A landlord in Middlesbrough 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.
These HCEOs are also known as Sheriffs, certificated bailiffs or enforcement agents in Middlesbrough.
High Court can enforce the possession order in Redcar, Yarm, or Middlesbrough if:
The possession hearing was in the High Court in North Yorkshire as this is unusual since if a property owner in Middlesbrough 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.
The possession order can be transferred to the High Court for enforcement when the Middlesbrough landlord applies for it in the county court.
The County Court judge can decide to allow the transfer of enforcement in Yarm, Middlesbrough, or Redcar or not, that's at the judge's discretion.
A request of transferring the possession order to the High Court can be made to County Court during the procession order proceedings by the Middlesbrough landlord.
The landlord in Middlesbrough must apply to the County Court for the transfer of the possession order to the High Court once the order is obtained.
You cannot make an application when there is an outstanding appeal from the tenant in Middlesbrough, like an application to close the possession order.
However, the landlord can apply for a writ of control to recover the money owed if there are rent arrears in Middlesbrough, Redcar, or Yarm and court fees that costs over £600.
Formerly and still popularly referred to as a writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa, a writ of control allows the tenant/debtors belongings to be seized or sold in Middlesbrough.
If the debt is governed by the 1974 Consumer Credit Act (CCA), it cannot be referred for compliance to the High Court as CCA controlled transactions can only be imposed in the county court in North Yorkshire.
There can be a number of reasons for which landlords in Middlesbrough can request the transference in high court for execution including the following:
Enforcement in Middlesbrough is normally faster through HCEOs as compared to county court bailiffs
Delay in enforcement via County Court bailiff in North Yorkshire causes rental income loss
Prevention of further damage to the property in Middlesbrough or anti-social behaviour
The High court officer can seize goods in Middlesbrough while enforcing the possession to recover money owed
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 tenant can oppose an application to transfer enforcement in Middlesbrough to the High Court because the costs of using a HCEO are greater than the North Yorkshire county court bailiffs and the speed of eviction is fast in this case.
The reasons for opposing the application may differ as:
Insufficient evidence by the landlord in Middlesbrough that the Count Court bailiffs will slow down the process
The costs are higher than expected
The tenants need extra time to get an alternative housing arrangement in Yarm, Middlesbrough, or Redcar
The tenant's specific issues, such as whether he/she has noticeable rent arrears or children, will most of the time be relevant factors the court in Middlesbrough will consider.
If the County Court in North Yorkshire grants the landlord's transfer application, the writ of possession can't be issued until there is expressed permission by the High Court, and the exceptions to the rule are:
Similarly, you can continue with a breach of possession order without having to worry about the writ of possession and this also applies to the suspended possession order in Middlesbrough.
The notice of application must be delivered to every person in actual possession of the property by the landlord in Middlesbrough, Yarm, or Redcar when they have applied for the permission to enforce a possession order in the High court.
The High Court won't grant the permission without proof that every tenant in Middlesbrough is notified of the notice.
There is no specific requirement of notice to be served in a set form in North Yorkshire.
The facts of the case will help with determining the sufficient notice.
In another scenario, if in case only a sole tenant in Middlesbrough was being aware of the case transfer to the High Court, the reminder from the landlord including terms of the court order could be enough as a notice.
If the landlord has failed to provide enough notice or does not provide complete information to the court regarding pending appeals against the possession proceedings then, he may face set a side of the writ of possession even after its execution in Middlesbrough.
Some HCEOs in North Yorkshire may not follow the correct procedure and they apply straight to the high court to take over a suit or use Form N293A to circumvent the proper process and can apply directly to the High Court to take over a matter and were misusing Form N293A.
On 21 March 2016, a practice notice was released by the Senior Master of the High Court (Queens Bench Division) to ensure that these abuses are avoided.
HCEOs ensure faster enforcement of a possession order in Middlesbrough than bailiffs in a County Court.
The implementation of a writ of possession by an HCEO can take place in few days after the notice by the landlord to tenants expires or when the writ of possession is issued in Middlesbrough, Redcar, or Yarm.
The visit of HCEO about the execution of the writ of possession does not require to be notified to the tenant in Middlesbrough although it is common practice for them to drop off the writ and return a day or two later.
HCEO must give notice of seven days when seeking possession of the property in Middlesbrough and to seize the goods or cost to recover the overdue rent.
It is possible to obtain stay or invalidation of warrant of possession or control through the high courts in North Yorkshire.
Applications should be made on form N244.
In case, if the stay or set aside is permitted then it is significant that HCEO should be informed by the Middlesbrough tenant about this, as this is quite possible that HCEO has not been informed by the High Court.
If there is any other application, for example, setting aside the initial possession order, it must be made to a county court in North Yorkshire.
The role of commercial agencies is assigned to HCEOs in Middlesbrough and authorised by the High Court, not the Court employees.
In England and Wales, names of the enforcement officers authorised to execute High Court writs are contained in the Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers.
All enforcement officers in high court should adhere to the code of service.
According to that code of conduct writ of possession cannot be executed on Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day in Middlesbrough until unless the court orders otherwise.
As from 6th April 2014, there are regulations that govern the actions bailiffs and HCEOs in Middlesbrough when seizing tenant goods.
The regulations stipulate that:
HCEOs must not enter a North Yorkshire residential property before 6am and after 9pm, except if the court authorized that
Enter the Middlesbrough premises if the only person available is a child under 16 years of age
Take key household goods such as washing machine, fridge or cooker
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