Eviction using HCEOs

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    Eviction using HCEOs

    Our possession order orders the tenants to leave by tomorrow. Frustratingly, the CC has not actually issued sealed copies of the possession order yet, although it was drawn up several days ago (and we have been able to download a pdf copy from PCOL). We've made an appointment to attend the court offices tomorrow to collect a sealed copy, for which they intend to charge a £10 fee. What a crap service!

    An enquiry about bailiff appointments reveals no long delay, and the next 'batch' of appointments to be allocated to the first week of December. We have the alternative of transferring up to HC and using HCEO to execute a Writ of Possession, but enquiries have revealed wide variation in the time the process is supposed to take, from 5 days (including 3 days notice to the tenant), or 3 weeks. Most of the firms we have contacted have been remarkably coy about being clear about what they charge, and on what contingencies the fees might escalate. One has quoted a £75+VAT fee to handle the transferring up + fees of £100 & £66 (so £250) to obtain the Writ and then a further fee to execute it. They all seem very keen to get their hands on our credit card number and secure an instruction.

    Any tips?

    #2
    The HCEO route used to offer (wrongly as it turned out) a quicker re-possession and no advance notice to the tenants.
    They'd just turn up and the tenants were out, with no chance of a final appeal to the court.
    This was particularly effective if the people in the property were subletting or, otherwise had no idea what was happening.

    It was also a bit brutal, even if it made good telly.

    That's changed, and, like County Court bailiffs, they have to serve notice to all the inhabitants of the property advising what is happening and then turn up a short period later on a notified date and do the job.

    So, personally, I don't think there's too much difference anymore, other than time table, and that doesn't seem to be an issue in your case.

    Others may have some actual recent experience...
    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
      If we can get the tenants out 2 weeks quicker, that is useful at this time of year: I want to get the property re-let before Christmas if possible - otherwise we may be facing a significant void, and if the property remains empty, insurance restrictions and a security risk.

      I also really don't want to make a 'gift' of another 3 weeks free accommodation to the tenants. They have surfaced, whinging that they've got nowhere to go - well, they should have thought about that before, shouldn't they? I have to admit that I'd quite like to see them evicted without any notice at all, but that isn't going to happen. If we were nearer to the date, I'd happily pay double to have them evicted on Christmas Eve - preferably in the afternoon ...

      My main concern, really, is not to get stitched up by the HCEOs, who promise lots, and may deliver rather less but with a bigger than expected bill.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
        That's changed, and, like County Court bailiffs, they have to serve notice to all the inhabitants of the property advising what is happening and then turn up a short period later on a notified date and do the job.
        It was my understanding that HCEO still don't have to give notice on exactly when they will show up, just that the landlord need to give sufficient notice to all (known) inhabitants that they are applying for a writ of possession at the HC. (And that things had to be done by judges at CC & HC rather than staff administratively.)


        If bailiffs are available by the first week of December, I would just stick with them personally, but each to their own. Regarding the HCEO firms, you already know the answer before you asked. Get them to give definitive answer in writing on their fees and what it covers etc. If they won't, don't do business with them.
        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

        Comment


          #5
          Suddenly, bailiff appointments are scarce at our CC - doubtful before the New Year. So I'm still trying to get my head around the HCEO route, but every firm I have spoken to describes a different process, with different timescales.

          Assuming that we already have leave for transfer to HC for enforcement under s42(2), does anyone know what form of application is required to obtain an order granting permission to issue a Writ of Possession. The requirements (taken from the order in form PF92) seem to be

          a) a copy of the possession order
          b) a copy of the order under s42(2) (if separate) &
          c) a witness statement confirming that written notice has been given to the tenant stating the date and means by which notice was given, and confirming that no application for relief has been made.

          The fee appears to be £100 if no hearing is required, and rather more, otherwise.

          One firm mentioned 14 days notice to the tenant, another didn't mention this step AT ALL. Presumably, you can only know whether an 'application for relief' has been made by having been served with notice of it by the tenant. Does anyone know the time periods, and what rules relate to means of service (post?). If the writ can only be presented to the court for sealing AFTER permission has been obtained (another £66), it starts to look unlikely that an HCEO could be confident of evicting before Christmas - although one firm advertises start to finish in five days: how the hell do they do that?

          Very confused....

          Comment


            #6
            As I see it, the less notice your tenant gets, the less likely they are to have packed their belongings and have a method to remove them.

            Okay an HCEO may get your tenant out next week, but I bet you all their cr*p is still there a fortnight later. Therefore, is there any benefit at all in the HCEO route?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JK0 View Post
              ...is there any benefit at all in the HCEO route?
              It depends, partly, on the timetable for the county court alternative. But it would be 'nice' if the process wasn't so opaque.

              Comment


                #8
                Assuming that we already have leave for transfer to HC for enforcement under s42(2), does anyone know what form of application is required to obtain an order granting permission to issue a Writ of Possession. The requirements (taken from the order in form PF92) seem to be

                a) a copy of the possession order
                b) a copy of the order under s42(2) (if separate) &
                c) a witness statement confirming that written notice has been given to the tenant stating the date and means by which notice was given, and confirming that no application for relief has been made.

                The fee appears to be £100 if no hearing is required, and rather more, otherwise.

                One firm mentioned 14 days notice to the tenant, another didn't mention this step AT ALL. Presumably, you can only know whether an 'application for relief' has been made by having been served with notice of it by the tenant. Does anyone know the time periods, and what rules relate to means of service (post?). If the writ can only be presented to the court for sealing AFTER permission has been obtained (another £66), it starts to look unlikely that an HCEO could be confident of evicting before Christmas - although one firm advertises start to finish in five days: how the hell do they do that?.
                Anyone got any experience of current practise?

                Comment


                  #9
                  discretionary

                  It's only discretionary that you can transfer up to HCEO, there are posts on LLz where judges have refused.

                  http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...the-HCEO-route

                  7.4 REFUSAL
                  Thunderbirds are go

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We already have the order under s42(2). For what it's worth, much of the content of the Guide linked to is out of date (or we have utterly, utterly failed to understand the process since https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publica...he-high-court/)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Stuart I just went through this myself so understand your confusion about the lack of clarity offered by HCEO.
                      I applied to HCEO the day after expiry of possession order, they gave 7 days notice to the tenant and attended on the 7th day. They initially quoted £700 but the final bill was £1145 because of extra time spent at the address and locksmith fees. They dealt with all the court applications, there was nothing for me to do in that respect.
                      Despite the notice, my tenant had made no effort to pack so Bailiff issued a Torts notice which meant I had to wait an additional 7 days for her to remove her huge piles of junk. I did take advantage of that time to access the property and start necessary works.
                      I don't know if I am allowed to name the company I used on here
                      Have sent you PM

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We've decided against HCEO route, and have applied for a CC Warrant of Possession using PCOL.

                        BTW, if anyone recalls recent discussion about whether a CC can combine eviction and execution against goods, it is unambiguously clear from the way you apply for the warrant on PCOL that combined execution is normal and routine: it's built into the form both in print and online. Those options are only available on PCOL once the date on the PO has passed, so you'll have to take my word for it - but in the right circumstances, it could be a useful tool (and costs no extra).

                        Of course, the probability is that the tenant has no valuable goods in the property by the time the warrant is executed - buy, hey, it's free.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I had to laugh when I saw the email confirmation of my Warrant application. My email service had attached a warning to the message: This sender failed our fraud detection checks and may not be who they appear to be. The whole legislative framework surrounding the recovery of possession, and the administration of the system by our courts does seem very like fraud, certainly.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            A change of plan means that we have obtained a Writ of Possession and on the eve of the eviction the firm handling the matter tell me that they 'must' change the locks (and will be using their own locksmith, recharging me 'at cost') and that I shouldn't go anywhere near the property until the coast is clear to be given my 'new' keys. No previous mention of this stipulation has been made, nor has any indication of cost been provided.

                            This seems unreasonable.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Ah, but what is the alternative?

                              Have your own locksmith waiting on site all day while you wait for the HCEO to finish his previous job?

                              I think 'going with the flow' may work out to be the cheapest option.

                              Comment

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