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Possession process

This content applies to England

Procedural rules applicable to repossession of rented properties and the specifics of certain tenancy types.

Reactivation of possession proceedings from 20 September 2020

The procedure landlords and mortgage lenders must follow after the stay on possession proceedings was lifted on 20 September 2020. 

Process

Basic principles applicable to possession proceedings after notice has been served and the notice period has expired. 

Pre-action protocol for social landlords

The pre-action protocol which prescribes the specific procedures that social landlords should follow before issuing possession claims. 

CPR Part 55 possession procedure

The Part 55 procedure for claims for possession of land. 

AST accelerated possession procedure

The accelerated possession procedure can only be used to recover possession under section 21. 

Section 21 possession procedure

General possession procedure for assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and available defences to an order for possession. 

Landlord issues a claim

Procedure and forms for issuing claim for possession in court, including online claims and accelerated procedures. 

Landlord claim for possession of an assured tenancy

A landlord must serve an advance notice seeking possession (NSP) and obtain a court order to gain possession. 

Defence to a landord's claim

Procedure for responding to a claim for possession and submitting a defence beforehand or during the hearing. 

Possession claim goes to trial

If the court decides that the claim is genuinely disputed it may give case management directions about how the case is to be conducted before the final hearing. 

Public law and human rights defences

Public law defences based upon conventional judicial review grounds or a breach of human rights available against public authority landlords. 

Disability discrimination defences

Social and private landlords must not discriminate unlawfully against disabled tenants and such discrimination might be a good defence to possession proceedings. 

Court orders at possession hearings

The court must decide whether to grant an order for possession and might decide on related claims seeking a money judgment or an injunction. 

Family intervention tenancies

A landlord does not have to prove any grounds for possession and the county court must order possession if the correct procedure to end a tenancy was observed. 

Introductory tenant defences against possession

Landlords do not have to prove any grounds for possession against an introductory tenant but they must follow the correct procedure. 

Possession proceedings against a bankrupt tenant

If the tenant is bankrupt, the possession proceedings can continue but there are restrictions on the rent that the landlord can recover. 

Debt relief orders and possession

If a tenant is subject to a debt relief order (DRO), the possession proceedings can continue but there are restrictions on the rent that the landlord can recover. 

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