With the ever increasing workload of County Court Bailiffs, many landlords are finding long delays in getting residential property possession orders enforced. Given all the commercial disadvantages that delay brings, landlords are looking for alternative enforcement options.
New streamlined procedures that make it easier for landlords to use a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to evict residential tenants came into force on 23rd August 2020.
I have covered in a previous article how a landlord can use Section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 to request that the possession order be transferred up to the High Court by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO).
Possession order with money judgment
However, there is also an alternative route that is proving successful in persuading a judge to permit the transfer of the order to the High Court for enforcement.
If there are rent arrears on the property - quite likely to be the reason for the repossession in the first place - you can ask the judge to add a money judgment to the possession order. This is done at the point of initial application for the possession order.
When there is a possession order with a money judgment attached, you can use an HCEO to enforce the money judgment via a writ of control (previously known as a writ of fieri facias or fi fa).
The possession order element would normally be enforced by a court bailiff.
However, at the point of application for the order, you can tell the court that you will be instructing an HCEO to collect the money via a writ of fi fa and, so as not to have to instruct two separate enforcement agencies, you request that the HCEO also does the possession.
Whilst this is still no guarantee that the judge will grant this, we are finding that many judges are seeing the logic of this argument and granting permission.