Absolute Order for Possession
An absolute order will be made where the landlord proves a mandatory ground (grounds 1-8) for possession
or in the case of an accelerated possession order the judge is satisfied that the section 21 notice is correct and has been served.
The tenant must vacate the property on the date specified. For example, for an assured shorthold tenancy, providing the landlord has served the necessary notices and it is 6 months after the original tenancy began, the court has no choice but to make an order for possession requiring the tenant to vacate 14 days after the date of the hearing.
The only discretion the court has is to postpone the date for up to 42 days if the tenant can prove exceptional hardship.
Suspended Order for Possession
These orders are often made in cases of rent arrears. If a landlord can only prove a discretionary ground 10. That is that the tenant was behind with the rent as a posed to 2 months behind as in the mandatory ground 8. The court may make an order for possession but suspend it if the tenant meets certain conditions. District judges are very sympathetic to tenants who experience problems due for example to failure of the local authority to pay housing benefit or where the tenant has short term financial difficulties.
In the case of rent arrears the tenant may agree to pay the rent plus a specified amount each week to pay off the arrears, in which case the court are likely to suspend the order for possession. If the tenant then defaults on these conditions, the landlord can then apply to the court for the order to be made absolute or for a warrant of possession to be issued. There is no requirement for the court to grant this and they may decide instead to suspend the order for possession. This lack of clarity and potential extended time period is why a landlord should always seek possession on a mandatory rather than a discretionary ground where this is possible.
In circumstances where a landlord is relying upon discretion rather than mandatory grounds for possession, a court may decide that the tenants conduct has not caused a serious breach of the tenancy agreement and not to grant an order for possession. They may simply adjourn the proceedings either indefinitely or to a later date, subject to certain terms or conditions.
In cases of rent arrears this may be an alternative to a suspended poA landlords guide to possession orders, counter-claim by the tenant, legal costs incurred in possession proceedings, adjournment and orders from landlord dismissed proceedings.ssession order. However, if the tenant defaults on the agreement, the landlord will have to re-apply to the court for a possession order. The court may either make a suspended or absolute possession order depending on the seriousness of the case and the tenant’s circumstances.
If the landlord fails in his claim for possession (e.g. he has not served the correct notices, they are incorrectly completed, or he has failed to supply documentation in support of his claim) the landlords proceedings may be dismissed. The tenant may then apply for an order for costs against the landlord.
Counter-claim by the tenant
If the tenant has counter claimed against the landlord (e.g. failure to repair the property or harassment) and succeeds an order for damages may be awarded against the landlord. Landlords should note that as from 26 April 1999 the limit of claims for housing disrepair has been reduced to £1000.
Legal costs incurred in possession proceedings
Responsibility for the legal costs incurred in possession proceedings is always a mater for the court’s discretion. If a possession order is made against the tenant, the tenant may be ordered to pay some or all of the landlord’s legal costs in bringing the proceedings. If the landlord fails and the tenant has incurred legal costs there may be an order for costs against the landlord. The successful party at the hearing will normally make an application for costs as appropriate.
FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY
FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY
RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS
INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY
WHAT PROPERTY TO BUY
BUYING OFF PLAN
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
MANAGING YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
DAMP, MOULD AND CONDENSATION
LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY
LEGISLATION ON LETTING PROPERTY
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS