Home > Repossession Process > Applying to Stop Evictions

Applying to Stop Evictions

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 27 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Evictions possession Order  defendant

Once a possession order becomes enforceable, either due to the passage of time or the defendant’s failure to comply with any conditions contained in it, the claimant is likely to apply for a warrant of eviction. There will not be another court hearing before this can happen – the claimant simply applies to the court bailiff who sets a date for the eviction.

Applying to Stop Evictions

Unless an agreement can be reached with the claimant an application will have to be made at court to “suspend the warrant”. A £35 fee is payable, but some people on low incomes are exempt from this. The defendant fills in a form, available from the court, stating what they are asking the court to do and explaining why the eviction should be cancelled or postponed. Once the application has been lodged at court a date will be fixed for a hearing.

Mortgage Possessions

The judge considering the application will have the same powers as the judge who granted the original possession order. Broadly these applications tend to fall into two categories:
  • Applications for more time to sell or re-mortgage the property;
  • Applications made on the basis that the borrower is now in a position to maintain regular payments to the mortgage.
When an application is made for more time to sell or re-mortgage the court is likely to look for firm evidence that a sale or re-mortgage is imminent. A borrower might produce letters from solicitors or the new mortgage company although many judges will accept the borrower’s oral evidence. If a borrower can make a lump sum payment this may sway a judge who is uncertain that the sale or re-mortgage will complete as expected.

When a borrower offers regular payments to the mortgage they should provide evidence of an ability to make the payments. If there is a history of default on the mortgage the court will need to be satisfied that payments will be maintained going forward.

Repeat Applications

Defendants often succeed in stopping evictions on numerous occasions. However, if a borrower keeps defaulting on court orders judges are likely to become increasingly reluctant to allow their applications. Borrowers who have previously been successful in these applications must not get lulled into a false sense of security and assume that the court will always stop the eviction.

Rent Possessions – Mandatory Possession Orders

When a mandatory possession order in respect of rent arrears has been made the judge’s power to postpone an eviction is extremely limited. Mandatory possession orders are usually made after tenants have been given two weeks’ notice to leave a property because they owe at least two months’ rent or two months to leave the property in a section 21 notice.

If a judge is satisfied that a tenant will suffer “exceptional hardship” he can allow the tenant up to six weeks before he has to leave the property. This is the only help a judge can give a tenant in these cases. However, the six week period runs from the day on which the possession order was made. For example, if a tenant applies to stop an eviction scheduled to take place four weeks from the date of the possession order, the maximum amount of time the judge can allow is a further two weeks.

Rent Possessions – Discretionary Possession Orders

A judge hearing an application based on a discretionary possession order has quite wide powers to stop the eviction. If the judge decides that the tenant is in a position to resume payment of the rent and make a contribution towards any arrears he may allow the tenant to stay in the property. However, the judge has to balance the interests of both the landlord and the tenant. For example, a judge may be more willing to stop an eviction if the landlord is a public authority or a property company than if the landlord is a private individual struggling with mortgage payments.

Last-Minute Applications

It is not unusual for these applications to be made at the eleventh hour - the hearing may even take place on the day set for the eviction. In some cases the application will be made so late that the eviction has to be postponed pending a hearing. However, defendants should not assume that they will automatically be given more time just because the application is made at the last minute. The court bailiff will almost certainly await the outcome of the application but, if an eviction is scheduled to take place at 10.30 and a hearing is listed for 10.00, the eviction may well still go ahead if the application is unsuccessful. A defendant’s failure to have packed is not a legal basis to stop an eviction.

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[Add a Comment]
Once an Warren for eviction has been applied is their anyway to stop it my sister in law has 4 wks to get owt is their anything she can do
Spongebob - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:49 PM
clare - Your Question:
My mum has been an assured Housing Trust tenant for 25 to 30 years recently they have started to do home checks and according to them my mum's house was collected and untidy they have spent a lot of money on Skips and £300 on the garden to sort it all out a 12 month ago they were given a notice to say they were applying to court nothing more with hood until September this year when they said they were going to court again due to them apparently breaking the tenancy agreement even though my parents are my missed disabled my dad has Parkinson's and I am the carer and that's a hell of a lot of Change in the house they have been given two weeks notice and I'm just wondering if this is right as due to the real health it just isn't enough I need to know ASAP as their actual date to be out the 23rd of November they were given two weeks to get out we have seen house and Solutions and all they say about his there's nothing we can do about it they couldn't attend court as they were both too ill to attend

Our Response:
Have you tried Citizens' Advice? Do your parents have a support worker from social services etc? Were all these people involved in the court case? Sorry there's really not enough information for us to comment.
HousingRepossessions - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:13 AM
My mum has been an assured Housing Trust tenant for 25 to 30 years recently they have started to do home checks and according to them my mum's house was collected and untidy they have spent a lot of money on Skips and £300 on the garden to sort it all out a 12 month ago they were given a notice to say they were applying to court nothing more with hood until September this year when they said they were going to court again due to them apparently breaking the tenancy agreement even though my parents are my missed disabled my dad has Parkinson's and I am the carer and that's a hell of a lot of Change in the house they have been given two weeks notice and I'm just wondering if this is right as due to the real health it just isn't enough I need to know ASAP as their actual date to be out the 23rd of November they were given two weeks to get out we have seen house and Solutions and all they say about his there's nothing we can do about it they couldn't attend court as they were both too ill to attend
clare - 20-Nov-17 @ 12:59 AM
Besty - Your Question:
Hi I have an eviction notice for the 15th of November as I am behind in rent due me and partner being out of work and had my son and money had been stopped aswell tried our best to keep up with the bills but it got the best of us.We both suffer with bad mental health problems and I'm not sure who to turn to to help stop this eviction.

Our Response:
It would be helpful if you could find some local support - someone who will perhaps be able to get on the phone on your behalf etc. Do you have a support worker who helps with your mental health problems? Citizens' Advice may also be a good place to try and the Shelter charity has a helpline here
HousingRepossessions - 31-Oct-17 @ 12:44 PM
Hi I have an eviction notice for the 15th of November as I am behind in rent due me and partner being out of work and had my son and money had been stopped aswell tried our best to keep up with the bills but it got the best of us. We both suffer with bad mental health problems and I'm not sure who to turn to to help stop this eviction.
Besty - 28-Oct-17 @ 8:00 PM
I have applied for a stay as council is trying to get me out of property I owe 3,000 and receive Jobseeker's Allowance I have a hearing tomorrow and don't know what to do as my benefits stopping kept on breaching my court order
Reise - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:21 PM
I managed to stay an eviction then six weeks later after complying to a court order to pay ten pound a week off the arrearswas told I was being evicted again and my solicitor said we can try again where do I stand with being able to stay an eviction for a second time.
Tasha - 1-Sep-17 @ 1:19 AM
Ncm - Your Question:
My mum has received and eviction notice for tomorrow due to Mortgage arrears she was wanting to sell he house to clear it however due to illness and my brother getting put back in hospital she never got chance is it too late to get a court case?

Our Response:
If she already has an eviction date, this suggests the case has already been to the courts. Take her to Citizens' Advice as soon as possible to ask them to take a look at it for her.
HousingRepossessions - 2-Aug-17 @ 12:26 PM
My mum has received and eviction notice for tomorrow due to Mortgage arrears she was wanting to sell he house to clear it however due to illness and my brother getting put back in hospital she never got chance is it too late to get a court case?
Ncm - 30-Jul-17 @ 9:45 PM
jogartz - Your Question:
I have a bailiffs notice for next Friday at 12.05 pm, I am being evicted as landlady wants property back. I owe no rent at all and have a disabled son, I have been on band 2 rehousing by local authority for 13 months now and been back to court and won an extension which has now ran out, is there anything I can do as I have nowhere to go or store my belongings?? I don't know what to do next can I appeal bailiffs???? thankyou in advance for any help

Our Response:
We assume your landlady has followed the correct procedure in which case there isn't much you can do to remain in the property. If you have a good rent record and a disabled son, your local council's housing department or housing trust should be able to advise you.If you will become homeless in 28 days your local council has a duty to re-house you immediately if you are have children who rely on you financiallyand you have nowhere to live. They will also have a list of private rental options in your area, which you could try.
HousingRepossessions - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:00 PM
i have a bailiffs notice for next Friday at 12.05 pm, I am being evicted as landlady wants property back. I owe no rent at all and have a disabled son, I have been on band 2 rehousing by local authority for 13 months now and been back to court and won an extension which has now ran out, is there anything I can do as I have nowhere to go or store my belongings?? I don't know what to do next can I appeal bailiffs???? thankyou in advance for any help
jogartz - 26-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
Jenja - Your Question:
I got served a notice to quite bout 5 month ago an today my Landlord is saying he's takin action an takin it to court how can I stop this from happening.?

Our Response:
What is the reason for the notice to quit? Does the landlord want the property back? Or to sell it etc? As we don't know the reason, it might be better for you to contact Citizens' ADvice or Shelter for some indivually based advice.
HousingRepossessions - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:48 AM
I got served a notice to quite bout 5 month ago an today my Landlord is saying he's takin action an takin it to court how can I stop this from happening.?
Jenja - 3-Jul-17 @ 1:48 PM
I am due to be evicted tomorrow at 12.30 can I see a judge before then to plead my case
Wayne - 31-May-17 @ 9:41 PM
I have a eviction order for 30th may i have been paying 20 pound a month towards arrears plus weekly rent because i missed a months rent they have made this date . I have spoken to the council to try and sort out how to pay more but they will not help . Do you know where i stand .
Tp - 14-May-17 @ 11:05 PM
My eviction date is for Wednesday but my husband has been rushed into hospital this lunchtime...can i stop the eviction
Julie - 14-Apr-17 @ 2:58 PM
lurk - Your Question:
I have a hearing for tomorrow to suspend my eviction.i was on housing benefit and have recently started a job which will pay well.i only fell behind die to not being able to pay out of job seekers which I explained but was just ignored.now that I am working and earning well will I be able to set a plan with the court to clear the arrears?I have 2 young children aswell.

Our Response:
That will be for the courts to decide. Usually they will do what they can to prevent an eviction, so if your earnings are sufficient that you can pay a regular amount towards the arrears, they may rule in your favour. We really don't know how the particular court will act on the day though.
HousingRepossessions - 30-Mar-17 @ 12:34 PM
I have a hearing for tomorrow to suspend my eviction.i was on housing benefit and have recently started a job which will pay well.i only fell behind die to not being able to pay out of job seekers which I explained but was just ignored.now that I am working and earning well will I be able to set a plan with the court to clear the arrears?I have 2 young children aswell.
lurk - 29-Mar-17 @ 12:51 PM
My eviction got suspended for 7 days due to a death In the family do they have to apply for another bailiff or after the 7days are up go ahead with the eviction.
Jm - 28-Mar-17 @ 3:48 PM
Sorry this is an Eviction Order not Repossession
reggie - 20-Mar-17 @ 4:42 PM
I need to stop a repossession order for a neighbour [he is not good with words or forms].It is due to take place Wednesday, 22 March 10.00am.The repossession enforcement is by the executor to his late mothers will [he is the only beneficiary].The house is worth £900,000 therefore death duties are to be paid.He is happy to move when he has some money to go and find somewhere - he is getting £45 pw job seekers allowance.He is 62!!The Executor has cleared out his late mothers bank account and given it all to the tax office in lieu of death duties instead of giving him some money to help him move.Redbridge council and Shelter can do nothing so Wednesday night he will be sleeping on the streets outside his £900,000 house.HELP me stop this injustice.
reggie - 20-Mar-17 @ 4:36 PM
If I pay off all my rent arrears before the eviction date,:will the court still evict me
Jess - 17-Feb-17 @ 5:49 PM
Keano - Your Question:
I had a court eviction hearing for this Friday, but after I put in my defence forms my landlord suddenly hired a solicitor. They have cancelled this weeks hearing and made amendments to the application for a eviction adding on two more sections apparently. They want me to come to their offices and meet with them and their solicitor next week. They are a housing association that's registered as a charity but they act like anything but charitable. Because of precious issues and complaints I've made I feel they just want me out any way possible and I'm being victimised/bullied. What can I do? I've been told courts rubber stamp evictions when it comes to housing associations. How to I appeal to a higher court? You hear about people doing that on the news all the time.

Our Response:
The court should give you a fair hearing, there is not really any "rubber stamping" in the British justice system. We suggest you attend the meeting as requested, you might want to consider taking someone with you...a legal professional if you know one/can afford one.
HousingRepossessions - 4-Aug-16 @ 2:34 PM
I had a court eviction hearing for this Friday, but after I put in my defence forms my landlord suddenly hired a solicitor. They have cancelled this weeks hearing and made amendments to the application for a eviction adding on two more sections apparently. They want me to come to their offices and meet with them and their solicitor next week. They are a housing association that's registered as a charity but they act like anything but charitable. Because of precious issues and complaints I've made I feel they just want me out any way possible and I'm being victimised/bullied. What can I do? I've been told courts rubber stamp evictions when it comes to housing associations. How to I appeal to a higher court? You hear about people doing that on the news all the time.
Keano - 3-Aug-16 @ 12:58 PM
Kt - Your Question:
I'm being evicted from my home that I've lived in for ten years its gone to court,Is there any thing at all I can do to stop it.

Our Response:
We don't know the reasons for the eviction or the details of the court case so we really can't advise. Have you tried your local Citizens' Advice Bureau?
HousingRepossessions - 8-Jun-16 @ 9:51 AM
I'm being evicted from my home that I've lived in for ten years its gone to court, Is there any thing at all I can do to stop it.
Kt - 6-Jun-16 @ 1:28 PM
I am being evicted for £160 top up after getting in a rears due to a new born baby unexpectedly,mum of six children and no where to turn any surrgestion
yummy - 27-May-16 @ 2:04 PM
I had some rent arrears last year and had to attend court,I was an eviction notice for 6 weeks, but the agent said if I paid the arrears I would be able to stay. I paid off the arrest but was not giving another tenancy just a periodic tenancy. I have falling behind by1 month and today received an eviction notice for one month stating the time of eviction. If I clear the arrears within the next 7 days can the eviction be stopped
Holly2502 - 19-May-16 @ 10:00 PM
I am a landlady and will be evicting a tenant who believes the property is actually his. The AST has ended (private landlord) and he refuses to leave. He is a lying b*****d and now claims hardship despite his wife being highly qualified . When you are a tenant like this, you dont deserve a flat; I plan to charge more to the next tenant and i thought the tenants would like to know about that. Power to the landlords
bool - 17-May-16 @ 12:39 AM
Ive received an eviction date for the 12th may, i was in court last year and hot a suspended possesion order but since then i fell out of work and have suffered with depression and anxiety. I have now got back on track with my health and got a job but it has been on a 0hr. I have got a 21hr contract starting on the 1st of may so secure money. I have also applied for a DMP but it hasnt gone through on time. How likely am i to get a 2nd chance?
loulou - 21-Apr-16 @ 11:03 PM
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