County court judges have begun offering landlords a way out of nightmare extreme rent arrears cases by granting increasing numbers of them ‘leave to transfer’ to the High Court.

Although more expensive, landlords can use this legal process to give tenants 14 days’ notice and avoid the huge ‘bottle neck’ delays currently faced by them when trying to evict through the county court system.

Landlords must firstly have a possession hearing request going through a county court but, if it has become stuck, apply for a leave to transfer – which normally is difficult to obtain.

“Judges are becoming aware that in some cases where tenants have obviously been avoiding paying rent, often from well before the pandemic started, something needs to be done to expedite an eviction and return possession to the landlord,” says Paul Shamplina (left) from evictions specialist Landlord Action.

“We’ve been seeing more and more of our applications for ‘leave to transfer’ being approved by judges when concerning these more extreme cases – it’s one of the few remaining paths open desperate landlords at the moment under the current restrictions.

“It’s down to individual judges discretion but clearly more of them are realising that some landlords face severe financial difficulties unless they can get a non-paying tenant out.”

The window is closing – more and more areas are transferring to Tier 2 and Tier 3 status, which in both cases require bailiffs to pause evictions.

And from December 11th to January 11th bailiffs will also be required to observe the government’s ‘Christmas true’ on evictions announced in September, closing both the county court and high court bailiff options to landlords.

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