When it comes to obtaining and enforcing a possession order, landlords in Herefordshire have many options to choose from and ideally, applying for the same via the county court has been popular, yet, there is another viable option - the High Court Writ of Eviction.
Enforcement agents, certificated bailiffs or sheriffs are also common names for HCEOs in Herefordshire.
A possession order can only be enforced in Hereford, Droitwich, or Worcester through the High Court when:
The possession hearing was in the High Court in Herefordshire as this is unusual since if a property owner in Herefordshire applies for a possession order in the High Court, it will be transferred to the County Court unless there are special cases, like complicate disagreements of fact or significant points of law.
When the Herefordshire landlord applies to the county court seeking to transfer the possession order to the High Court for onward enforcement by the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
The decision to permit the transfer of enforcement in Worcester, Droitwich, or Hereford to the High Court is solely taken by the county court judge.
During the county court possession hearings, a landlord in Herefordshire can request that the possession order to be moved to the high court for enforcement.
The Herefordshire landlord may seek to withdraw and transfer the enforcement even after obtaining the possession order at the county court, he would need to go back to the county court and apply to the High Court for enforcement.
The landlord cannot apply for high court transfer in case of any outstanding application such as if the appeal against the possession order is filed by the tenant in Herefordshire.
If there are rent arrears and the arrears are in excess of £ 600 together with any court costs, the landlord may also apply for a writ of control to recover the money owed in Worcester, Hereford, or Droitwich.
The writ of control gives the authority in Herefordshire to seize and sell tenant/debtor's goods and it is commonly known as a writ of fi fa or writ of Fieri facias.
If the debt is processed by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA), then it will not be permitted to get transferred to the High Court as CCA agreements that are regulated can only be enforced in the Herefordshire county court.
If a landlord in Herefordshire is applying for possession order transfer to the High Court for enforcement, it may be because:
The enforcement in Herefordshire is normally faster via the HCEOs compared to county court bailiffs
Rental income losses caused by delays in enforcement through the bailiffs of the county court in Herefordshire
To prevent any further dismantlement to the premises in Herefordshire or behaviour that is antisocial
The HCEO has the power to implement the order of possession and seize belongings in Herefordshire if money is owned
From the moment of possession order transfer, judgment debt will be charged with the interest, which is currently 8 per cent.
Usually, the process is speedy, but the cost is also higher in using HCEO for eviction in Herefordshire than the bailiffs of Herefordshire County Court so, a tenant can oppose the application to transfer the possession order to the High court.
Tenants may have the following reasons to object:
The Herefordshire property owner has not provided proof that there will be some delays when county court bailiffs are used
Court costs are expensive
Extra time is needed by the tenant to find some other place to live in Hereford, Droitwich, or Worcester after eviction
Exceptional circumstances like when a tenant has children or owes a substantial amount of debt are usually important factors which would be considered by the court in Herefordshire.
After the Herefordshire county court approves a landlord's transfer application, the landlord is required to request for permission from the High Court for the issue of a writ of possession can be obtained, except in cases such as:
More so, consent is not needed for giving out order of possession because of violation of an order of possession and this involves hanging orders where violation entails lack of money to pay in Herefordshire.
When permission is sought from the High Court, it is liable for the landlord in Hereford, Worcester, or Droitwich to give notice of the application every person involved in actual possession of the property - except in the debt recovery or cases against the intruders.
The High Court will not award approval except each tenant in Herefordshire has such notice as the Court feels is enough.
There is no requirement to provide notice in any particular form in Herefordshire.
The facts of the case will help with determining the sufficient notice.
In the case of a sole tenant in Herefordshire 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 might be enough notice.
In case the renter fails to give sufficient notice or fails to provide the entire information to court concerning petitions against possession proceedings or pending claims, the order of possession may be put aside although having been implemented in Herefordshire.
Some HCEOs in Herefordshire apply to the High Court directly to take over the case through Form N293A or Section 41, the County Court Act 1984, and they thus bypass the normal procedure.
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.
Generally, possession order enforcement in Herefordshire is quicker via HCEO as opposed to county court bailiffs.
A HCEO can execute a writ of possession in just a few days after the landlord's notice of application for permission has expired or of the issue of writ of possession in Hereford, Worcester, or Droitwich.
There is no need to give notice to the tenants in Herefordshire about the HCEO visit for writ execution but it is common practice to deliver writ a couple of days before the visit.
The HCEO must give a tenant or creditor a seven day's prior notice when seeking to seize money or goods such as hearing costs and rent arrears and when seeking to repossess a property in Herefordshire.
The high court in Herefordshire has the authority to either set aside or to stay the writ of possession or writ of control.
High Court Applications should be made on form N244.
If the tenant in Herefordshire is able to obtain the stay or set aside, he should notify the HCEO about the updated status as they may not be timely notified.
To set aside the possession order that was original, all the applications must be made to the county court in Herefordshire.
HCEOs in Herefordshire are commercial agencies certified by the High Court, they are not employees of the court.
The names of authorized HCEOs in Wales and England permitted to carry out an execution of High Court writs are contained in the HCEO directory.
All enforcement officers of the high court need to adhere to the practice code.
A writ of possession order must not be executed on a Sunday, Christmas Day, or Good Friday in Herefordshire unless the Court orders otherwise.
Regulations govern the activities of HCEOs and all other bailiffs in Herefordshire with effect from 6 April 2014.
The regulations stipulate that:
The time of entering the Herefordshire residential property is before 6 am or after 9 pm unless authorized otherwise by the court
Enter if a child under the age of 16 is the only person present in Herefordshire
Seizing essential domestic equipment such as washing machine, fridge, or cooker
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