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Writ Of Possession | Possession Claims Based On “Substantial Rent Arrears”

UPDATED REGULATIONS UNDER SI 2021 No 164 | The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021


For so many people the light is at the end of a very long and dark tunnel as the UK emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic. Landlords are one group of people who have been severely impacted by Government regulations in their activities so any good news in the days and weeks ahead is desperately needed.


So, we are pleased to say that the plight of landlords is finally being recognised by the Government in its relaxation of the rules on when evictions can take place.


The “Relaxed” Regulations In Detail


Whilst Paragraph 2 of SI 2021 No 164 clearly states that enforcement agents cannot attend at a dwelling house to enforce a possession order, the position is becoming more relaxed as a result of Paragraph 3. This states that the prohibition on eviction will not apply where the court is satisfied that

  1. (a) the case involves substantial rent arrears; and

  2. (b) the notice, writ or warrant relates to an order for possession made wholly or partly—

  3. (i) on Ground 1 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985;

  4. (ii) on Ground 8, Ground 10 or Ground 11 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988(8); or

  5. (iii) under Case 1 of Schedule 15 to the Rent Act 1977.

“Substantial rent arrears” are defined in the Statutory Instrument at Paragraph 4 as meaning a case for possession involving where the amount of unpaid rent arrears outstanding is at least an amount equivalent to 6 months’ rent.


So, this is the key point. How many landlords now have tenants who are now more than 6 months in arrears and want or need to evict them?

  • If you are in this situation then it’s time to take stock of what you want to do.

  • If you haven’t served your Notices yet, then take that step. If you have served your Notice but not issued your claim for possession, then now is the time to get going. Remember if you are preparing your claim then try and make room in your claim for a request for permission to enforce any Order for Possession in the High Court by asking the Court to use its discretion to allow the transfer under Section 42(2) of the County Courts Act 1984.

  • If you actually have a possession order based on substantial rent arrears which satisfy the requirements of Paragraph 3 of SI 2021 No 164 then dig it out and see if you can enforce it in the High Court. If you don’t have express permission to enforce in the High Court, we can help you with a tailored application to get that permission.

Summing Up

Time is money in the world of landlords and things are starting to improve. If we can help you as High Court Enforcement Officers by using a Writ of Possession as opposed to a Warrant of Possession, then contact us at [email protected]. We will give you the benefit of our opinion on how to use the relaxation in the Regulations to emerge from the difficult situation foisted on you by the pandemic.

Content Writer​


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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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