Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has issued a new accelerated claim form for possession (N5b). The new form seems to be a consolidation exercise and gets rid of a number of unneeded paragraphs. In fact they have got rid of an entire page!

As coincidence, I have a personal possession case to hand into the court tomorrow so I have been able to fully test the new form and it seems overall easier to complete and certainly less paragraphs to strike through and delete. The form relies much more on tick boxes than before which can only be a good thing.

There is one confusing point namely under new paragraph 7 where the deposit is being talked about, the form asks for “My reference number”. It is unclear what this means but after brief discussions tonight (apologies to @nearlylegal and @ddortongibson for the twitter DM’s late tonight!) we all seem to be on the general consensus that this means the deposit ID where possible as that seems to be the most logical thing to ask for.

Paragraph 10 which allowed additional information has been removed altogether (probably because judges were fed up with lengthy comments by landlords about the milkman and neighbours opinion of the tenants). This has meant however there is nowhere to put additional comments like our explanation of our section 21(4)(a) notice containing no actual calendar date.

In order to fix this minor problem, we have amended our section 21(4)(a) notice to a new version (F018 09/11) which now contains this explanation on the notice itself. I think this is actually better than putting it on the court form in any event.

All members should now use the latest version of the section 21 notice which is available through the serving notice guidance page and it is of course free of charge (to members).

In addition, we have totally overhauled our guidance on completing the accelerated possession claim form which is available here