regulated the debt, it could not be transferred to the High Court, as CCA regulated agreements can only be enforced in the county court in Kent.
A Chatham landlord can request a transfer of the order to the High Court for enforcement because of the following reasons:
Enforcement in Chatham is normally faster through HCEOs as compared to county court bailiffs
Loss of rental income because of delay in enforcement through the Kent county court bailiffs
Prevention of further damage to the property in Chatham or antisocial behaviour
If there are rent arrears, HCEOs are empowered to confiscate goods in Chatham as well as enforce the possession order
The judgement debt interest for arrears will build up from the order transfer which this currently sits at 8%.
The tenant can oppose the application to move enforcement in Chatham to the high court because the eviction is much faster and the costs of hiring a HCEO are higher than that of a county court bailiff in Kent.
These reasons include:
The landlord is yet to prove that there may delays if the case is handled by a county court's bailiffs in Chatham
The total costs involved are not proportionate
Extra time is needed by the tenant to find some other place to live in Gillingham, Capstone, or Rochester after eviction
The tenant needs to highlight the relevant factors the court in Chatham can take into consideration such as having significant arrears or having kids.
If the Kent county court awards the application from the property owner to transfer the possession order to the High Court, the landlord must apply for the consent of the High Court before the court issues the writ of possession, except for:
The landlord may not need permission for the issue of a writ of possession in case of the possession order breach, and it is also not required in case of a possession order that is suspended where the breach is in money non-payment in Chatham.
When a landlord seeks permission from the High Court to enforce a possession order, the landlord in Capstone, Rochester, or Gillingham is required to notify everyone in the property of the application and the only exceptions are if there are actions against trespassers or in cases involving mortgage repossession.
The High Court should not permit unless each tenant in Chatham is given such a notice as the Court considers enough.
There is no particular method for sending the notice to those in Kent.
Enough notice will be decided upon the cases facts.
In the event that a tenant in Chatham who had a case that had been transferred to the High Court was aware, a reminder from the property owner of the terms of the court order and a request that possession is considered to be sufficient notice.
Failure to give adequate notice or failure to provide the Court with full information on pending appeals or applications against the proceedings of possession may result in the writ of possession being set aside even after it has been executed in Chatham.
By enforcing form N293A contrary to the law, that is against tenants instead of trespassers, or by using section 41 of the 1984 County Court Act, attempts to bypass the correct process has been made by some HCEOs in Kent.
On 21 March 2016, a practice note was released by the Senior Master of the High Court (Queens Bench Division) to ensure such malpractices are brought to an end.
It is a known fact that the process is speedier in Chatham with the HCEOs of the High court than the bailiffs of County court.
The implementation of a writ of possession by an HCEO can take place in few days after the notice by the landlord to tenants expires or when the writ of possession is issued in Rochester, Gillingham, or Capstone.
The HCEO is not expected to notify the tenants earlier of their visit in Chatham about when they will be administering the writ of possession, although is normal for them to drop off the writ and return after 1 or two days.
Where a HCEO attempts to seize money and goods (such as costs and rent arrears) and reclaim ownership of the Chatham property, a seven-day notice must be given to the tenant/creditor.
The Kent High Court reserves the right to stay or set aside a writ of control or a writ of possession.
High Court Applications should be made on form N244.
If the court grants either the stay or set aside the application, the tenant in Chatham should inform the HCEO who may not have the updated information.
To set aside the possession order that was original, all the applications must be made to the county court in Kent.
HCEOs in Chatham are commercial firms authorised by the High Court, not employees of the court.
In England and Wales, the names of authorized HCEOs are available from the HCEO's directory.
HCEOs are required to follow practice code.
Except stated otherwise by the court, a writ of possession cannot be enforced on Christmas Day, Good Friday, or on a Sunday in Chatham.
Since 6 April 2014, HCEOs and other bailiffs in Chatham have been required to operate in accordance with a set of rules.
The regulations have requirements that a HCEO must not:
Go inside a premise of residence in Kent before 06:00 or after 21:00, unless the court has ordered it
Enter the premises in Chatham if the only person inside is a kid aged below 16 years
Take goods such as the washing machine, fridge, or cooker
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