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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 (33)

N5b
I want to file a N5B online is that possable or must it be posted?
#1 - Matt - 09/20/2012 - 19:07
N5B form
Do I have to send a copy of the court form to my tenant or does the court do this?

I am a private landlord and I was going to charge £50 for my time and costs would this be looked at as being reasonable?

Do I need to complete section 3 as the tenacy was issued on 15th August 2012?

I haven't issued a new tenancy since the first six month AST was issued on 20th June 2010 - do I just complete question 4 and not applicable?

I served the section 21 notice at the property by hand. My husband drove me to the house, so I don't have a proof of service to include, will this make any difference?

I am a joint landlord with my husband for this property, do we both need to sign the form?

Thanks for your help
#2 - Sandra Sims - 10/21/2012 - 20:39
Certifricate of service on N5B form
I filed a form N5B a while ago, and it was struck out by the court. Reason given was "Claimant should fill up Certificate of Service" on the claim form. Is this correct, I read on other forums that this is filled in by the court staff on the day the papers are served on the tenants. Please advise so I get it right the second time at least (a lot of money wasted already!)
#3 - Karan - 04/03/2013 - 19:50
Possession
The court has served the n5b but my tenants appear to have moved out before the 14 days are up. Can I now take possession of my property or do I still need a possession order?
#4 - Sally - 04/16/2013 - 08:58
Form N5B
On the for the parts that are not relevant is it okay to 'cross through' the section or would I need to write N/A?

Thanks
#5 - abu sufian - 05/13/2013 - 15:25
n5b form, Question: 4
what would be my answer for this question, as this is my only property I own and I have one tenancy agreement, which I edit in my laptop (new tenant details)before print and get them signed. I have been living in my ground floor flat since I have decided to rent the 1st floor out since 2005 and this tenant living in 1st floor flat from April 2012. until now. -->

4. Whenever a new tenancy agreement has replaced the first tenancy agreement or has replaced a replacement
tenancy agreement,
a) has it been of the same, or substantially the same, premises?--Yes No N/A
b) was the landlord and tenant the same people at the start of the replacemen
tenancy as the landlord and tenant at the end of the tenancy which it replaced?--Yes No N/A

Also Q:3. d) do I have to attach the possession notice section-21 and proof of serving to the tenant (Shall I just mark on top both document as B and B1 respectively by a marker pen? )

Thanks for your time.
#6 - Imu - 05/31/2013 - 12:12
N5B
Can my letting agent complete my form N5B form on my behalf. If so what cost could I expect them to charge
many thanks

Arthur
#7 - arthur - 06/13/2013 - 14:30
N5B
I need advise regarding quetion 2 on form N5B
the tenancy was signed on 26/03/2012 to commence on 1/04/2012
which date needs to go in the box?
#8 - Arun - 06/14/2013 - 12:00
N5B
I need advise regarding quetion 2 on form N5B
the tenancy was signed on 26/03/2012 to commence on 1/04/2012
which date needs to go in the box?
#9 - Arun - 06/14/2013 - 12:01
N5b form q3
Great site! thanks for all the advice. The first tenancy was signed on the 08/09/2006 & the second on the 08/03/07 and ran for 6 months. These were the only tenancies, so now it's just a rolling agreement. Can I use the nb5 form or is there something else? If I can use it should it be the first or second part of question 3? And should I have sent a notice stating that the tenancy was to be an assured short hold tenancy even though the contract states this?
#10 - Charlotte - 06/17/2013 - 23:21
N5b form
Should the cheque be made out to hmcts or do I write it out in full?
Also do I need to fill out the certificate of service? If so with what?
#11 - Charlotte - 06/18/2013 - 00:18
Surely the letters are wrong here? Shouldn't it be c for the section 21 and c1 for proof of service? Not b and b1 as stated close to the top?
#12 - Charlotte - 06/18/2013 - 00:31
NB5
Do I now have to seve the tenant's copy myself so the court gets 2?

The periodic tenancy finishes on Sat 27th July. Is it ok to drop off at court and to the tenant on Monday 29th July
#13 - Angela Napolitano - 07/26/2013 - 12:13
N5b
If I enter 2 landlords (myself and wife)
do both HAVE to sign the N5b?
#14 - ChrisH - 07/29/2013 - 16:49
N5b
I don't have a tenancy agreement with my tenant, I just had a temporary agreement with them (verbal)to stay at my place. Do I attached a note to the N5bform explaining this?
#15 - TEMITAYO IZIEGBE - 08/15/2013 - 22:32
N5B Form Q4, Q5 & Q7
Q4 There was only one tenancy agreement drawn up in 2011 (an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. It is the same premises and i am the same landlord but do I still have to tick the N/A box because this question replacing an exisiting tenancy agreement?

Q5 Is the date I served the section 21 the actual date my tenant received it in her hand by 1st class recorded delivery? (I have electronic proof that she received it)

Q7 Is my TDS reference number my landlord ID number?
Q7 If my tenants deposit wasnt protected within 30 days of receiving it but it was protected before I served my tenant with section 21 notice, am I still able to proceed with accelerated possession of the property?
#16 - Anne C - 08/18/2013 - 18:52
ADVICE
FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE ON THIS TOPIC AND OTHERS PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE FORUM & WE CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS THERE.
#17 - chris - 09/25/2013 - 17:18
N5B
Could you clarify as what date is meant in question 5 as to expiry date of notice 21. Tenancy started 25th feb. Notice 21 served 3rd June for possession after 24th Aug.
Many thank,
Barbara
#18 - BarbaraReid - 10/05/2013 - 15:48
N5b
I need advise regarding quetion 2 on form N5B
the tenancy was signed on 26/03/2012 to commence on 1/04/2012
which date needs to go in the box?
#19 - Shaf - 10/07/2013 - 13:44
N5b
I need advise regarding quetion 2 on form N5B
the tenancy was signed on 26/03/2012 to commence on 1/04/2012
which date needs to go in the box?
#20 - Shaf - 10/07/2013 - 13:51
N5b
I need advise regarding quetion 2 on form N5B
the tenancy was signed on 26/03/2012 to commence on 1/04/2012
which date needs to go in the box?
#21 - Shaf - 10/07/2013 - 14:08
Changed requirements for filling in the N5B form?
Due to the recent court case of Superstrike vs Rodrigues which has created some very interesting problems does it have any effect on how you fill in the N5B form i.e. q7 Was a money deposit receieved after 6th April 1997.
As the law lords have ruled that each year a tenancy is renewed even if it is periodic and you have to send out the precribed deposit info again, does this mean that q7 should be answered Yes even if the tenancy started before then?
#22 - Don - 10/09/2013 - 10:30
form NB5
Who completes the certificate of Service on N5B? it looks like it is for the court official to sign on the day papers are served but someone on here has stated that their application was struck out because the claimant had not completed it.
#23 - mark rigby - 11/08/2013 - 13:04
Eviction
What tenant breach is most likely to get them evicted by a judge,my tenants have breached many ,except fail to pay rent as they tell me that they know the system like the back of their hand
#24 - Amanda bickett - 11/11/2013 - 03:08
HELP!
Hi I am currently filling out the new N5B form accelerated procedure. I am in need of some assistance and would like to kindly ask if you can help me with the following questions:

1. My Father and I are a small managing agent for an overseas Landlord who has a property under his Company name, 'A'. My Father is also an appointed representative for this Landlord and his Company, 'A' in the UK; as such, can he sign all forms i.e. N5B form and etc on the Landlord's Company's behalf as my Father is the signatory for the Tenancy Agreements? The managing agency business is under my fathers name.

2. Should my father get a written notice for the court that he is representing the Landlord on his behalf?

3. Can we, as the agent, sign and serve section 21 A and N5B forms?

4. On the previous N5B form, answers which were not needed were to be striked out by putting a line through them. With the new form, is it sufficient just to tick the 'No' box or must I also delete/strike out according to old form?

5. The previous N5B form had 'Section 10' for additional information. The new N5B form does not contain this, do I still add any relevant information on an additional piece of paper with the form? If yes, how do I do this? I need to inform the court that a deposit was not taken for this property and add information explaining where that is written on the tenancy agreement.

6. The Certificate of service needs to be filled out, what is the correct information to fill in to the boxes, could you show me an example?

I would greatly appreciate your help and would like to thank you in advance.
#25 - Az - 12/04/2013 - 20:47
Q2
Hi,

I became a landlord and i had tenants on board when I have completed the purchase. They had signed AST with the previous landlord, but in Q2 is asking the date when claimant entered into written tenancy agreement with defendants.
Technically that didn’t happened as the tenants was going to vacate the property at the end of the AST in 2 months time, but they are not willing to leave by themselves. The reason is because if they leave the council will not give them social house.
I believe I need to put the date that AST was signed between previous landlord and tenants, even I wasn’t at the time the landlord.
PLEASE advice.
I have also served them the notice of changing of ownership. Do I need to attached it and where?
In Q7 about the deposit: I have returned the deposit prior to section 21 in full. Shall I tick YES on b) of the Q7.
Also how do I delete something - horizontal line or tilted vertical line?
On the last page says BY POSTING IT TO THE DEFENDANTS ON - which date shall I put. Is it the date I am sending the form to the court or?

Many thanks in advance
#26 - f.k. - 05/13/2014 - 23:42
accelerated possession
Hi, I would like help in answering question 7 re: money deposit, the tenant did not pay a deposit, but it was a bond by the council and do not know if that is regarded as a deposit and how do I get a the tenancy deposit scheme (TDS)reference number
#27 - Tom - 06/04/2014 - 09:54
N6b address details
hi, quick query, I have an estate agents that manage my property, they will charge me a fee to fill out the n5b form. So I have decided to complete it myself. I just wanted to know when filling out the address under claimant do I put my agents address as this is the address on the contract and deposit scheme or do I put my personal address?, thanks in advance!
#28 - L - 07/31/2014 - 13:14
n5b
How to fill in the certificate of service boxes at the end of the form?
#29 - Simon Pollock - 08/07/2014 - 17:11
n5b
how do i fill out the certicate of service? also what is the notice seeking possession marked b and the proof of service marked b1?
#30 - eoin - 08/10/2014 - 13:17
N5b
Lots of questions on here but where are the answers??

John
#31 - John Clegg - 09/23/2014 - 16:41
Required to file an amended claim to correct date of service
The judge has requested that an amended claim form is filed to correct the date of service of Section 21. No. 5 on form N5B
#32 - CMG - 09/29/2014 - 14:47
N5b
Do I have to fill out Certificate of Service on the form? Also after expiring the tenancy on 30th Sept (sec 21 served to leave the prperty on 30th Sept), how long I should take to apply N5b form to courts?
Thanks
#33 - Char - 10/13/2014 - 13:32
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