Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time taken to get possession of a property through the courts – an example

One of my clients has a non paying tenant living in a property in the jurisdiction of the Luton County Court. Proceedings were issued on 19 March and an order for possession was obtained on mandatory grounds on 11 May, when the tenant was ordered to vacate on or before 25 May. She did not do so and I was instructed to apply for a bailiffs appointment. The papers were sent out on 29 May.

Today my client asked me to find out what was happening. It took some time before the bailiffs clerk answered the telephone. She informed me that all warrants are now issued in Basildon, so are sent there on receipt at Luton. Our warrant had been issued yesterday, on 10 June. When they get a batch back at Luton they will then fix the bailiffs appointments. They are currently listing for about 8 July, so my client can expect (if he is lucky) an appointment within about two weeks of that date.

So my client having issued proceedings in mid March will not get possession of his property until mid to late July, four months later.

Landlords should be aware that this is the sort of time delay you can expect when issuing proceedings for possession. My client was lucky in that the court made a 14 day order rather than a six week order (which can happen – if it had happened in this case the tenant would have been ordered to leave on or before 22 June). They should also be aware that it can take up to two months for a bailiffs appointment to be fixed in some courts, so it really is important to get on with things, and not delay.

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1 comment:

Simon Parrott said...

Dear Tessa

This seems a ridiculous delay, and something I'm concernbed about since my local Court (Bedford) is in the same group as Luton.

I encountered a similar problem in Bedfrod County Court when starting to use the PCOL procedure. If I used the web site to issue warrants it took ages, but I now find that sending a request direct to Bedford after the possession date makes a lot of difference. However, perhap things are a-changing!

Don't forget that you can use the High court to issue a Writ of possession. I occasionally use this procedure and the last one i did resulted in my client getting possession back in 2 weeks, including the transfer process. It's more expensive (by about £250) but that might pale into insignificance if you factor in the void time

Kind regards