Accelerated possession order confusion

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    Accelerated possession order confusion

    I have 3 letters from the court today all dated 22/2/22 referring to an accelerated possession that went before the judge on the 10/2/22 :-

    2 identical letters giving me a possession date of 8/3/22 and one stating that the case is to be reviewed in a 10 minute hearing on the 3/5/22 so that the defendants exceptional hardship can be considered.

    The defendant claimed in her defence that she had not moved out because she was a single unemployed mother on benefits with mental health problems that could not find anywhere else to live.

    I understand that the defendant can appeal a possession order but because the decision to hold the hearing was made on the 10/2/22 the same day as the possession order was granted this can't be the case here.

    Anyone know what is going on here and if I have any option other to wait until the court hearing?

    I would suspect this is a clerical error, you may need to get clarification from the court, failing that I would submit the one you have for possession with the county court bailiffs and see if they will do the eviction.


      I am hoping it is a clerical error but suspect it is not and I think I would be in big trouble if the bailiffs evicted her. I even ticked the box allowing the PO to be delayed by up to six weeks without a hearing.

      They are not arguing that the Section 21 is invalid so what is the judge trying to achieve? I can only think he feels sorry for this poor hard done by tenant - if only he knew the truth.


        I spoke to a person from the NRLA helpline this morning who stated that the PO is valid but I should contact the court before asking the bailiffs to attend. They suggested to email rather than call as getting in touch by phone is very difficult.

        Is it true that a correctly submitted section 21 means a court has no option but to issue a PO and the maximum notice period is 6 weeks.

        What questions should I be asking in the email to the court?


          The PO I have states :-
          "To the defendant - The court has ordered you to leave the premises by the date stated in paragraph 1 above. (If notice is attached of a hearing to consider your request to remain longer, the date you must leave may be varied at the hearing) If you do not leave by the date fixed by the court, the claimant can ask the court, without a further hearing, to authorise a bailiff to evict you."

          This makes no sense when the court hearing is nearly 2 months after the PO notice date - any ideas?


            Can anyone find any errors in this information that I got from the shelter website.

            The court has no power to suspend possession in cases where the order was made against: an assured shorthold tenant under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

            Restrictions on postponing the date for possession

            The possession order gives a date for possession. This is usually 14 days when it is made against a tenant:
            • on a mandatory ground
            • under section 21

            In these cases, the court can postpone the date for possession for up to 42 days from the date the order was made, and even then only in cases of exceptional hardship.


              The Shelter information is correct.

              Exceptional hardship is a high threshold.
              Being a single mother on benefits almost certainly isn't enough (but it's discretionary, so the judge could conceivably allow it).
              Mental health issues might qualify.

              But 42 days is the maximum.

              It costs the tenant a small amount to request the delay, and it's very common for a tenant with the possession order against them to try it because there's almost no reason not to.
              But the judge shouldn't even consider reversing the decision, it's not an appeal.
              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).


                jpkeates - thanks for the confirmation. This is not a request from the tenant - the hearing was ordered by the judge on the same day that s/he granted the possession order.

                The stupid thing seems to be that the hearing is scheduled for about 5 weeks after the expiry of the maximum 42 days notice that can be specified and I had agreed on the N5 for the notice to be extended to 42 days without a hearing.

                My worry was that the judge could cancel the original order and issue a new one with a 42 day notice period at the hardship hearing. If I understand correctly that cannot be done.


                  I thought it might be a typo on the date, but 5/3/22 is a Saturday.

                  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).


                    Rather than looking around websites the obvious step you need to take is to contact the clerk of the court for an explanation of what is going on. (I'd try ringing on Monday).

                    The clerks are usually pretty helpful.


                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      I thought it might be a typo on the date, but 5/3/22 is a Saturday.
                      Sounds plausible, that would be 3 days before the possession date.

                      Some courts are sitting on Saturdays, mainly to help clear backlogs due to covid.


                        It is not a typo the hearing date is Tuesday the 3rd May 2022 which makes it a nonsense - the judge had my permission to extend the notice period to 42 days without a hearing - can a judge be charged with wasting the courts time?


                          nukecad - Thanks for informing me that it is the court clerk is the person I need to talk to. I intend calling the court tomorrow but I need to be sure of some facts first eg I was not aware that the worst that can happen is that the judge can extend the original PO by 16 days - now I know that I can point out with certainty that the court date doesn't make sense and I can justify asking for the hearing to be brought forward.


                            Sorry nukecad - I have been searching the internet again and found this on the Ministry of Justice court procedure rules website:-
                            Postponement of possession


                            (1) Where the defendant seeks postponement of possession on the ground of exceptional hardship under section 89 of the Housing Act 1980 the judge may direct a hearing of that issue.

                            (2) Where the judge directs a hearing under paragraph (1) –

                            (a) the hearing must be held before the date on which possession is to be given up; and

                            (b) the judge will direct how many days' notice the parties must be given of that hearing.

                            (3) Where the judge is satisfied, on a hearing directed under paragraph (1), that exceptional hardship would be caused by requiring possession to be given up by the date in the order of possession, he may vary the date on which possession must be given up.

                            section 89 of the housing act 1980 states "and shall not in any event be postponed to a date later than six weeks after the making of the order."


                              You are overthinking things.

                              All I told you is that the clerk of the court is the person to ask about what is going on with the letters.
                              It's their job to know that.

                              Only once you have asked the ckerk will you know what to do next.


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