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Part 83 amendment and handling SPO breaches

4 October 2018 • Eleanor Lavery

On 1st October 2018, changes to The Civil Procedure Rules came into effect that will have an impact on the way breaches of suspended possession orders should be handled by housing providers.

 

What is Part 83?

Part 83.2 sets out where permission to issue relevant writs and warrants is required by the court.
It states that “a relevant writ or warrant must not be issued without the permission of the court where… under the judgement or order; any persons is entitled to a remedy subject to the fulfilment of any condition, and it is alleged that the condition has been fulfilled”.

This means that where there has been a breach of a suspended possession order, permission of the court is required before a warrant or writ can be requested.

The Amendment

The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2018 will make a change to Part 83.2(3)(e), inserting the following provision: “(other than where non-compliance with the terms of suspension of enforcement of the judgment or order is the failure to pay money.)”

The effect of this change is that where a suspended possession order has been granted and is later breached, and that breach relates to the failure to pay rent and/or arrears installments, permission is no longer required from the court to request a writ or warrant.

Using the correct form

The Amendment will have an effect on which forms are required to be completed for the court too. Form N325A is used to apply to the court for permission to request a warrant of possession. Once this form has been completed and the request is granted by the court, form N325 is used to apply to the court for the warrant of possession. This will give a bailiff power to repossess a property if the occupiers have broken a suspended possession order.

No new forms or specific guidance has been released in relation to whether or not form N325A is still required to be completed in circumstances where the breach relates to the failure to pay money.

However, since permission will no longer be required from the court to request a writ or warrant where the breach of the suspended possession order relates to the failure to pay rent, it would be safe to assume that only form N325 is required in these circumstances.

Therefore, if the breach is money related, only form N325 is required. If the breach is not money related, form N325A is required as usual. It is also worth noting that if the breach of the suspended possession order is failure to pay money, but the suspended possession order is over 6 years old, form N325A would still be required.

Further support and advice

If you would like further information or advice on SPOs, or support with any aspect of housing management and tenancy enforcement, please get in touch with our Partner and Head of Housing Management, Melanie Dirom – 0161 827 7178 / melanie.dirom@croftons.co.uk


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