Enforcement of suspended orders: alignment of procedures in the County Court and High Court

|Consultations|Civil

In Cardiff v Lee (Flowers) [2016] EWCA Civ 1034 the claimant landlord had obtained a possession order against the defendant secure tenant on the grounds of breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement prohibiting anti-social conduct.

The order was suspended for 2 years on condition that the tenant complied with the provisions of his tenancy agreement, which contained covenants against causing a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours. Following further complaints from neighbours of the tenant, the landlord applied for the issue of a warrant of possession. It did so by lodging form N325, following the administrative procedure set out in CPR 83.6.

The warrant was issued and the bailiff served notice of the date of intended eviction. The tenant’s application to stay execution of the warrant was dismissed by the District Judge and his subsequent appeal was dismissed by the Circuit Judge.

On appeal to the Court of Appeal it was common ground that the landlord ought to have sought permission to apply for the issue of the warrant as required by CPR 83.2. In short, CPR 83(2) states that a ‘relevant writ or warrant’ (which includes a warrant of possession) must not be issued without the permission of the court in any of the circumstances specified in CPR 83.2(3)(a)-(f).

This consultation seeks your views on whether amendments are required to rules and forms in light of the judgment.