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Property Hawk

FILLING OUT A N5B FORM

A new N5B form was issued by the courts for claims under the Section 21 accelerated possession procedure in August 2011.  The new N5B form most legal experts agree is more streamlined and more precise in the type of information asked for.  Accelerated possession  does not necessary mean the process if fast, read our Timetable of Section 21 Process of Possession. Though a court hearing is not normally necessary there is nothing about the law that moves quickly!

Can I fill out the N5B for possession of property?

It is possible to get a company to fill out your N5B.  They cost anything upwards from £300.  If you are lucky enough to rent out a property in Mayfair, this could easily be a couple of thousand quid.  Here’s a quick guide to filling out the form and potentially saving you a few hundred quid into the bargain.  If you do get stuck feel free to ask a question in our landlord legal forum.

Firstly, what is a N5B form?

An N5B is the form required if landlords are making a claim for possession of their property (accelerated procedure) (assured shorthold tenancy) in the County Court.  It’s the form needed following the use of a Section 21 Notice and is for non fault based possession. We provide a free Section 21 Notice.

Where do I get a N5B from?

The N5B form is available to download from the HM Courts & Tribunal Service.  The form itself comes in a downloadable PDF format.  If you are sending the papers by post don’t forget to send them recorded delivery and address them to the Court Manager of the court your are applying to.  The Court you need to apply to is the one nearest your buy-to-let property, not your home address.

What are the court costs of N5B possession?

The court fee is £280, payable to HMCTS.

How many copies of N5B will I need?

You will need a minimum of 3 sets of the N5B: one for the Court, one for the Court to send to the tenant and one that is returned to you.  If you have more tenants then you will need an additional N5B for each of the additional tenants.  It’s always advisable when preparing the forms to do a spare copy.  Therefore, I’d suggest a minimum of 4.

Now, the question arises on how you create your 4 copies. There are various options.  You could hand write all 4 copies of your N5B - not advisable unless you want severe wrist cramp.  The other option is to print off the PDF and then fill it in by hand and then photo copy.  It is also possible to fill the PDF online and then print it 4 times.  All are acceptable with the Courts but I would advise doing the latter because it’s the quickest and clearest.  If you write each one out, use black ink.  Just to let you know if you are thinking of being clever and saving the filled out N5B for your records.  Think again.  The Court Service in their wisdom has put a lock on the PDF so you can’t save the filled out version to reprint later (be warned).

The N5B form itself is not a monster of a form.  It has 4 pages that need filling in by the landlord.  There is a single back page that gives notes to the defendant (the tenant).  Remember, the form will go before the Judge.  Judges are trained at pinpointing legal inaccuracies and will show no mercy.  Get something even slightly wrong and it will be slung out immediately and sent back to you, often without explanation, for you then to work out which bit you have not got right.  Filling out the form is all about the detail.

As well as the form you will need an equal number of the following documents: the tenancy agreement (marked A1), the notice seeking possession (marked B), the proof of service (marked B1).
The government in their wisdom seem to have dispensed of the guidance notes that used to accompany the form.  If you have any questions about filling out your N5B please visit our Landlords Legal Forum and ask a question there.

Filling out page 1 of the N5B

Firstly, you’d think that filling in the claimant (landlords) and the Defendant (s) details would be straightforward. Not so.  I was told by the court clerk that just putting a name for the landlord and tenant is no longer sufficient.  You have to put in reference to their gender ie MR or MISS / MS.  There’s your first potential stumbling block over.


The front page now consists of the basic details of the claim.  The claimant details are obviously your details as the landlord, the defendant is the tenant and the possession details relate to your buy-to-let. 

There is an additional box at the bottom for the defendants name and address.  This will be your buy-to-let address unless you know that your tenant is no longer residing full time in your property.
The court fee payable is £280.  When entering the solicitor’s costs you will have to decide whether you will ask the court for the defendant to pay them.  This is straightforward if you have a solicitor or are paying somebody else to do the work.  You just put in the amount you are being charged.  The situation is more difficult if you are undertaking the work yourself.  There is a convention that you can charge your time out at a third of the rate that a trained solicitor would charge.  However, there are issues that a novice landlord will take far longer to prepare the work than an experienced solicitor.  There is a danger that the judge throws out the case if they perceive that your costs are unreasonable.  That is the gamble as even judges are not always totally consistent in their interpretation of the law.

Filling Out Page 2 of Your N5B

Pages 2 and 3 of the N5B are seeking information on your rental property, the tenancy and whether notice has been given and the tenant's rental deposit adequately protected under a Tenacy Deposit Scheme.

1. A landlord should just add in the details of their buy-to-let that they are seeking possession of.  In answer to whether the claim for possession relates to a demotion order, private landlords need to answer NO (it only relates to Local Authorites or Housing Trusts under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003)

2. Question 2 is all about the tenancy.  When it was created.  This part highlights the benefits of having a written tenancy agreement even when legally one is not technically required.

3. The third question is testing when the assured shorthold tenancy was created.  If it was made after the 28th February 1997 there was no longer any requirement to serve notice that the tenancy remained an assured shorthold tenancy after the expiry of the fixed term.  Most assured shorthold tenancies will fall into this category making the second part of the question after (or) not relevant.

4.  Question 4 is to clarify that both the property that is being let and the landlord is the same as was the case at the start of the tenancy.

5. At the top of page three you need to give details about how notice of possession was given using the correct Section 21 Notice.You need to provide the date that possession was required and also the date that the notice expired on.  Remember you will need to get your dates right.  If you are not sure please place double check in the landlord forum.

6. Question 6 relates to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).  Have a look here to see if your rental property requires a landlord licence.

7.  Question 7 is a relatively recent addition resulting from the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.  You will need to add your reference number which ever is applicable under one of the approved schemes.  Make sure that you have legally protected your deposit, otherwise the accelerated form of possession using a Section 21 Notice will not be available to you.

8.  Question 8 refers to the discretion that the judge has to delay possession of the property and rather give the tenant 14 days, give them up to 42 days to vacate the property on the grounds that it would give the tenant exceptional hardship.  To say no would appear a no brainer if you want to get possession as quickly as possible.  However, this could be a trick question.  Firstly, if the court timetable is full it may be that the hearing date means that the hearing comes outside of the longest extension the tenant would have been granted even if the judge was feeling generous.  The other thing that one landlord pointed out if you do request a hearing and the tenant turns up on crutches and in tears.  Who do you think is going to win.  Added to this you may have given up a days work to attend the hearing.  The landlord is likely to feel they have lost hands down on every count.

9.   The final question is just a recap.  Make sure that you tick at least the first box requiring that the tenants (defendant(s) need to deliver up the property.  You will have to make a decision as to whether to get the costs of the claim.  Most landlords will opt to do this.

The final page is to ensure that the information is correct.  Make sure that the information you have given is accurate otherwise proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against you.  Remember to sign and date the statement of truth and fill in the details of your solicitor if you are using one.  Usefully, the certificate of service is now included in the N5B form. 

Good luck!  If you need additional information on filling out the N5B form please post your questions to our free landlord legal forum.

Is it possible to get accelerated possession by evicting my tenants online?

A new online form which takes the place of the N5B form now allows landlords to go through the process of preparing the necessary paper work to evict their tenant.  There are several advantages to using the new government online form for accelerated possession:

1. A landlord will only have to fill out the new form once and then print it out.  It's a great bonus to landlords without great handwriting.
2. The new online accelerated possession form is slightly simpler to use and fill in.

However, before landlords get too excited the form still has to be printed out and then submitted by post to the relevant court.  This means at least 3 copies of the new form along with the same number of copies of the tenancy agreement and the proof of service.

The conclusion is the form might be slightly quicker to fill out but there is still an awful lot of administration for a landlord to complete to lodge their legal claim for accelerated possession.  A small step forward but well short of an end to end online solution.

 

Comments (20)

Rent
6 monthly shorthold tenancy agreement has ended. I have served section 21 notice ( after 2 months). Have now taken form N5b to county court. Should we ask them to still pay monthly rent whilst this process is going through court?many thanks
#1 - Rita - 11/26/2014 - 09:19
N5B
I need help for Q3 of N5b form
my question is Both(First) i only have 1 tenncy agreement shaould cross the firs?

Q4 I only have 1 tenancy agreement Is my answer will N/A?

Q5 the notice was served by hand by myelf what should I do here do i need to write stament of delivery

Q7 no nomey for deposit taken but the counil qurantee the depoist. What shoul be my answer?
#2 - bolly akere - 12/09/2014 - 14:05
Nb5
We served tenants notice by recorded delivery but cannot find the receipt now. Can we still submit this form without this evidence?
#3 - Karen - 02/27/2015 - 06:51
Nb5
We served tenants notice by recorded delivery but cannot find the receipt now. Can we still submit this form without this evidence?
#4 - Karen - 02/27/2015 - 06:53
Nb5
We served tenants notice by recorded delivery but cannot find the receipt now. Can we still submit this form without this evidence?
#5 - Karen - 02/27/2015 - 13:15
deposit
a deposit was taken for the property & not put into the Dps we then returned the deposit to the tenant a short time before serving section 21 so no deposit is now held by us what to we write on N5B regarding deposit ?????
#6 - alan - 03/24/2015 - 11:39
N5B Form
Do I include children (aged 13)on page 1 as well as the parents?
#7 - Yvonne - 08/26/2015 - 09:56
N5B
Page two the premises a dwelling house or part of a dwelling. The property is house divided into two flats. servicing an N5B to both. What do i tick
#8 - kingsway associates - 09/29/2015 - 12:14
Deposit returned to tenant
Hi, very briefly, an agent let our property and basically ran off with the deposit and a couple of months rent. Therefore the deposit has never been protected. We wanted to issue a section 21 notice but were advised by several different people to return the deposit to the tenant which we did a month or so before issuing the section 21 notice. I have been trying to fill out the accelerated possession of property form but question 7 does not have a tick box for deposit returned to tenant. What do I need to do? I am stuck and am getting more confused, the more I read different forums. Please help me! Thankyou
#9 - Angela Kunjiraman - 11/11/2015 - 23:15
Claiming N5B fee after possession
How do I go about claiming the £280 fee back from the tenant for the N5B, after the tenant has responded to the court granted 'Order for Possession' by vacating?

I'm sure it's a simple process but I can't seem to find the answer...
#10 - Colin - 11/12/2015 - 12:27
N5B
there are 2 tenants on the tenancy agreement do i have to send each of them N5B form
#11 - Helen - 12/10/2015 - 14:22
N5B
Question 2 Brand New written tenancy agreement from 15/7/15 for 6 months even though Tenant had been at the flat from 15/12/12 via a letting agent so can I use 15/7/15 as Document A, ignore Document A1 and answer N/A to question 4? The 15/12/12 Agreement provided for a deposit which was subsequently returned whereas new 15/7/15 Agreement has a nil deposit.
Question 5 "It was served by:... what does this mean? I sent it first class post and received a text from the tenant that she'd "received the letter" Is this proof marked C1?
#12 - Michael O'Sullivan - 12/10/2015 - 14:35
Section 8 eviction for illegal activity
We have a tenant that moved in in November and within 2 weeks he was using illegal drugs in the house and taking other tenants food and drink and not contributing to the gas and electricty. It is a shared house.
We issued the Section 8 notice and the 14 days ran out on 20th December. He refused to move out on this day saying he was getting a flat but it would not be ready until 11th January. He then said he would pay the rent weekly because he did not know how long he would be staying. he told us he would put it in our account. He has not and now says we can take it from his deposit.
Other tenants have indicated that he has no intention of moving out on the 11th.
What is the next steps we need to take? is the online court form the right form to use for this case?

Thank you in advance for your reply
#13 - Angela Smith - 01/04/2016 - 18:08
Returned NB5 form
We had a returned NB5 form as the form did not state the position or office held by the signatory.
Can i complete this line and resend the same forms or do we need to complete brand new forms. Thanks
#14 - Kavita - 01/29/2016 - 10:42
Deposit question 9
I did not protect my deposit at the time of the short hold tenancy (12 months) March 2011, it was held in cash until September 2015 when I got the tenant to accept it back, I have a receipt whitnessed by my agent. For question 7 on the N5B I answered no to the following 'was a money deposit received on or after 6th of April 2007' 'did the claimant receive a deposit in the form of property on or after 6th of April'

the tenancy agreement also shows states 'a deposit of £875 is payable on signing this agreement (cannot be used as rent/will be returned on satisfactory inspection of property at end of term.

What are my options can I send this in a hope the judge grants possession? Or do you think this will invalidate my claim? Not sure how to evict her as she is co-operating, she just wants to be housed as she cannot afford rent elsewhere. She has always paid rent and is not in arrears. Your help would be appreciated as I honestly believe that there is no way out.

Also the section 21(4)(a) expired on the 30th of December, is this still valid when I send it with the N5B or does the section 21 have an expiry expiry date so to speak.

Thanks in advance.
#15 - Shan - 02/09/2016 - 22:35
Landlord change
The tenant I have a problem with started her tenancy in June 2011 with my daughter as Landlord.

October 2013 I purchased it from my daughter and notified the tenant as required.

How do I answer the question 4 about landlords.

Also the property is a studio flat in a block of similar flats - only dwelling houses is optioned
#16 - Andrew - 03/29/2016 - 16:16
Accelerated Possession Fee £355 not £280
Accelerated Possession Fee went up to £355 from £280 in Aug 2016
#17 - Derek - 09/17/2016 - 16:48
Deposit not protected
I did not protect my deposit taken from tenant, I am in the process of filling in NB5 form, can I use this form? also I only have 1 tenancy agreement, please advise on what I should do.

Thanks
#18 - Ms Marcia johson - 10/20/2016 - 02:50
Deposit has been taken out of the secured deposit scheme now held in the agents account, can I still use form N5B
Deposit has been taken out of the secured deposit scheme and is now held at the agents account can I still use the N5B form.
#19 - Miss neneh john - 11/25/2016 - 06:55
Section 21 service
Hi I am have served a sec 21 notice, by email. whatsapp and posting same with proof of postage. I know that the tenant has read the whatsapp message and has referred to sec 21 in her response to me. My question is my service valid or do I need to serve a registered post, or get someone to personally hand this to tenent. Thanks
#20 - jay Gohil - 11/25/2016 - 18:22
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