06 February, 2020
The Pre-action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords, commonly referred to as the Possession Protocol, sets out the procedure that social landlords and tenants must follow before commencing possession proceedings.
The Possession Protocol applies to claims for possession of residential premises by social landlords, such as local authorities, private registered providers of social housing, Registered Social Landlords and Housing Action Trusts, which are based solely on rent arrears (Part 2) and mandatory grounds for possession (Part 3). The Protocol does not apply to claims in respect of long leases
The primary aims of the Possession Protocol are to:
Therefore, if a landlord who wishes to bring possession proceedings under Part 2 or Part 3 and is aware that their tenant:
When possession claims of residential premises are brought by social landlords, prior to making of any orders, the Court will consider whether the Protocol has been followed. If the landlord has not complied with the Protocol without good reason, the Court may make an order for costs and / or adjourn, strike out or dismiss the claim if the claim is based solely on rent arrears.
In circumstances where the tenant has not complied with the Protocol, the Court may take this into account when considering whether it is reasonable to make a possession order.
The Pre-action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords, which came into force on 6 April 2015, has been recently updated with the revised version coming into force on 13 January 2020. The changes are minor and apart from the mere tweaks, the fundamental differences are:
The revised version also confirms that the Possession Protocol does not apply to those possession claims that involve long leases.
Those who regularly deal with issuing possession claims will no doubt be familiar with the Protocol, but a regular refresher of its terms is always useful, particularly to keep up to date with amendments.
For more information contact Emily Jordan in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 0333 207 1130. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.