Having the county court issue a warrant of possession is an alternative to enforcing a possession order and the landlord in Stockton-on-Tees needs to apply to transfer the order to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
HCEO's are commonly referred to as agents of enforcement, or Sheriffs in Stockton-on-Tees.
A possession order can only be enforced in Thornaby-on-Tees, Sedgefield, or Stockton-on-Tees through the High Court when:
When the hearing of possession was in high court in Durham, as this is not common because if a landlord in Stockton-on-Tees 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 landlord in Stockton-on-Tees requests the county court to transfer the possession order to the High Court for execution by an HCEO.
It is the county court judge that will determine if to transfer the enforcement in Stockton-on-Tees, Thornaby-on-Tees, or Sedgefield to the High Court or not.
During the County Court possession proceedings, the landlord in Stockton-on-Tees can request for the transfer of the possession order to the High Court for enforcement.
If the Stockton-on-Tees landlord has already got the possession order from County Court, then he can request the County Court by an application to transfer the order to the High Court for further enforcement.
The transfer application is not possible to make when an outstanding application is also present by the tenant in Stockton-on-Tees, for instance, if tenant has appealed against possession order.
If there is unpaid rent, and the arrears plus any court order costs a total of over £600, the property owner may also apply for writ of control to recover the unsettled bills in Sedgefield, Thornaby-on-Tees, or Stockton-on-Tees.
Tenants' goods can be seized and sold in Stockton-on-Tees under a writ of control, this is commonly known or refers as a writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
Any arrears managed by CCA (Consumer Credit Act) cannot be transferred to high court so as to be implemented attributing to the fact that CCA controlled agreements may only be implemented within the Durham county court.
A Stockton-on-Tees landlord might request for a transfer of the possession order to the High Court for enforcement, for reasons including:
The enforcements in Stockton-on-Tees get quicker through HCEOs as compared with the bailiffs of County Court
Lost rental income as a result in enforcement delays when dealing with the county court bailiffs in Durham
Prevention of more damage to the property and/or behaviour that is not social in Stockton-on-Tees
When the tenant owes money, the HCEO will enforce the order of possession and take goods in Stockton-on-Tees too
The interest rate on judgement, currently at 8%, for debt arrears will start accumulating exactly from order transference.
The opposition from the tenant's side can be seen against the transference application because in high court, the eviction process in Stockton-on-Tees can be quick and HCEOs are also more expensive as compared to bailiffs of county courts in Durham.
Tenants may have the following reasons to object:
If a landlord has failed in providing the evidence than there will be quite a delay for using county court bailiffs in Stockton-on-Tees
Court costs are expensive
He/she needs the excess time to find somewhere else to stay in Sedgefield, Thornaby-on-Tees, or Stockton-on-Tees before being evicted
Often, the Stockton-on-Tees court will take into consideration some circumstances surrounding the tenant's situation, such as if there are any children involved or whether the tenant has good rent arrears.
If the landlord's request to transfer the possession order to the High Court is granted by the Durham county court, the landlord would then have to obtain the permission of the High Court ahead of the issuance of the writ of eviction, except in:
Authorization for the issuance of a possession writ is also not needed in case there is a breach of possession comprising of suspension of order where there is or lack of payment of money in Stockton-on-Tees.
The landlord in Sedgefield, Thornaby-on-Tees, or Stockton-on-Tees needs to give notice of this application to everyone in possession of the premises when he/she is looking to get the order transferred to the High Court.
The High Court must not grant permission until each tenant in Stockton-on-Tees is given such notice as the Court considers sufficient.
The notice does not require any particular form in Durham.
What is acceptable depends on the particular case in question.
If it is a sole tenant in Stockton-on-Tees who already knows that the case was in the high court, the Landlord can send them a reminder showing the terms of the court order and appeal that the tenant gives up possession of the rental property, is sufficient notice.
Failing to provide sufficient notice, or to provide full information to the Court about pending applications or court appeals against the possession proceedings, can cause writ possession to be set aside, ever after its execution in Stockton-on-Tees.
Some HCEOs in Durham 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).
So, in order to prevent such malpractices, High Court's Senior Master issued a practice note on 21 March 2016.
Enforcement of a possession order in Stockton-on-Tees is normally faster through HCEO as compared to the county court bailiffs.
Execution of the possession order is possible only in a few days of the expiration of the notice given by the landlord when executed by the high court or after then possession writ is issued in Thornaby-on-Tees, Stockton-on-Tees, or Sedgefield.
There is no requirement for a HCEO to notify tenants in Stockton-on-Tees 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.
If the HCEO intends seizing the tenants' goods and recover the landlord's property in Stockton-on-Tees, it is imperative that a 7-day notice is given to the tenants in question.
The High Court in Durham has the mandate to set aside or delay a possession writ, or control writ.
Applications can be made by filling out the N244 form while giving application to high court.
In case the stay or set aside is granted, then it is important that, if possible, the tenant in Stockton-on-Tees will inform the HCEO of this fact as the High Court may not have informed the HCEO.
Additional applications such as an annulment of the original order of possession must be submitted to the Durham county court.
The High Court authorizes the HCEOs as commercial agencies in Stockton-on-Tees, thus, they are not on the court's payroll.
The Directory of HCEOs contains the names of enforcement officers in England and Wales who have been authorised to execute High Court writs.
As a standard HCEOs subscribe to a code of practice.
The HCEOs are forbidden to carry out the writ of possession on a Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday in Stockton-on-Tees unless they are recommended by the court to do so.
The actions of all other bailiffs and the HCEOs when goods are seized in Stockton-on-Tees are in effect from 6 April 2014.
These restrictions mean that HCEOs cannot:
Without the court orders, entering a residential property in Durham later than 9pm or prior to 6am
Entering the property in Stockton-on-Tees while only a child under 16 years of age is present
Take key household goods such as washing machine, fridge or cooker
Based in Stockton-on-Tees, working nationwide
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