The best way to execute a possession order is by asking the county court to issue a warrant of possession and the landlord in Southampton has to request for transfer of the possession order to the High Court for enforcement, by the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
HCEOs in Southampton are in other terms referred to as certificate bailiffs, sheriffs or law enforcement agents.
The high court has the authority to impose the order of possession in Marchwood, Hillyfields, or Eling if:
During Hampshire high court possession hearing as the practice is uncommon considering that in case a leaseholder in Southampton applies for an ownership order in the court, it may be send to the regional court unless certain conditions such as complex disagreements are involved.
If the Southampton landlord applies for the transfer of the possession order from the County Court to the High Court to enable the HCEO to enforce the order.
County court determines if the enforcement in Marchwood, Hillyfields, or Eling can be transferred to high court.
During the proceedings of a possession order in the county court, the landlord in Southampton can plea enforcement to bed moved to the High Court.
Following the approval of the possession order, the landlord in Southampton is required to apply to the county court for a transfer of enforcement of the possession order to the High Court.
Where there are any outstanding tenant requests in Southampton, for example, a possession order appeal, the transfer request cannot be made.
If the total costs including the unpaid rent along with court expenses are over £600, the owner of the property can appeal for warrant of control for recovering the owed money in Marchwood, Hillyfields, or Eling.
A control writ avails the overrun and sell of the goods of the debtor/tenant in Southampton - this was initially known as, and still referred to as, a writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
If the debt is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) because the County Court in Hampshire is the one mandated with the enforcement of CCA regulated agreement.
There are several reasons as to why the Southampton landlord may request for transfer of order for enforcement in the high court and they are:
Enforcement in Southampton through the County Court bailiffs is slower than through the HCEOs
Loss of income from the rental because of Hampshire county court bailiff delays
Prevention of further damage to the property in Southampton or antisocial behaviour
The HCEO can both seize goods and administer the order of possession in Southampton, when there are unsettled bills
8% interest rate, for arrears on the judgment debt will accrue from the time of the order transfer.
Not only is it more expensive to use a HCEO, eviction in Southampton is also faster with HCEOs as compared to county court bailiffs in Hampshire, tenants may counter an application for a transfer to the High Court for enforcement.
The reasons include but not limited to:
The landlord did not provide proof that the use of county court bailiffs in Southampton would be substantially affected
The costs are higher than expected
The tenant may require more time to look for a new play to live in Hillyfields, Eling, or Marchwood before eviction takes place
The decision of the Southampton 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.
If the Hampshire county court approves the landlord's order for relocation, the landlord must seek the High Court's consent before the certificate of custody is given, except in:
The landlord may not need permission for the issue of a writ of possession in case of the possession order breach, and it is also not required in case of a possession order that is suspended where the breach is in money non-payment in Southampton.
The moment an application to enforce a possession order has been sent to court, a property owner in Eling, Marchwood, or Hillyfields should be ready to notify each party occupying the property regarding the order application.
If each tenant in Southampton isn't given the notice, the High Court shouldn't grant permission.
When serving the notice, there are no set out requirements of the form in Hampshire.
Sufficient proof depends on the facts of the case.
In the case of a sole occupant in Southampton 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 Southampton.
There were several HCEOs in Hampshire who tried to bypass the stipulated process by making an application directly to the high court to take control of the issue under section 41 or by using form N293A incorrectly that is against tenants instead of trespassers.
On 21 March 2016, the court issued a practice note through the Senior Master of the High Court (Queens Bench Division) to stop these malpractices and illegal use of their powers.
Enforcement of a possession order in Southampton is faster through HCEOs than through the county court bailiffs.
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 Marchwood, Eling, or Hillyfields.
The HCEO is not under obligation to provide advance notice to the Southampton tenants about when the writ of possession will be executed, however, they usually drop the writ with the tenant and revisit the tenant a day or two later.
If the HCEO intends seizing the tenants' goods and recover the landlord's property in Southampton, it is imperative that a 7-day notice is given to the tenants in question.
The high court in Hampshire has the authority to either set aside or to stay the writ of possession or writ of control.
Usually, they use the form N244 to make an application for stay or to set the writ of control aside.
In case, if the stay or set aside is permitted then it is significant that HCEO should be informed by the Southampton tenant about this, as this is quite possible that HCEO has not been informed by the High Court.
Other appeals, such as trying to set aside the original order, needs to be sent to the county court in Hampshire.
The role of commercial agencies is assigned to HCEOs in Southampton and authorised by the High Court, not the Court employees.
You can research for the list of the Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers, for the enforcement officers in England and Wales who have the approval to implement High Court writs.
HCEOs commit to a code of practice.
A possession writ shall not be executed on a Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day in Southampton, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Regulations govern the activities of HCEOs and all other bailiffs in Southampton with effect from 6 April 2014.
The regulations stipulate that:
Go inside the residential property in Hampshire before 6 am or after 9 pm, except the court approved it
Enter a Southampton residential property if the only person present at the time is below the age of 16
Take essential household goods like washing machine, fridge or cooker
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