One more method executing a possession notice is simply by requesting a possession warrant from the regional court where the property holder in Lewisham can apply to send the summons to high court so that it can be worked on by an enforcement officer from high court (HCEO).
Enforcement agents, certificated bailiffs or sheriffs are also common names for HCEOs in Lewisham.
High court may impose a possession order in Catford, Bell Green, or Deptford in 2 ways:
If the High Court in Greater London has the possession hearing as this is quite unusual, though the normal thing is that when a Lewisham landlord approaches the High Court to apply for a possession order, the order will be transferred to the County Court, and the exceptions are disputes of points of law or of fact.
When the Lewisham property owner makes an application to the county court to transfer the order of possession to the high court for implementation by an HCEO.
The decision is taken by the judge of County Court about the permission to transfer of enforcement in Catford, Bell Green, or Deptford to the High Court.
At the hearings of possession in the regional court, the owner of property in Lewisham may request for the order of possession be transferred to high court to be implemented starting from there.
Following acquisition of the order, the leaseholder in Lewisham may require to make application to regional court and ask that it be transferred to high court in order to be executed from there.
An application for transfer cannot be made if there are any pending applications from the tenant in Lewisham, for example, an appeal against the possession order.
If court costs and rent arrears amounting to more than £600, then, the landlord may file for a writ of control to recover the amount in Catford, Deptford, or Bell Green.
The writ of control is empowering the landlord to seize and sale the tenant's goods to recover his money in Lewisham, and it is called the writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
If the debt is regulated by the CCA 1974 (Consumer Credit Act) then enforcement by the High Court cannot be applied because only Greater London County Courts have the power to enforce the agreement regulated by Consumer Credit Act.
There are several reasons as to why the Lewisham landlord may request for transfer of order for enforcement in the high court and they are:
Enforcement in Lewisham through the County Court bailiffs is slower than through the HCEOs
Loss of rental income triggered by enforcement delay of the bailiffs of the county court in Greater London
Prevention of further damage to the property in Lewisham or anti-social behaviour
The HCEO can impose the order of custody and seize the products in Lewisham if the money is due
The interest on judgement debt for arrears, which is currently at the rate of 8%, will accumulate right from the transfer of the order.
The opposition from the tenant's side can be seen against the transference application because in high court, the eviction process in Lewisham can be quick and HCEOs are also more expensive as compared to bailiffs of county courts in Greater London.
Usually, tenants want to avoid this process because:
The landlord is yet to prove that there may delays if the case is handled by a county court's bailiffs in Lewisham
The payment involved in the process varies
He/she needs more time to look for another place to live in Catford, Bell Green, or Deptford before eviction
Specific circumstances of the tenant, such as whether or not he/she has substantial rent arrears or children; will often be relevant factors that the court in Lewisham will consider.
If the county court in Greater London grants the application of the landlord to transfer order, the landlord will have to get high court permission before a writ of possession is served except in:
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 Lewisham.
If permission is sought in the High Court to enforce a possession order (i.e., except in cases of mortgage repossession and actions against trespassers), the landlord in Bell Green, Catford, or Deptford must notify every person in real possession of the property of the application.
The High Court will not award approval except each tenant in Lewisham has such notice as the Court feels is enough.
There are no laid down rules for providing the notice in Greater London.
The facts of the case will determine sufficient notice.
If there is only one tenant in Lewisham in the property who is already aware that the case has been transferred to the High Court, in this case, a reminder of the terms of the court order from the landlord and a request that possession is given up can be considered sufficient notice.
If satisfactory notice is not provided by the landlord or he provides the court with insufficient information about the pending appeals or applications against hearings of possession, then the warrant of possession will get invalid even after execution in Lewisham.
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 Greater London.
On 21st March 2016, the Queens Bench Division (High Court's Senior Master) ascertained a practice note to avoid misconduct.
Basically, an order of ownership in Lewisham is usually imposed quicker via the HCEOs than the when handled by bailiffs from a regional court.
HCEO can execute a writ of possession within a few days after the expiry of the notice of the landlord's application to the High Court or when the possession writ is provided in Bell Green, Catford, or Deptford.
HCEO does not need any requirement to notify the tenants in Lewisham in advance of their visit and the time they will execute the writ of possession, although it is common practice to drop off the writ and return a few days later.
However, the HCEO needs to give a seven days' notice to the tenant where they need to seize goods and money while recovering possession of the property in Lewisham.
Writ of possession or writ of control can be set aside by the High Court in Greater London.
High Court Applications should be made on form N244.
If the stay is issued or set aside, it is necessary that the respondent in Lewisham advises the HCEO of this aspect where appropriate, since the High Court may not have notified the HCEO.
Any other application, such as setting aside the original possession order, must be placed to the county court in Greater London.
HCEOs in Lewisham are commercial agencies commissioned by the High Court and not employees of the court.
The High Court Enforcement Officers Directory contains the enforcement officers names in the United Kingdom who have been mandated to administer High Court Writs.
All high court enforcement officers must abide to a code of practice.
They can't execute a writ of possession on some special days such as Good Friday, on a Sunday, or on Christmas day in Lewisham without an expressed authorization by the court.
The regulations for governing HCEOs and bailiff's actions while seizing belongings in Lewisham are applicable from April 6, 2014.
According to these regulations the HCEO must not:
The time of entering the Greater London residential property is before 6 am or after 9 pm unless authorized otherwise by the court
Entering a property in Lewisham with an under 16 person the only person in the property
Take key household goods such as washing machine, fridge or cooker
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