Ever since Cardiff City Council v Lee  EWCA Civ 1034 (our note), there has been a ferment and a gnashing of teeth amongst landlords, particularly social landlords, about the best way to deal with the ‘new’ requirement under CPR 83(2) to make an application with evidence for permission to request a warrant of possession on breach of a suspended possession order.
There was therefore much excitement yesterday about the appearance of new forms N325A and N445 (reissue of warrant) on the court form finder. As far as I can see, the addition to both is to add a certification that
(3) a statement of the payments due and made under the judgment or order is attached to this request.†† (for rent arrears cases only)
It has been suggested that this obviates the need to make a CPR 83(2) application for permission, at least for rent arrears SPOs ( and including mortgage cases). It appears – though I’ve not seen confirmation – that the Rules Committee consider that it does. Presumably because the provision of a statement of payments due and made would satisfy the evidential requirements of CPR 83(2)(4)(b) and CPR 83(4) provides that an application for permission may be made in accordance with CPR 23, not must be – so that the new N325A is both application for permission and request for warrant in one. The form, according to the Rules Committee, will have judicial scrutiny to check the evidence, rather than just administrative approval. One would presume, or at least hope, that there will be guidance about this issued.
People have also been puzzled about what it means for ASB cases. I think the answer is that it doesn’t change a thing for ASB SPOs, and that Cardiff v Lee still applies. So the requirement is still for a separate application for permission to be made.
It also appears that the CP Rules Committee has agreed to consult on taking SPOs out of the remit of CPR 83(2) altogether, possibly in conjunction with or alongside an MoJ consultation. The implementation of a long term solution is hoped for, but not guaranteed for, by April 2017.