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Enforcement of possession orders

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What notice must be given to tenants to be ‘sufficient’ in enforcement proceedings?

The background

In Partridge v Gupta [2017], the landlord had been granted an order for possession. The leaseholder’s appeal was refused and the landlord brought enforcement proceedings; its officers issued a without-notice application, which was granted. Prior to this application, the enforcement officers had written to the leaseholder, and the occupiers of the property, advising of their intention to transfer proceedings and issue a writ of possession.

The leaseholder appealed against the writ of possession, arguing that he had not received sufficient notice of the enforcement proceedings and that the landlord had therefore not complied with the Civil Procedure Rules. In deciding this case, the court had to consider what constituted ‘sufficient notice’.

The decision

The court dismissed the leaseholder’s appeal. No service of formal notice was required, and the Civil Procedure Rules do not contain any express obligation to serve notice.

Further, the court held that there was no requirement to give occupiers a date and time of a proposed eviction; even if this were the case, the enforcement officers aren’t obliged to give occupiers the details.

Advice and action for landlords

This case is a reminder that notice in respect of an application for a writ of possession should also be served not only on the leaseholder but also on the tenants and occupants of the property; this constitutes sufficient notice for the purposes of the Civil Procedure Rules and will allow possession to be gained. Further, the notice will serve as a reminder to both parties where they are already aware of the proceedings.

Our ‘best practice’ recommendation is for notice to be served on all parties, including the leaseholder, the occupiers and delivery to the property itself in case of any unauthorised occupiers, therefore avoiding any potential disputes.

Our ‘best practice’ recommendation is to serve notice on all parties, including the leaseholder, the occupiers and the property itself, therefore avoiding any potential disputes.

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