Landlords are under considerable financial pressure as a result of their investment, including the most recent changes in the treatment of income from rental income.
When a tenant defaults in paying the rent, this can lead to further financial headaches for a landlord. There is the potential of no income for several months until a possession order is obtained in respect of the property. Even at this stage the court may accept that your tenant can pay by installments and instead of making a full order for possession, grant an order suspended on terms. If your tenant pays, then the situation is resolved. However, what if the tenant fails to pay?
Until last year, the practice was that you could then issue a warrant of possession. However as a result of the case of Cardiff County Council v Lee, there is now one further hurdle for a landlord to meet before a warrant can be issued. Permission of the court is needed, and the court will need to be satisfied that the Order has been breached.
How Is This Permission Obtained?
It is possible that in the case of rent arrears, a simple application attached to the warrant application “N325” may be sufficient together with a covering letter indicating the need for permission. However some courts are asking for a full application on a N244 form, submitted with evidence and a court fee to the sum of £255.00 (at time of writing). If the court is to accept it as a “without notice” application, then this would be £100.00. But it is difficult to see how a “without notice” application satisfies the comments of the Court of Appeal that this is an important procedural step in the proceedings. Whichever step is taken, it is yet a further hurdle and further costs for the landlord to pay.
What is the implication for the landlord if he or she fails to obtain permission? The landlord could be liable for a costs order against him or her. Further, if an eviction has taken place, then the court could potentially undo the eviction and award damages to the tenant.
It is important therefore to follow this procedural step. We at LFL can assist with your queries in relation to these applications and ensure the return of your property to you as soon as possible