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When challenged with a sizeable financial obligation, such as money and costs owed on account of a court judgment or order, you can arrange to pay the amount in parts – giving relief from an intimidating bill.

Judgments and orders may have the full amount due suspended by paying in instalments, provided a warrant for part of that money has been issued. Make sure to pay those obligations on time – or else it’s suspension lift-off.

Unless specifically instructed otherwise, the court’s judgment or orders will be treated as suspended until all remaining sums of money and costs have been fully paid.

What is a suspension of a warrant?

Landlords can pursue a possession order to evict tenants from their property via the courts by applying for a warrant of possession. Though this action is usually enforced automatically, if an eviction occurs on discretionary grounds, then a tenant can apply to County Court or High Court respectively in order to delay it by filing Form N244 and potentially attending hearings with district judges. Furthermore, landlords have the ability to transfer cases directly over these same matters into proceedings at the High Court level where they will be enforced through writs of possession; though again tenants may also intervene here as well granting themselves additional time should discretion prove necessary.

When a landlord wishes to enforce tenants’ obligations under the terms of their lease, they can seek possession through an application for a warrant which is granted by the court. The bailiffs (known as Enforcement Agents) will use this document to evict any occupiers from the property should it be necessary. However, tenants have some recourse if eviction seems unavoidable: they may apply to suspend or delay execution at either county or high courts depending on how discretionary grounds were used in making such order initially; Form N244 must thus be completed and submitted along with hearings presided over by district judges – alternatively seeking transferral of case proceedings up into High Court jurisdiction where applications could then subsequently made towards suspending writs of possession there instead.

The court’s powers to suspend a warrant

Possessing a secure tenancy provides protection – courts have the discretion to suspend or stay possession orders even if they were made on discretionary grounds. Additionally, in cases where tenants cannot pay any payments set out by an order, the execution of said warrant can be delayed until payment is arranged. The court will ultimately determine the terms and expiration dates for such stays.

The court is vested with its extensive power to suspend or postpone any order of eviction in case the tenancy is assured, secure, or a Rent Act Tenancy. Not only that but it may also stay execution if needed payments by tenants cannot be met; this would grant some respite until a certain fixed date has been reached – all at the discretion of the court deciding on how long and what terms are necessary for such an agreement.

In the event that a court-ordered possession has been issued, its ability to suspend enforcement is limited depending on how it was made. This includes an assured shorthold tenant under section 21 and occupiers with basic protection in cases where possession orders were based upon mandatory grounds such as ground 8 for assured tenants. The extent of delay permissible by court order stands at 14 days following issuance or six weeks if exceptional hardship can be demonstrated; however this period usually concludes before warrant execution could take place anyway. There are exceptions restricting these limitations which grant courts allowance to stay warrants pending appeal proceedings – should one have been filed prior.

Possession orders made on certain mandatory grounds or against particular tenants can only be delayed by the court for up to 14 days. Under exceptional circumstances, however, a delay of six weeks may be granted shortening this time frame before the execution of the warrant occurs. It’s worth noting that when appealing such an order there is potential for a stay in execution once more until appeal proceedings have concluded should it arise as necessary.

How to apply to suspend a warrant?

Tenants threatened with eviction have the right to apply for a suspension of the warrant using form N244. This should be submitted at least five days prior to their scheduled ejection date and done so through either mail or via PCOL (if possession has already been claimed online). Don’t delay: appeal your case now! Tenants have the chance to stay in their homes even after a court order has been made – they can take advantage of this opportunity by submitting form N244 at the County Court hearing centre where it was issued. Those whose applications were done online using Possession Claim Online (PCOL) should get started right away, as long as an application is filed no less than five days prior to eviction.

Complete form N244

Those seeking to challenge the eviction process can get a paper copy of Form N244 from their court. They will need pertinent details found on their bailiff-issued N54 notice, such as the name and address of the court hearing the case, plus both its claim and warrant numbers. Along with that information comes an official statement of truth confirming tenants have a good faith belief in what they are saying is true. Prospective tenants can contact the court for a paper copy of Form N244, which requires some key details. The claim and warrant numbers on your Notice of Enforcement (N54) provided by bailiffs will help to complete this form accurately. To ensure authenticity, applicants confirm their belief in truthfulness when signing off on the statement included with the application.

Include a witness statement

A witness statement is an essential part of the legal process, providing crucial information to ensure justice is served. It’s critical for tenants applying for N244 forms that their statements be in a particular order and format – crafted with care through diligent research, personal experience and accurate data which must be endorsed by signature. This ensures judges have access to evidence-based facts from all parties involved so they can make sound decisions on cases at hand. A witness statement is a powerful tool for tenants to use in court proceedings. It offers the unique chance of providing an authoritative account, written from their own perspective and containing accurate facts about the case presented clearly within its structure. To ensure maximum effectiveness, it must be carefully composed with required information including address, occupation and signed declaration that truthfully attests to all provided details are correct.

Reasons for suspending the warrant

Tenants requesting suspension of a warrant must provide compelling evidence as to why their request should be accepted. This could include an outline on the form, or an attachment in the form of witness statements. Additionally, tenants who have had prior breaches on grounds related to renting arrears will need further proof that they are capable and willing to adhere moving forward — outlining how they were able to support payments towards both contractual rent and existing debts while accounting for any external assistance such as debt advice given by respective authorities.

Tenants who are looking to suspend an impending warrant must provide a valid explanation of their situation and any available solutions. This can take the form of either completing relevant sections on the form itself or adding them as witness statements.

Those in arrears should go into detail regarding why they have breached previous orders, how they plan to prevent such occurrences going forward, and if applicable, indicate what steps have been taken -such as debt/benefits advice- that may help ensure payment conditions are met regularly whilst advancing against existing debts at the same time.

Tenants with a looming warrant can seek relief in the form of adjournment if their circumstances have changed. Seen such changes include benefit issues or newfound employment- both of which should be supported by relevant evidence for presentation to the court, say perhaps start date confirmation from an employer.

The tenant should make sure to add any additional, pertinent details that might affect their case. This can include a health condition and the impact of eviction based on a disability-related adaptation made to the property. Furthermore, they should elaborate upon anything that would cause them unparalleled difficulty if an eviction were pursued.

Pay the fee or apply for remission

A fee may be applicable for suspending a warrant, but some applicants can claim financial relief if they have an income below the threshold and no capital above a set amount. The N244 form must accompany any application to the court with proof of income – such as benefits documents – or in emergency situations where execution is imminent, evidence-free applications are permissible.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a warrant issued against you and having to suspend it, there may be fees associated with that. Fortunately though, if your income or capital is below-set levels as defined by UK law then they could potentially waive this fee – referred to legally as ‘fee remission’ – making application easier and more accessible for those impacted most severely. This process can take place at court while submitting form N244 along with EX160 which will provide evidence of credibility such as proof benefits; however should there not be enough time available due to an emergency (e.g., a scheduled execution on either the same or the next day) then certain allowances might still apply regardless.

Submit the form

To limit the chance of eviction, tenants can apply to suspend a warrant at any time before its execution. The court may even temporarily delay it if unable to schedule a hearing in time – provided proper notice is given by either submitting form or directly contacting landlords beforehand. In most cases, however, three days’ prior warning should be enough for both parties and any extensions are up to judicial discretion.

When eviction is imminent, tenants can seek reprieve from the court – but a formal application must be presented at least three days in advance. If circumstances prevent this prior notice being given to the landlord, then it’s essential that they are contacted directly and apprised of their forthcoming hearing date. The judiciary may also grant shorter periods if requested; plus exercise discretion by temporarily suspending execution until such time as its capacity allows for matters to proceed through due process.

Submitting your application to the court can be a tricky business. Different County Court hearing centres have their own filing practices and varying opening times, often closing at 4pm – so it’s important to ensure you file properly. Make sure you give yourself enough time by ensuring all copies of the original application form are made: one for each party served and another copy that is specifically submitted to the county court desk. Don’t hesitate in contacting them beforehand if needed; they’d be happy to help guide you through any questions or concerns about issuing an effective claim.

Attend the hearing if there is one

The court may not require a hearing to decide the application if all parties have agreed on an order. This might include situations where the landlord has accepted a proposed repayment plan and both sides of representation sign off on submitting a consent order for review by the court.

What the court considers

When faced with an outstanding warrant, tenants can submit applications to County Court in order to possibly have it suspended. Courts take into consideration a wide array of factors when assessing the application, including potential financial losses for the tenant and landlord; any discrepancies between tenancy agreements or possession orders; as well as if there is a significant dispute regarding unpaid arrears. Additionally, should human rights violations be presented at court hearings – appeals will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

The County Court has wide-ranging powers when assessing whether a warrant should be suspended. Factors such as the tenant’s right to remain in their home, the responsibilities of social landlords towards other tenants, and any breaches committed by either side will all be taken into account. In cases where there is considerable disagreement over outstanding rent arrears owed, it may be beneficial for tenants to request an adjournment so that this can first be established before proceedings continue further. Tenants do have options available if they feel like their human rights are being infringed upon; however, these claims are only heard under exceptional circumstances within the court system.

The landlord introduces other grounds

The court can consider more than the grounds stated in a landlord’s initial claim for possession, such as instances of anti-social behaviour. The judicial policy is to only evict tenants when there has been serious misconduct and it would be reasonable to do so; however this should not stop landlords from investigating potential wider issues on their application job request – they simply need ensure that both parties are provided evidence if allegations were omitted during original proceedings.

The County Court recently declared that a landlord attempting to implement an Equality Act defence in the enforcement phase must advance further legal action, as resolving it without trial is outside of their authority. Thus, they are obliged to initiate fresh proceedings based on the evidence presented during this altercation.

Making a counterclaim when applying to suspend the warrant

When facing a potential possession order, tenants can seek permission from the court to issue a counterclaim. This could be an opportunity for them to bring forward concerns about property disrepair that may have been overlooked in relation to renting arrears grounds. The ultimate goal of adjudicating is justice and efficiency; when assessing whether or not this should be allowed, their judgment must balance both the connection between the original claim and counterclaim as well as the scope of cost-efficiency.

If the warrant is suspended

If the warrant is due to be executed, tenants can apply for its suspension with the court and notify bailiffs when granted. Subsequent applications may not succeed if a tenant has breached previous agreements; they must explain any change in circumstances which might prevent further breaches from happening. However, there’s no limit on how many times an application can be made so long as changes are detailed appropriately.

When the court grants a tenant’s application to suspend a warrant, bailiffs are notified and it is not acted upon. However, if any further breach of contract occurs during its suspension period, tenants may make another pleading for pause – there being no restriction on how many times this can be done. Moreover, when evaluating future appeals judges will consider all previous violations; applicants must therefore provide clear reasons why they have changed their behaviour sufficiently so that subsequent agreements would not also be breached.

Example of a completed N244 to suspend a warrant

Download an example N244 to suspend a warrant for a tenant on rent arrears grounds. (PDF)

N244 Application notice


Claim no. – XXXX

Fee account no. – leave blank

Help with Fees – Ref. no – leave blank

Warrant no. – XXXX

Claimant’s name – ANY LANDLORD

Defendant’s name – ANY TENANT


1. What is your name or, if you are a legal representative, the name of your firm?


2. Are you a


3. What order are you asking the court to make and why?

I’m appealing to the Court for a stay on eviction proceedings, requesting that I be allowed to resume my contractual rent payments plus an additional amount towards arrears each week. Ask Court to suspend the warrant of possession due to be executed on xx/xx/xxxx on terms that I pay my contractual rent payments plus £X towards the arrears each week.

4. Have you attached a draft of the order you are applying for?


5. How do you want to have this application dealt with?

at a hearing

6. How long do you think the hearing will last?

0 Hours 10 Minutes

Is this time estimate agreed by all parties


7. Give details of any fixed trial date or period


8. What level of Judge does your hearing need?

District Judge

9. Who should be served with this application?

The claimant

9a. Please give the service address, (other than details of the claimant or defendant) of any party named in question 9.

Leave blank

10. What information will you be relying on, in support of your application?

Tick witness statement if the applicant is including one


Tick the evidence set out in the box below

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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