A common problem with seeking a possession order from the court is not only establishing the validity of notices but also the many adjournments that can occur. This article attempts to explain the law of adjournments and postponement of possession.
Where a landlord serves a section 21 ‘no fault’ 2 months notice and has a copy of the the written tenancy agreement, he is able to use the accelerated possession procedure. This usually does not involve a hearing.
Upon reading the papers and any defence filed by the tenant, the judge has the following options:
- Make a possession order [rule 55.16(1)(a)]
If the judge is not satisfied that the claim form was served or the judge is not satisfied that the claimant landlord is entitled to possession then the court must:
- direct that a date be fixed for a hearing; and [rule 55.16(1)(b)(i)]
- give any appropriate case management directions; or [55.16(1)(b)(ii)]
- strike out the claim if the claim form discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim. [55.16(1)(c)]
If the court directs that a hearing should be called, the court must give all parties not less than 14 days’ notice of the hearing [55.16(3)]. Unfortunately in this case of a hearing being called, there is no guide as to when the hearing should take place.
Commonly if a landlords claim is refused, the order from the court will often say “claim dismissed” or “claim refused”. This is the incorrect wording because as shown above, Rule 55.16(1)(c) gives the court the power to “strike out” the claim. There is no power to dismiss or refuse the claim.