A landlord in Hackney can apply to transfer a possession order to the High Court Enforcement Office (HCEO) as an alternative to enforcing the process with a request from a county court to give a warrant possession notice.
High Court Enforcement Officers are named as the Bailiffs, Sheriffs or enforcement agents in Hackney.
Often, a possession order is enforced in Sewardstone, Bow, or Aldersbrook in a high court under two conditions:
High Court in Greater London has scheduled a hearing for possession order, but it is generally not observed as a landlord in Hackney's possession claim goes to the County Court except those cases which have any unusual situation like critical law points or complex factual disputes.
A landlord in Hackney needs to apply in a County Court for the transfer of possession order to the High Court, so the enforcement is implemented by an HCEO.
The county court judge has the authority to decide whether the enforcement in Bow, Aldersbrook, or Sewardstone should be transferred to High Court or not.
In the course of hearings in county court for possession, the appeal can be made by the landlord in Hackney to move the order of possession for enforcement in high court.
The Hackney landlord needs to make an application to the county court requesting for the order be transferred to the High Court for enforcement after obtaining the possession order.
An application for transfer cannot be made if there are any outstanding applications from the Hackney tenant, For instance, if the tenant has made an appeal against the possession order.
However, in order to recover the pending rents a writ of control can be filed by the landlord in Sewardstone, Aldersbrook, or Bow, and this can be done if court costs and rent arrears exceed £600.
A writ of control allows the landlord in Hackney to seize and sell the tenants goods which is also known as a writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
The possession order cannot be regulated to the High Court if the overdue rent is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) because CCA regulated contracts can only be implemented by the Greater London County Court.
These are some reasons a landlord in Hackney could apply for a transfer to the High Court including:
Implementation in Hackney by HCEOs is usually faster than by county court bailiffs
Delays in enforcement through County Court sheriffs in Greater London can cause a loss of rental income too
It avoids additional anti-social activities or property destructions in Hackney
The HCEO is authorised to execute the possession order and seize possessions in Hackney in case cash is owed
An interest rate of 8% will be accrued for judgement debt arrears from the start of the order transfer.
The opposition from the tenant's side can be seen against the transference application because in high court, the eviction process in Hackney can be quick and HCEOs are also more expensive as compared to bailiffs of county courts in Greater London.
Tenants may have the following reasons to object:
No evidence from the landlord that there will be a significant delay using the county court bailiffs in Hackney
Court costs are expensive
To locate somewhere else to stay in Bow, Sewardstone, or Aldersbrook until relocation, he / she need extra time
The common factors of tenants that are classed as exceptional situations that court in Hackney might consider are overdue rent, children or any relevant factors.
In case the order transference application made by the landlord is granted by the county court in Greater London, he would also have to get permission from high court before serving warrant of possession except:
If there is a possession order violation like suspended possession order which may include non-payment of money in Hackney, then the issuance of a writ of possession does not require permission.
When planning to request for permission for a possession order to be transferred to the High Court for enforcement (excluding cases such as mortgage repossession cases and cases against trespassers, the landlord in Bow, Aldersbrook, or Sewardstone is required to provide the current inhabitants of the property with a notice of application.
Unless every occupant in Hackney is given the notice that the Court decides is enough, the High Court must not grant permission.
You can simply deliver the notice in any way you want in Greater London.
Details of the suit will decide if the order is sufficient.
In the event that a tenant in Hackney 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.
Failing to provide sufficient notice, or to provide full information to the Court about pending applications or court appeals against the possession proceedings, can cause writ possession to be set aside, ever after its execution in Hackney.
The note came on the heels of the individualized activities of HCEOs in Greater London, 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, 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.
Generally, possession order enforcement in Hackney is quicker via HCEO as opposed to county court bailiffs.
The execution can be done just a couple of days after the landlord's application for permission to the High Court expires or the possession writ is issued in Aldersbrook, Bow, or Sewardstone.
The HCEO is not under obligation to provide advance notice to the Hackney tenants about when the writ of possession will be executed, however, they usually drop the writ with the tenant and revisit the tenant a day or two later.
Where a HCEO attempts to seize money and goods (such as costs and rent arrears) and reclaim ownership of the Hackney property, a seven-day notice must be given to the tenant/creditor.
It is possible to obtain stay or invalidation of warrant of possession or control through the high courts in Greater London.
You should fill form N244 when making applications to the high court.
In case the stay or set aside is granted, then it is important that, if possible, the tenant in Hackney will inform the HCEO of this fact as the High Court may not have informed the HCEO.
Any other application must be made through the Greater London county court, for example, setting aside the possession order that was original.
HCEOs in Hackney are commercially paid agencies given authority by the High Court and are not actual employees of the court.
Therefore, you need to go through the Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers to see those that are commissioned to carry out the task in your jurisdiction.
HCEOs commit to a code of practice.
A writ of possession must not be administered on a Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day in Hackney, unless courts decides otherwise.
Starting from the 6th of April, 2014, certain laws were put in place to govern activities of HCEOs and bailiffs in Hackney during seizure of tenant possessions.
The regulations stipulate that:
Enter the Greater London property before 6am or after 9pm unless when ordered by the court
Enter the Hackney premises if the only person available is a child under 16 years of age
To take or seize the basic household goods such as cooker, fridge or washing machine
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