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High Court Writ of Control | The Solution for Commercial Rent Recovery

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If you’re a troubled commercial landlord whose tenants have fallen behind in rent you have two options to recover what’s owed to you. The first option available is CRAR (commercial rent arrears recovery) – here you can instruct a certified enforcement agent to enter the tenant’s property and seize the goods. A court order is not required for the CRAR process.

While CRAR is faster than getting a judgment and transferring it to the High Court for enforcement, there are several reasons why this may be the best alternative in some cases:

  • The certificated enforcement agent is only allowed to take possession of goods at the property in question (the ‘demised’ premises) under CRAR. There may be nothing to seize that belongs to the tenants if there are no products, assets, or stock on the premises. If the renters’ belongings are located elsewhere, the notice of enforcement might be issued to the other address with a judgment.
  • If the tenants have left the property, CRAR may not be used so a judgment would be required
  • CRAR only covers rent, not insurance or service charges. If these form a sizeable sum, they can be recovered via a judgment

The second option to recover your outstanding rent is forfeiture of the lease.

Forfeiture of Lease allows the landlord to make a peaceable re-entry into the property without notice to the tenant. If the rent payment is late for a set amount of time – usually 21 days – the tenancy contract usually allows the landlord, the authority to re-enter and forfeit the lease (or the period specified in the lease). Due to COVID, the government has put a hold on lease forfeiture for rent arrears from March 26, 2020, to March 25, 2022. (following the most recent extension).

Once the landlord has obtained the judgment, he can take it to the High Court to seek a writ of control (previously known as a writ of fieri facias or fi-fa) that will allow a High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce it (HCEO).

If the landlord has to reclaim the property as well as recoup rent arrears, a combined writ of control and possession might save him time and money. The HCEO will be able to enforce both at the same time, resulting in a successful repossession and, if sufficient assets are seized, the recovery of their rent arrears.

There is another option if money is owed – High Court Enforcement

Enforcing the money owed for the rent with a High Court Writ

Enforcement agents are limited to the demised premises when enforcing for the money of overdue rent under Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) (the property that the rent was due). Our High Court Enforcement Agents can go to any property in England and Wales where the debtor is trading or lives to pursue the debt with a High Court Writ of Control.

Due to COVID, Landlords have been restricted from pursuing unpaid rent under CRAR; now, the rent must be 554 days or more past due to be enforced until March 25, 2022. You can, however, petition for a Country Court Order for the money owed, which we can then transfer to High Court for you and deploy our High Court Enforcement Agents to collect. The debtor and any guarantees can be specified on the court application for enforcement.

We instruct the debtor to pay our fees, therefore there are usually no enforcement fees for you. Although you will be required to pay court fees in order to get court orders, these fees will be added to the debt for collection purposes.

When the tenant has left the rental home, this is also a viable option for landlords.

If you believe this is the right course of action for you, please view our client pamphlet, ‘Obtaining a CCJ and High Court Writ for Unpaid Money,’ for more information. Every step of the process, we can assist you.


We understand the situation for landlords in the UK is not very pleasant. But with friends like Shergroup there is no need for them to feel gloomy but hope for the best. Most of the Covid restrictions in the property sector have been revoked by the government and now the landlords can take a sigh of relief. If you find yourself in a similar situation you can get in touch with Shergroup.

We have a passionate team where every team member will help you with personalised solutions for your situation.

Visit our property solutions on our website and select the solution which you think is suitable for you and make a purchase.

Or you can call us, and we will guide you with a way forward.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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