A landlord in Kent 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.
Sheriffs, enforcement agents or certified bailiffs are different terms used for HCEOs in Kent.
The imposition of possession order through high court is possible in Gillingham, Chatham, or Maidstone by two methods:
The Kent High Court can also enforce the possession order when the possession order's hearing was in the High Court as this process is unusual because the Kent landlord ought to have applied to the county court except in some cases when there may be important facts of law or complicated disputes of fact, only then can the application of a possession order in a High Court can be accepted.
When the Kent 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 county court judge has to decide whether to allow the transfer of enforcement in Gillingham, Maidstone, or Chatham to the High Court.
In the course of hearings in county court for possession, the appeal can be made by the landlord in Kent to move the order of possession for enforcement in high court.
The Kent landlord needs to make an application to the county court after obtaining the possession order and in this application, they request to transfer the order to the High Court for Enforcement.
You cannot make an application when there is an outstanding appeal from the tenant in Kent, like an application to close the possession order.
If there is unpaid rent, and the arrears plus any court order costs a total of over £600, the property owner may also apply for writ of control to recover the unsettled bills in Chatham, Maidstone, or Gillingham.
The writ of control is empowering the landlord to seize and sale the tenant's goods to recover his money in Kent, and it is called the writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
However, the landlord can't make the transfer request if the Consumer Credit Act 1974 regulates the debt and this is because only the Kent County Court can enforce agreements regulated by the CCA.
The reasons why a property owner in Kent might seek to transfer the order to the High Court for enforcement include that:
The execution in Kent through HCEOs is quick than the bailiffs of county courts
High losses resulting from unpaid rent due to sluggishness in implementation through the regional court bailiffs in Kent
Prevention of more damage to the property and/or behaviour that is not social in Kent
The HCEO can impose the order of custody and seize the products in Kent if the money is due
Right from the transfer of the order, the interest on judgement debt of arrears will accumulate which is currently at the rate of 8%.
Since the level of eviction is quicker in Kent but the expense of using a HCEO is greater than the county court bailiffs in Kent, a plaintiff may want to respond to a proposal to shift compliance to the High Court.
The reasons include but not limited to:
Landlord's failure to provide evidence that there will be problems while using the county court bailiffs in Kent
The costs involved are disproportionate
They would require more time to find another place to live in Gillingham, Maidstone, or Chatham before 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 Kent.
In case the order transference application made by the landlord is granted by the county court in Kent, he would also have to get permission from high court before serving warrant of possession except:
Permission is also not a requirement for the possession writ issuance following the possession order breach, including a possession order that is suspended, where the breach include unpaid bills in Kent.
If the landlord in Chatham, Gillingham, or Maidstone is in a possession to apply for the go ahead to enforce an order of possession in the High Court, he must ensure that all the people in actual possession of the property in question are notified.
The High Court won't grant the permission without proof that every tenant in Kent is notified of the notice.
There is no particular method for sending the notice to those in Kent.
Details of the suit will decide if the order is sufficient.
In the event that a tenant in Kent 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 Kent.
Some HCEOs in Kent apply directly to the High Court to take over the matter in the struggle of circumventing the correct procedure. It can be carried out under section 41 of the County Court Act 1984.
On 21st March 2016, the Queens Bench Division (High Court's Senior Master) ascertained a practice note to avoid misconduct.
HCEOs usually enforce a possession order in Kent faster than county court bailiffs.
It can happen just a few days after the expiry of the notice of the landlord's application for high court permission, when needed or of the issue of the writ of possession in Maidstone, Chatham, or Gillingham.
The HCEO doesn't need to inform the tenants in Kent about when they are going to execute the writ of possession, and the HCEOs usually drop off the writ return a day or two later.
HCEO must give notice of seven days when seeking possession of the property in Kent and to seize the goods or cost to recover the overdue rent.
The Kent High Court can uphold or set aside a writ of possession, or writ of control.
You will need to complete form N244 during your application to high court.
If the staying or setting aside is acquired, it is vital where necessary, that the Kent leaseholder informs the HCEO regarding the condition as high court may not have informed the HCEO.
The applicants must make any other application to the Kent county court, for instance, to set aside the original possession order.
HCEO's in Kent are not employed by court; however, they serve as business agencies mandated by high court.
If you need to check the names of enforcement officers in England and Wales, there is a Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers who have been authorized to execute High Court writs.
A code of practice is subscribed by HCEOs.
For example, a possession of writ cannot be carried out on a Sunday, a Good Friday, or on Christmas Day in Kent, unless it is ordered by the court.
The regulations for governing HCEOs and bailiff's actions while seizing belongings in Kent are applicable from April 6, 2014.
The regulations stipulate that:
The HCEO mustn't enter a residential property in Kent before 6 am, or after 9 pm, without authorization from the court
Entering the property in Kent while only a child under 16 years of age is present
Carry important household goods such as a microwave, refrigerator or laundry
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