Introduction

Please note, this page is for WALES ONLY. If the property is in England, please use this guidance.

As you are commencing proceedings under a section 21 notice and you have a copy of the necessary tenancy agreements, you are able to use the accelerated possession procedure. This usually means there will be no hearing and the order for possession should be done on the papers only.

Briefly, the following will occur:

  • Landlord to complete claim form for possession
  • Landlord files claim form with court nearest to the property
  • Court issues form to tenants
  • Landlord receives letter from court stating form has been issued. This letter will contain a “tear off slip”.
  • Tenant will have 14 days to reply with a defence (limited grounds for example notice defective)
  • If tenant fails to reply within 14 days, landlord tears off slip from letter and sends to court. This asks court to grant summary judgement of a possession order without a hearing.
  • Judge looks at all papers and (usually) grants a possession order requiring tenant to vacate on or before 14 days from the order. The judge does have the power to call a hearing if he/she sees something in the papers that could question an order for possession (for example defective notice, or tenancy not an assured shorthold tenancy etc.)
  • Landlord and tenant receive notification of possession order and tenant must vacate.
  • Failure to vacate by tenant by the date ordered allows landlord to instigate court bailiff to remove tenants. (Landlord must not evict tenant without bailiff)!

The forms you need

As at 21 November 2017, a new claim form has been issued but the gov.uk wizard has not been updated. Therefore, until the wizard is amended, the paper forms are the only available option.

Online wizard

There is an online form available which you can use. It’s not an online “application” though so once you’ve gone through the steps, you will print the form just like the one below and send it the the court with payment. If you choose this online form, you can still use the guidance below by replacing pages of the paper form with the web form.

The online form has much better wording for some of the questions and is much simpler because only options selected appear reducing the number of questions that need to be answered in simpler cases.

We would highly recommend using the new online form rather than the forms below (but you can still use our guidance as detailed below because the questions are basically the same).

Paper form

You will need to have the accelerated claim form for possession and certificate of service available to complete.

You will also need your tenancy agreement, section 21 notice and proof of service available to hand.

Completing the claim form

Please be aware only the “landlord” or a qualified legal representative (such as a solicitor) can complete forms. An agent is not allowed to complete court forms on behalf of a landlord client.

Click on each section below to reveal details about how to complete each part of the form.

Page 1

Name of court: Insert the county court where you will be sending the court form. This must be the court nearest to the property. If you are not sure, click here to search for a court.

Claim no.: Leave blank

Fee Account no.: Leave blank

Help with Fees Ref No: Leave blank

Is the property you are claiming possession of located wholly or partly in Wales?: Tick “Yes”

 

Claimant: Insert names and addresses of ALL landlord’s. You must include title (e.g. Mr, Mrs etc.)

Defendant(s): Insert all tenants names and tenancy address. You must include title (e.g. Mr, Mrs etc.)

The claimant is claiming possession of: Insert tenancy address

The claimant is also asking for an order that you pay the costs of the claim: Tick “Yes”

 

Defendant’s name and address for service: Enter names of all tenants and tenancy address (again!)

Court Fee: £355.00

Legal representative’s costs: £0.00

Total Amount: £355.00

Issue Date: Leave this blank, the court will fill this in.

 

Page 2

 

1. The claimant seeks an order that the defendant(s) give possession of: Insert tenancy address (yet again!)

(‘the premises’) which is: tick whether dwelling house or part of a dwelling house (part of a dwelling is only applicable if a room with shared facilities is let).

Is it a demoted tenancy?: Tick “No” (Demoted tenancies only apply to local authorities)

 

2: Enter the date of the first tenancy agreement entered into. If you have never renewed the tenancy, delete the bottom part by putting a line through the whole sentence in [square brackets]. Otherwise leave it in and enter the date of the most recent tenancy agreement. If your tenancy has an agreement date which is earlier than the commencement date of the tenancy, enter the earlier agreement date. It’s a little unclear which date they require and actually the commencement date is of more use to the court but the question seems to lean towards the date the agreement was made rather than commencement.

3: Part 3 is in two parts separated by “(or)”. Choose one of the following options (normally it will be the first part chosen):

If the tenancy commenced on or after 28 February 1997, This is the most common option. Delete the whole of the bottom part after “(or)” as per the picture below.

If first tenancy commenced between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997, delete top part above “(or)” and complete the date that the section 20 notice was served (not to be confused with a section 21 notice, if in doubt call us).

4: Tick either Yes or N/A as appropriate noting that the question relates to the “same” tenants for any renewals, so if names have been added, removed or changed, this changed tenancy should be regarded as a “new” tenancy and not a renewal (if you’re not sure, please contact us).

Note: if you have to tick “no” you may not be able to use this procedure so please contact us.

 

Page 3

 

5:

Enter the date that you served the section 21 notice.

Enter how, when and by whom the notice was sent or delivered e.g. “Sent by first class post on 10 August 2017 by Mr Adrian Thompson (claimant) of 13 Station Parade, Harrogate, HG1 1UF”.

Enter the date the notice expired. You may need to contact us for the expiry date if you used our old style s.21(4)(a) notice as it contains no actual date.

If you have proof of service (e.g. proof of postage) leave the last part in [square brackets] otherwise strike through (you ideally would want proof of service to attach later).

 

6:

Is the property part of a house in multiple occupation? – If the property is a licensable HMO, tick “Yes” otherwise tick “No”. It’s a strange question because it’s possible to be an HMO but not require a license however, ticking yes requires the licensing part to be completed so the question must actually mean if the property is a licensable HMO.

(a) Licence under part 2Part 2 licensing is mandatory licensing which is needed where the building is 3 or more storeys and there are 5 or more occupiers. Where you have ticked “Yes” above, insert the name of the local authority who has issued the licence and the date the latest licence was issued. If a licence has not yet been issued, evidence of the application for a licence (which must have been made before the section 21 was served) must be attached to the form and marked ‘D’.

(b) Is the property required to be licensed under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004? – Part 3 is additional or selective licensing which is any rented property in areas specified by the local authority. If you don’t need a licence in the area tick “No” and move onto paragraph 7. If a licence is necessary, tick “Yes”, complete name of authority and date of latest licence.

 

7. Is the landlord a registered social landlord or a fully mutual housing association? Tick “No”

 

8. If you were not the landlord when the section 21 Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) notice (that is on the date set out in Section 5 of this claim form) was given, when was the landlord’s interest assigned to you? Leave blank if you were also the landlord who served the section 21 notice (or an agent on your behalf). Otherwise, enter the date the landlord’s interest was assigned to you.

 

9.  When the section 21 was given:

(a) Was the landlord a landlord by assignment? Tick “No” (or “Yes” if appropriate). If yes, state nature of assignment, the date of assignment, whether it was registered and the date of registration.

 

Page 4

 

… continued

9. When the section 21 was given:

(b) Was the landlord registered? Tick “Yes”

(c) Was the landlord licensed? Tick “Yes” and insert licence number or tick “No” as appropriate (if no is ticked, you must answer yes to the next question and insert agent details).

(d) Had the landlord appointed a licensed agent to be responsible for all the property management work in relation to the dwelling? Tick “Yes” or “No” as appropriate. If yes, insert name, licence number and date of appointment of agent.

10:

(a) Was a money deposit received in relation to the tenancy or in relation to a tenancy directly or indirectly replaced?: If a deposit was received (even if not protected properly) tick “Yes”. If deposit never received, tick “No” and move to part 8.

Only if you have ticked Yes:

(b) on what date did the fixed term come to an end? Enter the date the fixed term of the tenancy ended.

(c) has the landlord protected the deposit by lodging it in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme(TDS): If it was protected (including if it was protected beyond 30 days) tick “Yes”. If the deposit was never protected, tick “No”.

(d) when was the deposit lodged? Enter date the deposit was protected (if yes to above and even if beyond 30 days).

(e) what is the deposit reference number? Enter the deposit reference if it was protected at some point. DO NOT INSERT your repayment ID if using Deposit Protection Service.

(f) is a copy of the TDS certificate attached? Tick “Yes” and attach the deposit protection certificate or some proof the deposit was protected on the date supplied (a screenshot may be sufficient if nothing else available).

(g) has the landlord given the tenant the prescribed information in relation to the deposit and the operation of the TDS? Tick “Yes” or “No” as appropriate.

(h) on what date was the prescribed information given? If yes to above, enter date the prescribed information given.

(i) has the deposit been repaid to the tenant? If you have repaid the deposit to the tenant (presumably including via agreed deductions) tick “Yes”. Otherwise tick “No”. If you tick “yes” here, none of the above questions really matter as long as the date you enter next was before the section 21 notice was served.

If Yes, on what date was it repaid: Enter the date the deposit was repaid (if applicable).

 

Page 5

 

11. If the defendant(s) seek(s) postponement of possession on the grounds of exceptional hardship, is the claimant content that the request be considered without a hearing? Normally tick “Yes”. Only tick “No” if you want to attend a hearing should the tenant ask for extra time (every tenant always asks for extra time and having a hearing could delay things even further).

 

12. The claimant asks the court to order that the defendant(s): tick both boxes!

Page 6

 

Statement of truth: Sign, and date and enter name as appropriate (should be the claimant themselves unless a solicitor has been used).

Strike through who is signing as appropriate. See picture below for example where claimant landlord themselves is completing form.

Claimant’s address: Usually leave this empty because it only needs completing “if different from that on the front page”

Enter a reference, fax, telephone or email as you wish. May be useful to at least put in your telephone and email if you wish.

Certificate of service: leave blank. The court will complete the rest of page 6.

 

 

Page 7

 

This page is just a checklist.

In a normal situation, you will tick the three boxes as shown below but obviously tick as appropriate. If you have done a renewal tenancy, tick the other box next to “question 2”.

 

Certificate of service

Frustratingly, more and more courts think that a certificate of service is needed in respect of the section 21 notice. IT IS NOT legally required because a section 21 is not a court form and all court forms are being served by the court not you at this stage. Also, you have proof of service for the section 21. Anyway, because many courts think it is needed, it’s best to simply play ball and send one with the form anyway and attach it to the proof of postage you already got.

As the certificate of service is to be completed by the person who actually served the document – where there is an agent, you will need to ask them to sign the certificate because it asks what document did ‘you‘ serve and who did ‘you‘ serve it on. Sometimes this might be difficult where you didn’t serve the notice yourself so you will have to make a judgment call as to whether the certificate of service is necessary. If your unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Completing the form

A sample completed form is available here.

Complete name of court, name of claimant and defendant as accelerated form above

On what day did you serve: insert date notice served

The date of service is: as long as you have followed guidance and hand delivered, this will be the same day as above. Otherwise follow the table attached to the certificate of service on the back page.

What documents did you serve? insert “Notice in writing saying that possession of the premises was required – section 21 Housing Act 1988”

On whom did you serve? insert tenant (defendant) name(s)

How did you serve the documents? Tick as appropriate, normally the top two (first class post and by leaving at a permitted place)

Give the address where service effected: insert tenancy address

Being the: tick “defendant’s” and “usual residence”.

Statement of truth: insert full name, sign and date as appropriate.

Documents to attach

Because in most cases, the accelerated possession procedure is dealt with on the papers in most cases, you will need to attach several documents to the claim form. Attach the following documents:

  • Attach the first tenancy agreement granted to tenants and mark in the top right hand corner “A”.
  • If you have renewed the tenancy since the first one, attach the current tenancy agreement and mark it “A1”. There is no need to attach any tenancy agreements granted in-between the first and current.
  • The tenancy agreement(s) should contain all documents provided at the time or before occupation including the EPC, gas safety record, how to rent guide and deposit prescribed information. There should also be some evidence that the tenant “received” these documents “before occupation” (our tenancy contains a list of documents they have received and as the tenants sign the tenancy agreement, no further action is necessary in respect of evidence if you have used our tenancy agreements since October 2015).
  • If the tenancy commenced before 28 February 1997, attach the section 20 notice and mark it “B”. Also attach proof of service (if applicable) and mark it “B1”
  • Attach a copy of the section 21 notice and mark it “C”
  • Attach a copy of the certificate of postage or other proof of service to the certificate of service and mark them both “C1”
  • If you have an application for a licence which is still pending, you should get evidence from the local authority that an application is pending and mark the evidence “D” for mandatory licensing or “E” for additional or selective.
  • If the registration and/or the licence application is outstanding or the licence application is subject to appeal then a statement as to and evidence of the position should be attached marked “F”.
  • If there was a deposit, attach a copy of the deposit protection certificate or insurance premium certificate showing the deposit was protected
  • If deposit returned to tenant and you have some receipt enclose that. If deductions agreed, you must enclose the written agreement.
  • If you have inherited the tenancy (for example by purchasing the property) or you have changed address since the tenancy agreement, you must attach the section 48 notice you served on the tenants (notice of landlords name and address). If you haven’t informed the tenants of a change of address, you must do this before sending this court form and attach it.
  • Also if you have inherited the tenancy, you should attach an explanation as to why the names or address don’t match. If in doubt contact the Guild.

Number of copies

Normally you will need at least four copies of the form and attachments. You will need one copy of “ALL” the documents and claim form for you to retain. One for the court, plus one copy for each named tenant on the tenancy agreement. This is because even though the tenants are at the same address, the court will send one full copy for each tenant.

Issuing the form

You need to either post or take the claim form into the court nearest the property. You could ask for a receipt. You will need to pay, usually by cheque. The amount is £355.00 and the cheque should be made payable to HMCTS.

You should hear from the court within 7 days. If you haven’t, you should call the court and ask for written confirmation that the claim form has been issued.

Requesting the order

Once you have received confirmation, a date will be provided when the tenant must reply by. Once this date has passed, you must use the tear off slip and send it back to the court without delay. The tenant can still reply at anytime until the judge has made the order, therefore the longer you leave it, the longer the tenant has to defend the claim (on very limited grounds). Both landlord and tenant will be notified in writing by the court of the date that the tenant must leave by

If the tenant fails to vacate

Should the tenant fail to give up possession by the date ordered, you need to apply to the court bailiff who will remove the tenants from your property.YOU MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE TENANTS YOURSELF!

Simply see this guidance on completing the bailiff form (warrant of execution N325) and send it to the same court as the order was made along with a cheque for £121.00 made payable to HMCTS.

Helpful tip: If you take the form to the court yourself before 10.00am, you may be able to ask for the bailiff personally. You can then ask him to book in the appointment for removing the tenants there and then. Usually it is about seven days. You must go before 10.00am though as the bailiff normally goes out on his rounds after this time. Often there is only one or two bailiffs for the whole area so appointments will vary according to the time they have available.

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