The landlord in Northampton can get enforcement by high court enforcement officer by simply applying to the county court to transfer its possession order from county court to High Court which is also an alternative to possession order implementation by the issuance of the warrant of possession from the County Court.
HCEOs are often referred to as enforcement officers, licensed bailiffs or sheriffs in Northampton.
A possession order can only be enforced in Watford, Wellingborough, or Northampton through the High Court when:
When the hearing of possession was in high court in Northamptonshire, as this is not common because if a landlord in Northampton makes an application for an order of possession in high court, it will be moved to county court unless there are special circumstances like complicated disputes.
The Northampton landlord seeks permission from County Court for transferring its possession order to the High Court in order to get enforcement by HCEO.
The county court judge has the authority to decide whether the enforcement in Northampton, Wellingborough, or Watford should be transferred to High Court or not.
The landlord in Northampton can make a request whilst the county court process is in order to be transferred to the enforcement of the High Court.
Once the landlord in Northampton obtains the possession order, he/she will be required to apply to the County Court for the transfer of it to the High Court for enforcement.
Application for transfer cannot be launched if made if there is a pending appeal by the tenant in Northampton against a 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 Watford, Wellingborough, or Northampton.
The warrant of control, also known as writ of fi fa or writ of Fieri facias gives the landlord the power to seize and sell the assets of the debtor tenant in Northampton.
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 Northamptonshire County Court.
There are several reasons as to why the Northampton landlord may request for transfer of order for enforcement in the high court and they are:
Enforcement in Northampton through the County Court bailiffs is slower than through the HCEOs
Northamptonshire County court bailiffs may indirectly cause a reduction in rental income since their enforcement takes a longer time
Prevention of more damage to the property and/or behaviour that is not social in Northampton
If the tenant owes you money, the HCEO can seize the defaulter's goods in Northampton to recover your money as well as enforce the possession order
Interest on the judgment debt for arrears, currently at a rate of 8 percent, will accrue from the moment the order is transferred.
The opposition from the tenant's side can be seen against the transference application because in high court, the eviction process in Northampton can be quick and HCEOs are also more expensive as compared to bailiffs of county courts in Northamptonshire.
The reasons for the tenant might include:
Landlord's failure to provide evidence that there will be problems while using the county court bailiffs in Northampton
The costs involved are disproportionate
He/she is looking for some extra time to find a place to stay in Northampton, Wellingborough, or Watford before vacating
Finally, the tenant's condition; if unpaid rent is substantial, and a tenant has children, will form relevant factors for the decision by the county court Judge in Northampton.
In case the order transference application made by the landlord is granted by the county court in Northamptonshire, he would also have to get permission from high court before serving warrant of possession except:
Furthermore, the permission required before serving warrant of possession is not necessary when there is a violation of order of possession including suspension orders in which violation includes non payment of money in Northampton.
Once the landlord in Northampton, Wellingborough, or Watford contains a permission for enforcement of possession order from high court, he is bound to deliver notices of application to each party who is residing or using the premises.
The landlord must also give sufficient notice to the Northampton tenants to ensure they are aware of the transfer of the possession order to the High Court.
There is no specific requirement of notice to be served in a set form in Northamptonshire.
The time period of the notice will be determined on the cases facts.
In the case of a sole occupant in Northampton that has had case in the High Court had acknowledged the notice, reminding them of the court order's terms and a request for possession is counted as enough notice.
Failure to provide sufficient notice means failure to provide enough information to the Court about pending applications or appeals against the proceedings, and this can lead to the writ of possession been set aside, even after its execution in Northampton.
Some HCEOs in Northamptonshire tried to go around the procedure that is correct by submitting an application to the High Court directly to be in charge of the matter under section 41 of the County Court Act 1984, or by using Form N293A inappropriately (i.e. against tenants instead of trespassers).
To stop such malpractices, a practice note was issued by the Senior Master of the High Court on 21 March 2016.
The High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) have a faster method of carrying out the eviction in Northampton rather than county court bailiffs.
The execution of a letter of possession by a HCEO may take place only a few days after the expiry of the notice of the landlord's request for permission to the High Court, if necessary, or the issue of the letter of possession in Northampton, Watford, or Wellingborough.
There is no requirement for a HCEO to notify tenants in Northampton in advance of their visit when they will execute the possession letter, although it is common practice for them to drop the letter and return one or two days later.
Where a HCEO attempts to seize money and goods (such as costs and rent arrears) and reclaim ownership of the Northampton property, a seven-day notice must be given to the tenant/creditor.
The High Court in Northamptonshire has the right to keep or set aside a letter of possession or control.
Applications should be made on form N244.
In case the stay or set aside is obtained, it's important where applicable, that the Northampton tenant notifies the HCEO of the situation since the high court might have not notified the HCEO.
However, another application such as to set aside the original permission order needs to be made to the County Court in Northamptonshire.
High Court Enforcement Officers in Northampton are not employees of the court, but they are commercial agencies authorized by the high court.
The enforcement officers, who are authorized to execute High Court writs in England and Wales, are listed on the Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers.
The HCEOs cannot carry out the evictions if they aren't subscribed to a code of practice.
A possession order may not be imposed during Christmas, Sundays or Good Friday in Northampton unless court affirms.
The regulations for governing HCEOs and bailiff's actions while seizing belongings in Northampton are applicable from April 6, 2014.
The protocols include:
The HCEO mustn't enter a residential property in Northamptonshire before 6 am, or after 9 pm, without authorization from the court
Enter the Northampton premises if the only person available is a child under 16 years of age
Take the fridge, cooker, washing machine, or some other essential household items
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