For a Landlord in Plymouth to possess a letter of the warrant, he/she has to apply the transfer order to the High court through the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO), and HCEO applies the relocation of a possession order of enforcement from the county court to the High court on behalf of a Landlord.
HCEO's are commonly referred to as agents of enforcement, or Sheriffs in Plymouth.
The High Court can enforce a notice of possession in Plymouth, Saltash, or Plymstock if:
The hearing of possession occurred within the High Court in Devon, this is bizarre, because if a landlord in Plymouth does apply for a possession notice in the High Court, it would usually get transferred to the county court, and it would only stay there if there are unusual situations involved within the order.
The landlord in Plymouth requests the county court to transfer the possession order to the High Court for execution by an HCEO.
The county court judge has the authority to decide whether the enforcement in Plymouth, Saltash, or Plymstock should be transferred to High Court or not.
The landlord in Plymouth can make a request whilst the county court process is in order to be transferred to the enforcement of the High Court.
Once the order of possession is obtained by the Plymouth landlord, he can appeal before county court and request movement of order for purposes of implementation in high court.
You cannot make an application when there is an outstanding appeal from the tenant in Plymouth, like an application to close the possession order.
The landlord can also apply for a writ of control if they need to recover the rent arrears and court costs of more than £600 in Plymouth, Saltash, or Plymstock.
A writ of control provides for the sale and seizure of the tenant's goods in Plymouth - this was formerly known as a writ of fi fa or writ of Fieri facias.
Note that if the debt is under the regulation of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA), the Devon county court cannot transfer the possession order to the High Court for enforcement as the CCA regulates are enforceable in the county court.
The reasons why a property owner in Plymouth might seek to transfer the order to the High Court for enforcement include that:
HCEOs enforcements in Plymouth are faster than enforcement by bailiffs of the county court
Devon County court bailiffs may indirectly cause a reduction in rental income since their enforcement takes a longer time
It avoids additional anti-social activities or property destructions in Plymouth
HCEOs have authority of execution of the possession order and also of seizing the goods in Plymouth in case of money owned
Interest, which now sits at 8%, on the debt for arrears will accumulate from the beginning of when the transfer has been ordered.
The tenants may object to transfer the possession to the High Court as the eviction in Plymouth will happen quicker and they will be liable for higher costs as opposed to Devon county court bailiffs.
This may be because:
The landlord in Plymouth has not given any proof of delays in case of usage of bailiffs from county courts
The expenses in total are not proportionately divided
Tennant needs some more time to find another place to live in Plymstock, Plymouth, or Saltash
The decision of the Plymouth court to oppose the transfer of order will be influenced by several factors that affect the tenant such as if the tenant has children or has significant rent arrears.
In case the order transference application made by the landlord is granted by the county court in Devon, he would also have to get permission from high court before serving warrant of possession except:
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 Plymouth.
When the High Court sought out permission to enforce a possession order (except in actions against trespassers and mortgage repossession cases), the landlord in Plymouth, Plymstock, or Saltash must give notice application to 'every person in actual possession' of the property.
The high court will not give permission unless every Plymouth tenant is provided with the notice and the court considers it enough.
There is no specific requirement of notice to be served in a set form in Devon.
The facts of the case will determine sufficient notice.
In another scenario, if in case only a sole tenant in Plymouth 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.
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 Plymouth.
A couple of HCEOs in Devon have tried to avoid the legal process by going straight to the High Court to transfer the order under the section 41 of the 1984 County Court Act, or by inappropriately using the N293A form.
The Senior Master of the High Court (Queens Bench Division) releases a practice note on 21 March 2016 to block these loopholes and stop the unfair practices.
Normally, HCEOs can execute an order of possession in Plymouth more quick than the county court's bailiffs.
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 Plymouth, Plymstock, or Saltash.
There is no provision for a HCEO to inform tenants in Plymouth in advance of their visit when they will execute the possession document, 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 Plymouth property, a seven-day notice must be given to the tenant/creditor.
It is possible to obtain stay or invalidation of warrant of possession or control through the high courts in Devon.
Applications should be submitted on Form N244 to the High Court.
If the High Court later set aside the application for writ of possession, the Plymouth tenants would have to inform the HCEOs who may not be privy to it as the High Court may not have informed them.
If there is any other application, for example, setting aside the initial possession order, it must be made to a county court in Devon.
HCEO's in Plymouth are not employed by court; however, they serve as business agencies mandated by high court.
In Wales and England, the directory of HCEO's has names of all enforcement officers who are authorized to enforce high court writs.
HCEOs are guided by a code of practice.
You must not execute a writ of possession on a Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day in Plymouth unless the court orders otherwise.
From the regulations set on 6 April 2014, there are rules that regulate the actions of HCEOs, and all other bailiffs in regard to goods seizure in Plymouth.
Under these regulations, the HCEO is restricted from:
Go inside a premise of residence in Devon before 06:00 or after 21:00, unless the court has ordered it
Enter the Plymouth property if there is only a child present who is aged under 16
Taking essential household goods example washing machine, cooker or fridge
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