What is a suspended possession order?

A suspended possession order is when a judge decides you can stay in your home if you keep to conditions or terms.

For example, a suspended order could say you must:

  • pay your normal rent plus a set amount towards the arrears

  • stop any antisocial behaviour

A suspended possession order is made at a court hearing.

You might not get a copy of the order until a few weeks after the court hearing, so note down the conditions on the day.

Make sure you understand the terms

Your court order will say what conditions you need to keep to. You should do exactly what the order says.

For example, if you have rent arrears you should pay the exact amount at the times it says.

You break the terms of the order if you either:

  • miss a payment or pay late

  • pay extra one week and skip the next week's payment

What happens if you break the terms

Your landlord can ask court bailiffs to evict you.

The bailiffs send you a notice with the eviction date.

You can ask the court to stop the eviction if you can pay:

  • your normal rent

  • a monthly or weekly amount towards your arrears

What to do if you cannot afford the payments

Speak to your council or housing association if you're worried about the payments.

You can apply to change the terms of your suspended possession order so repayments are lower. This is called 'varying' the terms of the order.

You can use Form N244. You need to include details of your income and expenditure to prove what you can afford to repay each week.

If you repay all your arrears

Check your suspended possession order.

Your landlord could apply for bailiffs if you fall behind with rent again unless the order states that this cannot happen once the arrears are cleared.

You can apply to court to discharge the order on Form N244. You need evidence that you've paid off the arrears.

Last updated: 15 January 2024

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