The best way to execute a possession order is by asking the county court to issue a warrant of possession and the landlord in Devon has to request for transfer of the possession order to the High Court for enforcement, by the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
HCEOs are also referred to in Devon as enforcement agents, certified bailiffs or Sheriffs.
On order of possession can be imposed in Exmouth, Exeter, or Barnstaple via the high court into two ways:
The possession hearing was in the high court in Devon as this is rare because the possession order is typically moved to the county court when a landlord in Devon seeks it, but it can take place in the High Court under exceptional circumstances such as factual disagreements or disagreements on law.
The Devon landlord seeks permission from County Court for transferring its possession order to the High Court in order to get enforcement by HCEO.
The county court judge has the authority to decide whether the enforcement in Exeter, Barnstaple, or Exmouth should be transferred to High Court or not.
If the possession order is approved during the possession hearing at the county court, the Devon landowner has the right to ask for a transfer of enforcement of the possession order to the High Court.
If the Devon landlord has already got the possession order from County Court, then he can request the County Court by an application to transfer the order to the High Court for further enforcement.
The landlord can't make the application if there are outstanding issues such as if the tenant in Devon has appealed against the order.
However, in order to recover the pending rents a writ of control can be filed by the landlord in Exmouth, Barnstaple, or Exeter, and this can be done if court costs and rent arrears exceed £600.
A writ of control provides for the sale and seizure of the tenant's goods in Devon - this was formerly known as a writ of fi fa or writ of Fieri facias.
If the debt is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) because the County Court in Devon is the one mandated with the enforcement of CCA regulated agreement.
There are certain reasons why a landlord in Devon can apply for a transfer of the order to the High Court for enforcement including:
Enforcement in Devon is normally faster through HCEOs as compared to county court bailiffs
Loss of rental income because of delay in enforcement through the Devon county court bailiffs
Prevention of further damage to the Devon property and/or anti-social behaviour
The HCEO has the power to implement the order of possession and seize belongings in Devon if money is owned
Interest on the judgment debt for arrears, currently at a rate of 8 percent, will accrue from the moment the order is transferred.
The tenants may object to transfer the possession to the High Court as the eviction in Devon will happen quicker and they will be liable for higher costs as opposed to Devon county court bailiffs.
The reasons for the tenant might include:
The landlord is yet to prove that there may delays if the case is handled by a county court's bailiffs in Devon
The total costs involved are not proportionate
They need extra time to find a place before eviction in Exeter, Barnstaple, or Exmouth
The present tenant situation such as if they have children or owe rent will often be relevant factors that the Court in Devon will take into account.
If the landlord's request to transfer the possession order to the High Court is granted by the Devon county court, the landlord would then have to obtain the permission of the High Court ahead of the issuance of the writ of eviction, except in:
You will also not require permission for the writ of possession to be issued for a breach, including a breach of possession order that is suspended or when the possession order breach is bills that are unpaid in Devon.
When the High Court sought out permission to enforce a possession order (except in actions against trespassers and mortgage repossession cases), the landlord in Exeter, Exmouth, or Barnstaple must give notice application to 'every person in actual possession' of the property.
The permission from high court cannot be granted until every tenant in Devon receives notification and court finds it satisfactory.
In Devon, it is not required to give the notice in a specific form.
The satisfactory notice will vary according to the case facts.
In the case of a sole tenant in Devon who knew the case had been transferred to the High Court, a reminder from the landlord of the terms of the court order and a request to give up possession could be sufficient notification.
Failure to give adequate notice, or fail to give to court full information in regard to pending appeals or applications against the proceedings of possession, may result in the writ of possession being set aside, even after it is executed in Devon.
The note came on the heels of the individualized activities of HCEOs in Devon, such as the inappropriate use of Form N293A against tenants and not trespassers, and the direct application to the High Court to take over the case on the premise of Section 41 of the County Court Act 1984.
On 21 March 2016, the court issued a practice note through the Senior Master of the High Court (Queens Bench Division) to stop these malpractices and illegal use of their powers.
HCEOs usually enforce a possession order in Devon faster than county court bailiffs.
A writ of possession can be executed by an HCEO a couple of days after the landlord's possession notice or issue of a possession of writ has expired or the possession writ is issued in Barnstaple, Exeter, or Exmouth.
The HCEO is not obligated to inform the tenant prior to their visit in Devon on when the writ of possession would be executed, usually they deliver the writ and visit the property again the next day or 2 days after.
In situations where an HCEO wants to seize cash and possessions to cater for the expenses and the money owed and retrieving the property's items in Devon, they must serve a 7-days notice to the leaseholder.
Writ of possession or writ of control can be set aside by the High Court in Devon.
Form N244 should be used when applying to the high Court.
If stay or set aside is given, then it's important for the tenant in Devon to inform the HCEO themselves of these details because the High Court may not have provided them with the information.
If there is any other application, for example, setting aside the initial possession order, it must be made to a county court in Devon.
HCEOs in Devon are commercially paid agencies given authority by the High Court and are not actual employees of the court.
In England and Wales, the names of authorized HCEOs are available from the HCEO's directory.
HCEOs must conduct themselves to a code of practice.
Except stated otherwise by the court, a writ of possession cannot be enforced on Christmas Day, Good Friday, or on a Sunday in Devon.
New regulations governing the actions of bailiffs in Devon were released and made effective from April 6, 2014.
The regulations stipulate that:
Enter residential property in Devon after 9 pm or before 6 am unless stated by the court
Entering in the Devon property when only a kid of less than 16 years of age is present inside
Taking basic household stuff for instance refrigerator, cooker or washing machine
Based in Devon, working nationwide
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