Order for Possession and Warrant of Possession

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    Order for Possession and Warrant of Possession

    Hi all,

    Been a long time since I have been in this position and so really wanting to understand my route or exposure (or otherwise).

    Situation:
    - Joint tenancy commenced last year.
    - One tenant left after 3 months
    - Since that point no rent has been paid by either tenant (now in approx 5 months arrears).
    - N26 order and money order issued which expires shortly.

    My question is - under what circumstances do we need a warrant of possession, and under what circumstances would it be advisable? We are 100% positive that no tenant currently lives at the property in terms of sleeping there or other general "living". We are reasonably sure that the tenant has been to the property in the last week (our assumption is that this was to check for post or similar). We have had no return of keys, nor are we expecting them.

    Is the warrant solely due to the fact that clearly I cannot force ably remove someone from the property, or is there something more fundamental where accessing the property without a warrant could constitute unlawful eviction?

    Is there anything else I should be aware of in terms of relevant precautions to take etc?

    For context, the reason why I would like to avoid a warrant is solely to protect the fabric of the property (not because of wanting to avoid the costs, or even to an extent the delay) - if there is no one living in the property, especially over winter, I am concerned about (for example) lack of heating being on and other "standard" occupation activities.

    I can find a lot of information on the possession order side but almost nothing on what a warrant "means" (other than sending baliffs).
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

    #2
    Only bailiffs can end the tenancy and return possession to you legally.
    Any other way that you regain possession has possible issues.

    While illegal eviction is one of them, it's unlikely to be a serious problem.
    There's an obvious defence that you genuinely believe that no one is living there, and it's unlikely that the tenants could persuade the council to prosecute or try to bring a private prosecution.

    But it does leave a loose end, which might be an issue if you come to sell the property, because you are now required to declare any disputes relating to ownership.
    Again, the liklihood of an issue arising if you choose to be selective in your answer is remote, but you would be compelled to be untruthful.

    What risk to the fabric of the building are you concerned about?
    You can attend the eviction, give the bailiffs keys to enter and get the locks changed while you're there.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      In short my concern is twofold. First of all there are people accessing the property (or who have been accessing the property) who we don't know. Therefore I am keen to restrict access as soon as possible (even if its only to force the tenant out from wherever they are hiding to explicitly request a key).

      Secondly I'm concerned in case the tenant has left the heating off completely (we do have a reason to think they may have) and if we have a cold snap we end up with a plumbing issue that because no one is there isn't noticed for a long period of time.

      For what it's worth, my solicitor has advised issuing formal notice of intent to enter the property to inspect to the property, which at least would get us in to verify if the property is vacant.
      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

      Comment


        #4
        Give min 24hr Notice of intended inspection to Ts, visit to check for habitation and identity of persons in app occupation.

        Comment


          #5
          It reminded me an incidence where the property was not fully double glazed perhaps a cheap job was done and when the tenants moved then place couldn't get warmer and they started getting cold. After making several requests to landlord who kept ignoring them then finally they left and reported to council. Council carried out the inspection and found the same and instructed to repair it. Tenants were even taking the matter further as they were caught with cold but landlord begged them and settled with them by even paying from his pocket.

          Comment


            #6
            I dont understand how that is similar?
            Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

            Comment


              #7
              When you get access, gather as much evidence as possible of abandonment. Take an independent witness. Take photos of mail piled up, fridge empty, personal possessions removed, heating off etc. Witness statements from neighbours if possible. The more evidence you can amass, the safer you will be, including checking local hospitals and police to make sure they're not elsewhere.

              Comment


                #8
                An interesting development today, we have found out that the tenant has this week informed the council (due to council tax) that she left the property two months ago. Presumably this bolsters the case for it being vacated?
                Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Absolutely. Check the utility accounts too if you can.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    When did/does the fixed term end?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Back in November.
                      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you are in contact with the tenants then explain to them that they are both liable for costs (including council tax) until the tenancy is properly ended, and would they like to properly end the tenancy.

                        Tenancy can be ended immediately by mutual agreement (all tenants; hand over keys; deed of surrender).


                        I presume you have initiated other action (S21 or S8).

                        As it is now periodic, you could get one of them to give valid notice, but you would still need court action if possession is not returned to you when the tenancy ends.

                        Comment

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