A faster tenant eviction option for private landlords
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.
Private landlords may be justified in feeling pressured from all sides – losing buy-to-let mortgage tax relief, the additional 3% stamp duty, licensing fees being introduced by many local authorities, not to mention the lengthy delays surrounding the eviction of tenants.
The principal reason why tenants are evicted is non-payment of rent, yet another financial burden for landlords, particularly as recent figures by the Ministry of Justice showed that it is taking, on average, 45 weeks from the start of a possession claim to eviction by county court bailiffs.
Rather than waiting weeks, maybe months in some areas, private landlords are increasingly looking for alternatives, with High Court enforcement being a very popular option.
Reasons to use an HCEO
High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) can act quickly to complete the eviction and they can also look to recover rent arrears at the same time (provided this is added to the possession order).
At High Court Enforcement Group, we undertake a great many evictions every week, from a single residential property up to large scale protester evictions. As a result, we have expertise, robust processes and our team is highly efficient and has a 100% success rate.
How to use an HCEO
The county court will issue the order for possession and this needs to be transferred up to the High Court for enforcement. Leave is required from the court to do this, which is applied for under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984.
The best time to apply for leave to transfer up is as the time of making the initial claim. However, it is possible to request leave after the possession order has been awarded. We help clients with the appropriate working to use on the application.
We will manage the process of transfer up and, once leave has been granted, the writ of possession will be awarded and we will prepare for and execute the eviction.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice announced a new formal process and forms relating to the application for leave and the transfer up to the High Court. The rationale for doing this was to ensure that all parties were following the same approved procedure, so that county court judges who may not have been familiar with section 42 could be reassured that correct procedures had been followed.
If you would like any more information, either on the transfer up procedure or about evictions generally, please do get in touch.