(Rented and shared ownership) Obtaining a Court Order for Possession

The Income Admin Team will produce and sign off the Court Bundle. 

The OM/ ECM is responsible for representing Housing 21 in Court. In exceptional or particularly complex cases consideration may be given to using Solicitors (approved by Housing 21). (Stage Five) The costs of legal representation are excessive and should only be used for particularly complicated hearings. This should be agreed by the Head of Housing. The OM/ ECM should attend these hearings in addition to legal representation.  

  • Rented

    Housing 21 will normally apply for a suspended possession order which gives residents the right to stay in their own home as long as they comply and maintain an agreement to keep up payments and pay off arrears. If the OM/RHM has followed the abandonment policy and is confident that the resident no longer resides at the property an outright order should be requested. Often this will be granted after 14/28 days providing sufficient evidence is given to support the case for abandonment. If an outright possession order is granted, a warrant for eviction still needs to be applied for before locks are changed. 

  • Shared ownership

    Housing 21 will only apply for a suspended possession order, which gives the resident the right to stay in their own home so long as they comply and maintain agreement to keep up payments and pay off arrears.  The reason for only ever applying for a suspended order is because it is very unlikely that the Court will award outright  possession in cases where the resident has a capital stake in the property. Refer to 5.5 above.  

  • If an outright possession order is being applied for the OM/ECM will ensure the resident is provided with the following information not later than 10 days before the date set for the hearing: 
  • Up-to-date rent statements  
  • Any information Housing 21 may have in relation to the residents Housing Benefit position  
  • Date and time of court hearing  

 A vulnerability risk assessment should be undertaken to identify unknown/ known risks to residents or employees as well as to support the resident in obtaining rehousing.   

  • The amount proposed to the Court as reasonable to pay off the rent  arrears should, wherever possible, be agreed with the resident prior to the Court hearing. It must be realistic in terms of the residents ability to pay.  In the majority of cases an Income and Expenditure Financial Statement will already have been completed with the resident to agree previous payment plans however  this should be revisited ahead of a court hearing to confirm an affordable and realistic weekly payment. A copy of the statement should be available during the court hearing in the event that this is required by the judge. 
  • Housing 21 will include a request for legal costs and these will be pursued when all the arrears have been collected. Costs can only be added to a sub account by the Income Admin Team once costs have been granted by the Judge  
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