How long to obtain a possession order?

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  • How long to obtain a possession order?


    I'm new here, but have been lurking on your board and have found some information very useful.

    To give you a bit of history: when i moved in with my partner i decided to rent out my own home, I use a LA as i am a 'new' LL and was unsure of my legal obligations. My LA have been great and i have no problems at all with them, however my tenant is another story !

    When she moved in, she informed me that she was receiving Working Tax credit and Child tax credit, which i didn't see as any issue as many people are entitled to this and my agent did an earnings check to make sure she could afford the rent on the property. Overall i was quite happy about renting to her, as i though that since she has a young son she would be more likely to be a longer term tenant.

    I received a letter about two months later from the housing benefit office as it turns out she had claimed benefit from them. I replied to this and it did not affect the rent which was still being paid on time each month by the tenant.

    However, once the tenant had been there for 6 months I started having problems receiving the rent. I have contacted the benefits office and they have just started to pay the agent direct ( this is a only a very small portion of the rent) and she has been served with a section 21 which runs out on Sunday 11th March. She called the agent on Friday (9th March) and informed them that she will not be moving out as she has no-where else to go....

    I am already in the process of taking her to small claims court for the rent arrears and on Monday will have to file for a Possession order.

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me how long this is likely to take ?
    I am of the opinion that lightening doesn't strike twice (!?) and am keen to put a new tenant in, and keep my losses as small as possible ( I am aware my chances of getting the arrears back are slim! )

    Any advice would be gladly received...


  • #2
    Dear Jo

    Do you intend to seek a court order for possession by using the accelerated possession procedure or through the process of a court hearing?

    The accelerated procedure will be quicker because you won't have to wait for a court hearing date. The down side of the APP is that you can not request a court order for outstanding arrears (but I note that you have instigated a small claim so that shouldn't be an issue for you). The APP could be through in 4 to 6 weeks if you are lucky. However, if the tenant doesn't vacate even then you will have to go via the court bailiff route which will add possibly another couple of weeks onto the time scale.

    If you are chosing to go down the court hearing route you can be waiting for a least a couple of months for a hearing date (depending on how busy your local county court is). I submitted my forms on 23rd January and got a court hearing date for March 15th. The upside of this route is that you can request a money judgement for the rent arrears (which can save you some time, trouble and money on a separate claim).

    Once an order is granted the judge will probably allow a couple of weeks for the tenant to vacate so that also needs to be added to the timescales. Again, if the tenant doesn't vacate as per the order then you will have to involve the court bailiffs (extra cost and time).

    Hope this info helps. Goodluck.

    Kind Regards


    PS. Please check, double check and triple check that you have given the correct notice and dates on your section 21. Get it wrong and it'll be thrown out of court and you'd have to start all over again!
    Last edited by Joannepowell; 10-03-2007, 21:41 PM. Reason: Additional info


    • #3

      Thanks very much for the advice, I'll ring my LA first thing tommorrow and double check that the Sec.21 was served correctly. I imagine I will go down the APP route - as I really do question the tenants abillity to pay back the arrears, she has obviously had a change of circumstances since she first moved in as she is now in receipt of housing benefit.

      Am I right in thinking that, as these are two seperate court actions she will therefore have 2 CCJ's ?

      Thanks again



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