What is a possession hearing at a county court? Court possession hearings is where a judge hears evidence and decides whether you should get evicted.
POSSESSION HEARINGS: This guide has information on the county court possession hearing process.
Possession hearings and orders get used in the eviction of a tenant. The judge decides whether to make a court order or to set a hearing date. The decision made at the court possession hearing could be to:
• Dismiss the case: No order gets made and the hearing ends.
• Adjourn the hearing: It gets postponed to a later date.
• Issue an 'order': A legal decision made by a court judge.
The judge dismisses the case if he sees no reason why your tenants should get evicted. A case dismissal also occurs if:
The outcome means tenants can stay in the property if the judge dismisses the case. If you still want to complete the eviction process you must restart the court process from the beginning.
The court judge can make several different kinds of possession orders.
Terms of an outright possession order mean tenants have to leave the property before the date given in the order. Often the date is either 14 or 28 days after your court hearing.
The lender has a legal right to own your home on the date given in the order. This is also called an 'order for possession'.
What happens if tenants fail to leave the home by the date given? Landlords can ask the court for a 'warrant for possession' to get tenants evicted. An eviction notice gives them a date when they must leave the dwelling.
Note: Failing to leave means you can use bailiffs to evict them from the property.
A suspended order for possession means tenants may be able to stay in the home. But, they must make the payments or obey any specific conditions set out in the order. The landlord can ask the court to evict tenants if they fail to make the payments.
Court money orders mean tenants must pay the amount set out in the order. If they fail to make any payments the courts can take action to recover the money. Court action can include:
Note: Your landlord can go back court and ask for a possession order if you get into rent arrears again.
A judge has legal power to add a money judgment to any of the different types of possession orders. This would mean that tenants owe a specific amount of money and is usually made up of:
A money judgment does not apply if tenants pay the arrears and the amount set out in a suspended possession order. But, a money judgment applies if they fail to pay the amount set out in the suspended possession order linked to a judgment.
The landlord can also ask the court to carry out the instructions in the order and the judgment if you fail to pay.
What happens if the judge made some mistakes about the law or the facts of the original case hearing? You may have right to appeal the judge's decision. As a rule your appeal then gets heard by a more senior judge at the court.
Possession Hearings and County Court Possession Orders in the United Kingdom