Bailiffs explained

Bailiff basics.

A landlord can’t use any bailiff. It must be a court bailiff. (Who cannot collect debts.) If a tenant fails to vacate by the Possession Date, the landlord can apply for a Warrant of Possession (a County Court Bailiff).

Once a request for a warrant has been filed at court together with the appropriate court fee, the court will issue a warrant number. The warrant number then goes into a queue for the court to make a bailiff appointment.

Like all public services, the bailiffs are stretched. It can take some time to be told the appointment date, and the date itself can be quite some time further in the future – usually 4-6 weeks. A County Court Bailiff will then attend the property and carry out the eviction.

The Bailiff requires the landlord to complete a risk assessment form, so that any risks that may be encountered at the eviction can be highlighted in advance. The eviction will only go ahead if the risk assessment form is submitted to court in advance of the eviction date. Landlord Action sends the form to landlords well in advance to enable a return to court in good time.

High Court Bailiff instead of County Court Bailiff

The waiting period for a High Court Bailiff (also known as the High Court Sheriff) is significantly less than for a County Court Bailiff. In order to apply for a High Court Bailiff the case must be transferred to the High Court.

At the County Court Hearing, once a Possession once an Order has been granted, the Advocate will usually ask permission to transfer the case to the High Court. Some Judges agree, some don’t. It is discretionary. Judges tend to agree when the arrears are exceptionally high or the tenant is a neighbourhood nuisance. If permission is granted then the case can be transferred, which involves a paper application and a fee.

Yes, the High Court route is more costly than the County Court but it’s quicker. And the longer the tenant is in the property, the more rent the landlord is losing. So whenever permission is granted to transfer to the High Court it’s worth weighing up which Bailiff route to go down.

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Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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