Eviction Writ: High Court Guidance

High Court Writ Eviction | December 2023

The phrase “high court writ eviction” is one we frequently come across when navigating the complicated world of property law. 

This phrase is closely related to a landlord’s procedure to legally regain possession of their property, frequently due to rent arrears or tenant violations of tenancy agreements.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Understanding High Court Writ Eviction

When a tenant disregards the terms of their tenancy agreement, a landlord may take legal action by filing a high court writ of eviction. 

This might result from unpaid rent or failing to adhere to other conditions stated. When a landlord requests the assistance of a high court enforcement officer, the process is started.

A high court enforcement officer is a designated person with the authority to conduct the eviction procedure. 

This officer, also called an enforcement agent, executes a court order following a decision made by a county court or, in some circumstances, the central London court. This decree is frequently known as a possession decree.

The legal basis for the high court writ of eviction is the county court judgement that leads to the possession order. Realising the tenant’s legal options continue after the county court ruling is critical. 

The landlord may take the case to the Supreme Court for enforcement if the tenant fails to appeal this ruling successfully.

Legal Basis for Writ Evictions

The County Courts Act governs writ evictions. This legislation gives landlords the legitimacy to return their property through the legal system. The act outlines the writ application process and the county court bailiff’s responsibilities during the eviction process.

Writ evictions also heavily rely on common law principles. Tenants are required by common law to uphold landlords’ rights to their property. If this is not done, a county court order for possession may be issued, which could trigger eviction proceedings.

High court enforcement officers and county court bailiffs ensure that the eviction procedure is carried out per the County Courts Act and common law. The enforcement agents responsible for carrying out the eviction are these officers.

The tenant’s eviction notice must be served by the enforcement agent, a county court bailiff or a high court enforcement officer. This notice informs the tenant of the impending eviction and allows them to leave the property voluntarily, which is essential to the eviction procedure.

You can find a link to this video on YouTube here.

Procedure for Obtaining a Writ

The first step in obtaining a writ for eviction is for the landlord to file a lawsuit against the tenant. You must hire a lawyer with the Solicitors Regulation Authority licence

The attorney will guide the landlord in carrying out the possession procedure, giving the tenant notice to vacate the premises.

The landlord may request a county court judgment for possession if the tenant ignores the notice or doesn’t leave the property within the allotted time. If this judgement is upheld, the landlord would have the legal right to retake possession of the property.

If the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the county court judgement may be elevated to a high court writ. The court must approve this escalation before the high court enforcement officer can carry out the eviction.

The high court enforcement officer will then serve the tenant with a notice of eviction following the court’s directive. This notice informs the tenant they have time to leave the property before the officer enforces the eviction.

Role of High Court Enforcement Officers

Officers from the high court’s enforcement division are essential to the eviction procedure. They are responsible for notifying the tenant of the impending eviction and ensuring the legal eviction procedure is followed.

Officers from the high court tasked with enforcing the judgement must also deal with any resistance from the tenant. To ensure the eviction is conducted peacefully, this may entail coordinating with local authorities, such as the police.

The high court enforcement officer can evict a tenant who refuses to leave the property. Officers will attempt to ensure the tenant vacates the property voluntarily before resorting to this, but it is typically a last resort.

Finally, the property must be left in “vacant possession,” according to the high court enforcement officer. This indicates that everyone who lives there and their possessions has left the property so the landlord can take back control.

High Court Writ Eviction

Tenant’s Rights during Eviction

Although tenants may find the eviction procedure stressful, it’s crucial to remember that they are entitled to certain legal protections. For example, the tenant must receive a notice of eviction with enough time to find another living place.

Additionally, the tenant is entitled to an appeal against the county court ruling. This allows the tenant to argue their case and prevent eviction. A district judge hears the request and decides based on the evidence presented.

The tenant may consult a lawyer or Citizens Advice if they believe they are the victim of an unauthorised eviction. When a landlord tries to evict a tenant without a court order or changes the locks without giving the tenant notice, that is considered an illegal eviction.

The fact that residential tenants have more rights than commercial tenants or trespassers should be considered. For instance, a landlord must follow a strict process to obtain a court order before evicting a residential tenant.

"When a tenant disregards the terms of their tenancy agreement, a landlord may take legal action by filing a high court writ of eviction."

Appealing Against a Writ Eviction

A tenant has limited time to file an appeal opposing a writ eviction. Applying to the court and explaining why the tenant thinks the eviction was unfair or illegal is the first step in the appeals process.

A district judge will hear the tenant’s appeal in a county court. If the tenant is in rent arrears or there are irregularities in the eviction process, the judge will consider these factors.

The eviction procedure might be stopped or, in some cases, reversed if the appeal is successful. If the request is denied, the tenant will be asked to leave the property, and the eviction will occur.

Tenants must seek legal counsel before filing an appeal against a writ eviction. By doing so, you can ensure the tenant is fully aware of their rights and the possible results of the appeals process.

Understanding High Court Writ Eviction

Potential Consequences of Writ Evictions

A writ eviction can have severe repercussions for the tenant. Being kicked out of a place can be extremely upsetting and stressful, especially if the tenant has nowhere else to go. 

When this occurs, the tenant may request assistance from the local government, which is required to offer temporary housing.

A successful writ eviction allows the landlord to reclaim possession of the property. However, if the tenant contests the eviction or files an appeal, the procedure may take a long time and be expensive.

Additionally, there might be financial repercussions for both the landlord and the tenant. Rent arrears will continue to be owed even after the eviction, and the tenant might be required to cover the landlord’s legal fees. 

However, the landlord might need help recoup these expenses, particularly if the tenant struggles financially.

Preventing High Court Writ Evictions

Addressing the problems that caused the eviction in the first place is frequently necessary to stop a high court writ eviction. This may entail the tenant paying any back rent owed or making good on any violations of the tenancy agreement.

For the landlord, prevention may entail conducting a more thorough background check on prospective tenants to ensure they are financially reliable and likely to abide by the tenancy agreement’s terms. 

It also entails getting legal counsel when there is a problem to ensure potential issues are resolved quickly and legally.

In some circumstances, mediation might be a valuable tool for avoiding evictions. To avoid court intervention, the landlord and tenant may be able to agree with the aid of a neutral third party.

And finally, preventing evictions requires education. Landlords and tenants should know their obligations and rights and consult a lawyer if they have any questions.

Legal Basis for Writ Evictions

High Court Enforcement Agent Duties

The process of a high court writ eviction is crucially dependent on a high court enforcement agent. They are responsible for carrying out the eviction procedure, ensuring the tenant is informed of the impending eviction, and guaranteeing the eviction is carried out legally.

Agents of the High Court who enforce the County Court Act must adhere to strict rules and procedures. Any departure from these rules could result in the eviction being ruled illegal. Court enforcement services keep an eye on their behaviour to make sure the law is being followed.

A high court enforcement agent’s duties extend beyond simply carrying out evictions. Trespassers on private property are another issue they must deal with. They use a different process in these situations called a common law eviction.

Tenant Eviction and Landlord Action

Evicting a tenant can be difficult and stressful for all parties involved. A landlord does not take this decision lightly. Eviction is typically a last resort after attempts to resolve problems through non-payment of rent or violating the tenancy agreement have been unsuccessful.

The landlord must notify the tenant of eviction as the first step. This formally states the intention of the landlord to reclaim the property. The landlord may take the situation to county court if the tenant disobeys the notice.

After a county court judgement is issued, landlord actions continue. The landlord may request a high court writ of possession if the tenant refuses to leave the property. Once approved, the eviction is carried out by a high court enforcement officer.

Procedure for Obtaining a Writ

Bailiff Eviction and Common Law Eviction

Another phrase frequently used in connection with tenant evictions is bailiff eviction. A bailiff is an enforcement agent authorised to carry out evictions in the UK. A bailiff may be an enforcement officer for the high court or a bailiff for the county court.

A county court bailiff is typically used for evictions according to a county court judgement, whereas a high court enforcement agent is used for high court writ evictions. 

A landlord may, however, request that a county court judgement be transferred to the high court for enforcement if it is rendered ineffective.

Another method for removing trespassers from residential property is common law eviction. Due to the speedier procedure, the landlord may, if necessary, use reasonable force to regain control of the property without a court order. 

To make sure the eviction is done legally, it is always advisable to enlist the aid of a high court enforcement agent.

UK Care Guide is really proud to have been featured on some of the UK’s leading websites.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

Meet The Team