When it comes to obtaining and enforcing a possession order, landlords in Surrey have many options to choose from and ideally, applying for the same via the county court has been popular, yet, there is another viable option - the High Court Writ of Eviction.
You can also call HCEOs, certified Bailiffs or Sheriffs, and enforcement agents in Surrey.
On order of possession can be imposed in Crawley, Woking-Byfleet, or Guildford via the high court into two ways:
If the High Court in Surrey has the possession hearing as this is quite unusual, though the normal thing is that when a Surrey landlord approaches the High Court to apply for a possession order, the order will be transferred to the County Court, and the exceptions are disputes of points of law or of fact.
If the Surrey landowner writes to request the regional court to move the possession order to high court where it can be executed by a representative from high court.
The decision to permit the transfer of enforcement in Woking-Byfleet, Guildford, or Crawley to the High Court is solely taken by the county court judge.
During the county court possession proceedings, the landlord in Surrey may request that the possession order, if made, be transferred for enforcement to the High Court.
The Surrey landlord needs to make an application to the county court after obtaining the possession order and in this application, they request to transfer the order to the High Court for Enforcement.
An application for transfer cannot be made if there are any pending applications from the tenant in Surrey, for example, an appeal against the possession order.
If the court costs and other arrears make up over £600, it is at the discretion of the landlord to apply for a writ of control in order to recover the outstanding money in Guildford, Woking-Byfleet, or Crawley.
A control writ avails the overrun and sell of the goods of the debtor/tenant in Surrey - 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 Surrey is the one mandated with the enforcement of CCA regulated agreement.
The reasons why a property owner in Surrey might seek to transfer the order to the High Court for enforcement include that:
The enforcement process is quicker in Surrey through the HCEO than the county court bailiffs
Delays in implementation by the Surrey county court bailiffs could cause the landlord to lose rental income
It prevents further anti-social behaviour or destruction of property in Surrey
The HCEO can both seize goods and enforce the possession order in Surrey when money is owed
8% interest rate, for arrears on the judgment debt will accrue from the time of the order transfer.
The tenant can oppose an application to transfer enforcement in Surrey to the High Court because the costs of using a HCEO are greater than the Surrey county court bailiffs and the speed of eviction is fast in this case.
Some reasons the tenant may give include:
The landlord has not given any proof that a delay will be caused if a county court bailiff is used in Surrey
Court costs are expensive
S/he needs the extra time to find somewhere else to live in Crawley, Guildford, or Woking-Byfleet before an eviction is endorsed
The present tenant situation such as if they have children or owe rent will often be relevant factors that the Court in Surrey will take into account.
If the county court in Surrey grants the application of the landlord to transfer order, the landlord will have to get high court permission before a writ of possession is served except in:
Also, permission is not required for issuing a possession writ following a possession order infringement, including a possession order that is suspended, where the infringement involves non-payment of money in Surrey.
When permission is sought in the High Court to enforce a possession order (i.e. except in actions against trespassers and cases of mortgage repossession), the property owner in Guildford, Crawley, or Woking-Byfleet is to give notice of the application to 'every person in actual possession' of the property.
The High Court won't grant the permission without proof that every tenant in Surrey is notified of the notice.
There can be many forms of giving a notice as no particular requirement is mentioned in Surrey.
The satisfactory notice will vary according to the case facts.
In another scenario, if in case only a sole tenant in Surrey 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 satisfactory notice is not provided by the landlord or he provides the court with insufficient information about the pending appeals or applications against hearings of possession, then the warrant of possession will get invalid even after execution in Surrey.
Some HCEOs in Surrey had tried skipping the right procedure by applying directly to the High Court to take over the matter under section 41 of the County Court Act 1984, or by applying form N293A clumsily such against tenants rather than trespassers.
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.
Like we said earlier, Enforcement of a possession order in Surrey is quicker through HCEOs than the county court bailiffs.
A writ of possession can be executed by an HCEO a couple of days after the landlord's possession notice or issue of a possession of writ has expired or the possession writ is issued in Guildford, Woking-Byfleet, or Crawley.
The HCEO is not obligated to inform the tenant prior to their visit in Surrey on when the writ of possession would be executed, usually they deliver the writ and visit the property again the next day or 2 days after.
However, the HCEO needs to give a seven days' notice to the tenant where they need to seize goods and money while recovering possession of the property in Surrey.
The High Court in Surrey has the right to keep or set aside a letter of possession or control.
The applicants can use the Form N244 to submit an application in the High Court.
In case the stay or set aside is obtained, it's important where applicable, that the Surrey tenant notifies the HCEO of the situation since the high court might have not notified the HCEO.
Any other application, such as setting aside the original possession order, must be placed to the county court in Surrey.
HCEOs are known as commercial agencies powered by the High Court in Surrey.
If you need to check the names of enforcement officers in England and Wales, there is a Directory of High Court Enforcement Officers who have been authorized to execute High Court writs.
HCEOs are guided by a code of practice.
A writ of possession cannot be enforced on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Sundays in Surrey unless the court says so.
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 Surrey.
The regulations stipulate that:
Go inside the Surrey residential premises earlier than 6 am or past 9 pm unless the court orders that
Enter a premise in Surrey if the only person inside is someone under the age of 16
Taking basic household stuff for instance refrigerator, cooker or washing machine
Based in Surrey, working nationwide
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