We summarise the outcome of the High Court case ruling against Kingston-upon-Thames RBC and which landlords may need to take action and when, regarding compensation for overcharging water bills.
Please note that the Cardiff CC –v- Lee (Flowers) case reported in our recent e-briefing (click here) does also apply to suspended possession orders made in rent arrears cases.
Landlords should set up a template N244 general application notice to use to apply for permission before they apply for a warrant on form N325. This cannot presently be done on PCOL and a hard copy will need to be completed.
The “order sought” part of the N244 should read along the lines of:
“1. An order for Permission for the Claimant pursuant to CPR 83.2(3)(e) to apply for a warrant of possession as the terms in the suspended possession order made on [date] (attached) have been breached as shown by the rent account attached. 2. Costs in the sum of the court fee of £100”
Tick the box on the N244 for it to be heard without a hearing and give a time estimate of 5 minutes. We would suggest a witness statement is not required unless the breach of the SPO is not, for some reason, self-explanatory from the rent account.
If you want to use PCOL for the warrant then you should wait until the order giving permission comes back and then apply for the warrant on PCOL. It is not known if and when PCOL or the warrant application form N325 will be updated to add a box to tick to say permission has been granted already; this may take some time.
If you do not use PCOL you could send the N235 warrant application in with the N244 application and ask in the covering letter for the court to process the warrant application once permission has been granted.
It is likely permission applications will take 3 – 4 weeks to be dealt with by Judges. The court fee payable for a without notice application where a hearing is not sought is £100. If you do not have a court fee account (separate from the PCOL fee account) then it may save time to set one up now.
Once permission has been granted and a warrant date set, the tenant still has the right to apply for a suspension of the warrant in the usual way. That process remains unchanged.
For more information
Please contact Helen Tucker or any member of the Housing Litigation team on 0121 212 7400.
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