Having the county court issue a warrant of possession is an alternative to enforcing a possession order and the landlord in Tower Hamlets needs to apply to transfer the order to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
HCEOs are often referred to as enforcement officers, licensed bailiffs or sheriffs in Tower Hamlets.
Often, a possession order is enforced in Whitechapel, Isle of Dogs, or Canary Wharf in a high court under two conditions:
If the possession hearing was conducted within high court in Greater London as this however, is very rare as the possession order application by the landlord in Tower Hamlets moves automatically to the county court until obstructed by extraordinary circumstances such as complex disputes.
If the Tower Hamlets 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.
It is the county court judge that will determine if to transfer the enforcement in Isle of Dogs, Whitechapel, or Canary Wharf to the High Court or not.
In the course of hearings in county court for possession, the appeal can be made by the landlord in Tower Hamlets to move the order of possession for enforcement in high court.
If the Tower Hamlets landlord wishes to transfer the proceedings to the High Court after the possession order has been made, then they will be required to fill out an application to the county court to do so.
You cannot make an application when there is an outstanding appeal from the tenant in Tower Hamlets, like an application to close the possession order.
However, in order to recover the pending rents a writ of control can be filed by the landlord in Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, or Isle of Dogs, and this can be done if court costs and rent arrears exceed £600.
A writ of control allows the landlord in Tower Hamlets to seize and sell the tenants goods which is also known as a writ of Fieri facias or writ of fi fa.
If the debt is controlled by the (CCA) 1974 Consumer Credit Act, it cannot be transferred for enforcement to the High Court, as CCA regulated agreement can be enforced in the county court in Greater London.
There are various grounds for a land owner in Tower Hamlets to apply for the order transfer for implementation in high court, such as:
The enforcement in Tower Hamlets is normally faster via the HCEOs compared to county court bailiffs
Further loss of rental incomes because of the delayed enforcements via the county court bailiffs in Greater London
Avoiding any further damage to the assets or antisocial behaviour in Tower Hamlets
The HCEO is enabled to enforce the possession order and grab hold of goods of tenants in Tower Hamlets if the money is owed
The interest accrued on debt judgement for unpaid cash currently at 8%, will increase starting from the time of order transfer.
Since the level of eviction is quicker in Tower Hamlets but the expense of using a HCEO is greater than the county court bailiffs in Greater London, a plaintiff may want to respond to a proposal to shift compliance to the High Court.
These reasons include:
No evidence from the landlord that there will be a significant delay using the county court bailiffs in Tower Hamlets
The involved cost are unbalanced
The tenants need extra time to get an alternative housing arrangement in Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, or Whitechapel
Exceptional circumstances like when a tenant has children or owes a substantial amount of debt are usually important factors which would be considered by the court in Tower Hamlets.
In case the landlord's application to transfer is accepted, by the Greater London county court, then the landlord needs to get high Court's consent before the assurance of the writ of possession unless if:
Similarly, you can continue with a breach of possession order without having to worry about the writ of possession and this also applies to the suspended possession order in Tower Hamlets.
When the High Court sought out permission to enforce a possession order (except in actions against trespassers and mortgage repossession cases), the landlord in Isle of Dogs, Whitechapel, or Canary Wharf must give notice application to 'every person in actual possession' of the property.
The high court will not give permission unless every Tower Hamlets tenant is provided with the notice and the court considers it enough.
The notice does not require any particular form in Greater London.
The time period of the notice will be determined on the cases facts.
If there is just one tenant in the Tower Hamlets property, who is already aware of the case being transferred, then a simple reminder by the landlord of the guidelines from the court order and a demand that the property is to be given up is more than enough.
If a landlord fails to give sufficient notice or failure in providing important facts to the court about the pending appeals or application against the proceedings can lead it to the delay in the possession writ, even after the implementation in Tower Hamlets.
Some HCEOs in Greater London apply directly to the High Court to take over the matter in the struggle of circumventing the correct procedure. It can be carried out under section 41 of the County Court Act 1984.
In order to curb these kinds of misconducts, practice notes were provided by High Court Senior Master on the 21st of March 2016.
Compared to using county bailiffs, enforcing a possession order in Tower Hamlets by HCEOs is faster.
The HCEO can execute the writ of possession right after a few days of expiry of the notice of the landlord's application for permission to the High court, or when the writ of possession is issued in Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, or Whitechapel.
There is no requirement for a HCEO to notify tenants in Tower Hamlets 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 reclaim assets and resources (such as rent arrears to costs) and regain ownership of the property in Tower Hamlets, a seven-day notice must be issued to the tenant / creditor.
The Greater London High Court reserves the right to stay or set aside a writ of control or a writ of possession.
All applications to the High Court must be made on form N244.
If the staying or setting aside is acquired, it is vital where necessary, that the Tower Hamlets leaseholder informs the HCEO regarding the condition as high court may not have informed the HCEO.
Any other motion, such as setting aside the original order of ownership, must be sent to the county court in Greater London.
The role of commercial agencies is assigned to HCEOs in Tower Hamlets and authorised by the High Court, not the Court employees.
The High Court Enforcement Officers Directory contains the enforcement officers names in the United Kingdom who have been mandated to administer High Court Writs.
HCEOs commit to a code of practice.
A possession order may not be imposed during Christmas, Sundays or Good Friday in Tower Hamlets unless court affirms.
Regulations govern the action of HCEOs and all other bailiffs in Tower Hamlets while seizing goods with the effect from 6 April 2014.
Under these regulations, the HCEO is restricted from:
Enter residential property in Greater London after 9 pm or before 6 am unless stated by the court
Entering a property in Tower Hamlets with an under 16 person the only person in the property
Take important household items like a fridge, washing machine, or cooker
Based in Tower Hamlets, working nationwide
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