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Possession proceedings

This content applies to England

Procedures that must be followed during possession proceedings relating to tenancies and licences of residential premises. Public law, human rights and disability discrimination defences, and the implications of bankruptcy and debt relief orders on possession proceedings.

The different types of tenancy, and the particular grounds for possession that apply to them, are covered in the other Security of tenure sections. Information on public funding is in the Civil legal aid section.

exclamation Please, note that from 27 March 2020, all ongoing possession proceedings are suspended for 90 days. For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on tenants, visit the Protection for tenants page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Possession proceedings process

Basic principles in possession proceedings. 

Landlord's claim for possession

Issuing a claim form. 

Responding to a landord's claim for possession

Procedure for responding to and defending a claim for possession. 

Disability discrimination defences

Defences to possession proceedings based on disability discrimination. 

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. 

Court hearings

What happens at a court hearing. 

Possession orders

The different possession orders that the court can make and court costs 

Tenancy status after court order

The status of a tenant after a court order has been made. 

Changing possession orders

Ways in which a possession orders can be challenged, altered or discharged by the courts. 

Enforcement of possession orders

A possession order can be enforced by obtaining a warrant of possession in the county court, or by obtaining a writ of possession in the High Court. 

Bankruptcy and possession

The implications of bankruptcy on possession proceedings against tenants. 

Debt relief orders and possession

The implications of debt relief orders on possession proceedings against tenants. 

Remedies after eviction

Actions that can be taken after eviction, including applications to set aside executed warrants in cases of oppression and appeals. 

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