22/07/2020

Yet more new CPR – and no eviction without notice coming soon.

In the excitement last Friday about the Rules laid in Parliament introducing PD 55C, I completely overlooked another set of Rules, also laid last Friday.

The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2020, in force as of 17 July 2020, makes changes to the CPR which are largely to come into force on 1 October 2020, ecept for the two that particularly interest me, which come into force on 23 August 2020.

Of particular interest to housing lawyers are a couple of amendments relating to transfer of possession enforcement to the High Court and evictions.

The first is to CPR 30

Amendment of Part 30

6. In rule 30.4, after paragraph (2) insert—

“(3) Where—

(a) proceedings for the enforcement of a judgment or order for possession of land are transferred by the County Court to the High Court; and

(b) the land which is the subject of the possession order is located within the area of a District Registry,

then, unless the court orders otherwise on or following transfer, the transfer shall be to that District Registry and all applications made in the High Court in relation to such transferred proceedings (including for any stay or suspension of any writ) shall be made in that District Registry.”.

Not a dramatic change, but useful for people to know.

More significant are the amendments to Part 83:

Amendment of Part 83

16.—(1) After rule 83.8 insert—

“Notice of execution of writs and warrants of possession

83.8A.—(1) This rule applies to—

(a) writs of possession; and

(b) warrants of possession,

other than writs and warrants excluded by paragraph (6).

(2) Subject to paragraph (5), a notice of eviction must be delivered to the premises not less than 14 days before the writ or warrant is executed.

(3) The notice of eviction referred to in paragraph (2) must—

(a) be addressed to—

(i) all persons against whom the possession order was made; and

(ii) “any other occupiers”; and

(b) be in the form prescribed by Practice Direction 83.

(4) The notice of eviction must be delivered by—

(a) inserting it through the letter box in a sealed transparent envelope; or

(b) if that is not practicable—

(i) attaching a copy to the main door or some other part of the land so that it is clearly visible; or

(ii) if that is not practicable, placing stakes in the land in places where they are clearly visible and attaching to each stake a copy of the notice in a sealed transparent envelope.

(5) The court may—

(a) dispense with the requirement to deliver a notice of eviction; or

(b) extend or shorten the time by which a notice of eviction must be delivered,

but may not exercise its powers under sub-paragraph (b) so as to postpone the date of execution of any writ or warrant of possession beyond the last date permitted for that purpose by or under any enactment.

(6) This rule does not apply to writs or warrants of possession to enforce possession orders against trespassers, other than possession orders against persons who entered or remained on the premises with the consent of a person who, at the time consent was given, had an immediate right to possession of the premises.”.

(2) In rule 83.13—

(a) in paragraph (1)—

(i) for sub-paragraph (b) substitute—

“(b) proceedings for contempt of court under Part 81;”; and

(ii) for sub-paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) where no such proceedings are brought, by a writ of sequestration.”; and

(b) for paragraphs (2) to (9) substitute—

“(2) No writ of possession to enforce a notice under section 33D of the Immigration Act 2014 may be issued without the permission of the court.

(3) No writ of possession against a trespasser may be issued after the expiry of 3 months from the date of the order without the permission of the court.

(4) Unless the court otherwise directs, an application for permission under paragraph (3) may be made without notice to any other party.

(5) An application for a writ of possession may be made without notice.

(6) The person applying for a writ of possession must file a certificate that the land which is the subject of the judgment or order has not been vacated.

(7) A writ of possession may include provision for enforcing the payment of any money adjudged or ordered to be paid by the judgment or order which is to be enforced by the writ.

(8) In a case to which paragraph (7) applies or where an order for possession has been suspended on terms as to payment of a sum of money by instalments, the person applying for a writ of possession must certify—

(a) the amount of money remaining due under the judgment or order; and

(b) that the whole or part of any instalment due remains unpaid.”.

(3) In rule 83.14—

(a) in paragraph (1)—

(i) for sub-paragraph (b) substitute—

“(b) proceedings for contempt of court under Part 81;”; and

(ii) for sub-paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) where no such proceedings are brought, by a writ of sequestration.”; and

(b) in paragraph (2), for sub-paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) proceedings for contempt of court under Part 81;”.

So, what the new 83A(2) will mean is that for all evictions, whether by warrant or by (High Court) writ, at least 14 days notice must be given to occupiers by inserting the notice through the letterbox, or affixing the notice to the premises.

The only exceptions to this are for trespasser cases (not including where a previous permission to be on the land had been given)- 83A(6), and where the Court has given express dispensation to no notice of eviction to be given – 83A(5)(a).

This will harmonise County Court and High Court evictions and should bring an end to the High Court Enforcement Officers’ practice of turning up without any warning to carry out evictions. This is from 23 August 2020, which, given that no writs can be executed until the end of the CPR 55.29 stay on 23 August 2020, means that eviction without notice is now at an end!

 

 

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

10 Comments

  1. Michael Barnes

    Can you explain the meaning of “a sealed transparent envelope”, please?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      Surely that is clear. (sorry)

      A sealed clear plastic bag, or document wallet or anything like that, which is waterproof but enables the document to be clearly visible and readable. It is not a term of art.

      Reply
  2. Samuel Hoffman

    Does this have to be served in addition to the Bailiff’s Appointment letter which is sent to the tenant by the Court?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      I presume it will replace it. I don’t know.

      Reply
  3. TS

    Where it states at 5(a) the Court may “dispense with the requirement to deliver a notice of eviction” – I’m presuming this means that some evictions could still happen without any notice being given however the default will be 14 days, unless the Court states otherwise. Is that your understanding?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      Yes, as I said in the post. Obviously the court would need good reason to depart from the general rule.

      Reply
      • simon r

        I wonder what the penalties will be if these rules are not followed by the high court enforcment officers.

        Reply
        • Giles Peaker

          They would be unlawful evictions.

  4. Dean W

    We were served an eviction notice on the 16th August, a week or so before the new legistlation of six months notice. We have been given three months notice and must vacate by 16th November. Is there any way i can challenge this?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      Only in the usual ways that a section 21 notice can be invalid. See the flowchart here (but ignore the bit about notice periods, that is out of date).

      Reply

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