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How to get a possession order changed

A possession order is part of the eviction process.

A court makes a possession order if a judge decides you have to leave your home.

Sometimes you can ask the court to change a possession order.

To get a possession order changed you need to:

  • check if it was made on a discretionary ground

  • have a reason to get it changed

  • fill in court form N244

  • go to another hearing

Check it was made on a discretionary ground

A ground is the legal reason the landlord uses to evict you.

The court paperwork should say what ground was used.

A discretionary ground means the court can decide if you can stay in your home or if you have to leave.

Secure tenants

Most grounds for secure tenants are discretionary.

But your landlord might use the mandatory antisocial behaviour ground.

This ground can only be used if you, someone who lives with you, or a visitor to your home has:

  • been convicted of a criminal offence in the area

  • breached a court order preventing antisocial behaviour

Assured and assured shorthold tenants

Grounds 9 – 17 are discretionary.

The most common discretionary grounds are:

  • Ground 10 – some rent arrears

  • Ground 11 – a history of late rent payments

  • Ground 12 – breaking a term of your tenancy 

  • Ground 14 – nuisance and annoyance

Section 21 possession orders

You cannot ask the court to change a possession order made under section 21.

Section 21 possession orders are not made on grounds.

Make sure you have a reason

There will be another hearing if you apply to change a possession order.

You must provide new information or evidence that the court has not already seen.

You can ask the court to:

  • change an outright order to a suspended order

  • change the terms of a suspended order

Changing an outright order to a suspended order

You need to show the court that it's not reasonable to evict you.


The court made an outright order on Ground 10 because you had rent arrears but did not attend the possession hearing.

You’re now getting universal credit. You can pay your rent and make regular monthly payments towards your arrears.

You can ask the court to stop the eviction and suspend the order on affordable repayment terms.

Changing the terms of a suspended order

You may need to do this if you cannot stick to the terms of the order because your financial situation has changed.


The suspended order says you have to pay your rent + £50 a month towards the arrears. You lose your job and cannot afford the repayments.

You claim universal credit. It covers your rent and you can offer £20 a month towards the arrears.

You can ask the court to change the terms of the order so your arrears repayments are affordable.

Use court form N244

You can get get court form N244 from GOV.UK.

Read the guidance notes first. 

Filling in the form

At question 3 you should state what you are asking the court to do and why. 

For example: 'I ask the court to vary the possession order made on [date order made]. I can meet my contractual rent payment and offer [say how much extra you can pay] each month towards the arrears.' 

If your landlord has applied for a bailiff's warrant, you must ask the court for this to be suspended too. You can do this on the same form.

At question 10 you should tick evidence set out in the box below and provide details. You can continue on a separate piece of paper but be brief and factual.

If you've broken the terms of an order, make sure you explain why it happened and how you will stop it happening again.

You may need to attach other information for the court to consider. For example, proof of benefits or a financial statement.

You may be able to get help from a housing adviser to complete the form.

Returning the form

You have to pay £14. You can get help with court fees if you receive certain benefits or have a low income.

Act quickly if you're trying to change an outright order or you have broken the terms of a suspended order.

Your landlord may already have asked for a bailiff's eviction warrant.

If an eviction is due to take place very soon the court can sometimes schedule a hearing on the same day.

Attend the hearing

The court will set up a short hearing.

You normally have to attend in person unless everyone agrees to a hearing by telephone or video call.

A judge will decide if the order should be suspended on the terms you have given on the N244.

If the judge agrees to suspend the order, you can stay in your home as long as you stick to the terms of the order.

If you break the terms of the order, your landlord can ask bailiffs to evict you.

You can ask a court to change an order or suspend a bailiff's warrant more than once. But the more times you have to go back to court, the less likely a judge is to accept that it's reasonable for you to stay in your home.

Last updated: 19 March 2024

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