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Issuing a claim form

This content applies to England

How a claim form is issued.

Once any notice period has expired the landlord can apply to the court for an order granting possession.

For more information about the process of issuing a claim in the courts see the section Preparing for court.

Issuing the claim

In order to begin possession proceedings, the landlord can issue a claim form in any county court.[1] If this in an area other than where the property is located the claim will be sent to the local county court.[2] The landlord must:

In some cases, a possession claim can be started online using the Possession Claim Online Service (see the page on Online claims for more details).[3]

Particulars of claim

The particulars of claim requires detailed information, including:[4]

  • whether the claim relates to residential property
  • the grounds on which possession is claimed (if appropriate)
  • full details about any tenancy agreement
  • the land to which the claim relates
  • details of every person who, to the best of the landlord's knowledge, is in possession of the property.

If the claim relates to the conduct of the tenant, the particulars must give details of the alleged conduct; equally, if a landlord is relying on a statutory ground for possession, s/he is must specify the statutory ground(s) on which s/he rely.[5]

If the claim for possession is based on rent arrears, the landlord must also provide prescribed information about the level and nature of those arrears, steps previously taken to recover the arrears and information about the tenant's social security benefits.[6]

For information on possession proceedings based on rent arrears against a bankrupt tenant or against a tenant subject to a debt relief order (DRO) see the Bankruptcy and possession and the Debt relief orders and possession pages.

Statement of truth

The claim form and the particulars of claim are statements of case which must be verified by a statement of truth signed by the landlord or her/his legal representative. If the particulars of claim are not verified by a statement of truth they cannot be used as evidence.[7]

Claim issued incorrectly

If the claim is not issued correctly, then the court has the discretion to allow the case to continue by rectifying the defect itself, or by allowing the claimant to amend the particulars of claim.[8] Whether the court will allow this would depend on the nature and extent of the defect and whether injustice would be caused to the tenant if the case is allowed to continue.[9]

[1]Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.3; In exceptional cases, a claim can be brought in the High Court. See Civil Procedure Rules SI 1998/3132 (as amended), rule 55.3(2) and Practice Direction 55.1.1 - 55.1.4.

[2] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.3(1)(c).

[3] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.10A.

[4] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.4; Practice Direction 55A.

[5] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.4; Practice Direction 55A, paras 2.4A and 2.4B.

[6] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 55, rule 55.4; Practice Direction 55A, para 2.3.

[7] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 22, rule 22.1 and 22.2; Practice Direction 22, para 3.1.

[8] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 3, rule 3.10.

[9] Civil Procedure Rules 1998 SI 1998/3132 (as amended), Part 3, rules 3.1 and 3.10, and Part 17, rule 17.1.

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