Shahram Sharghy successfully represents a High Court Enforcement Officer in the leading case concerning what constitutes ‘sufficient of notice’ when applying for a Writ of Possession

News | Wed 27th Sep, 2017

The statutory test under CPR r.83.13 for deciding whether permission to issue a Writ of Possession should be granted following an order for possession was whether “every person in actual possession of the whole or any part of the land” had received sufficient notice of the proceedings. The usual practice that an ex parte application for permission to issue a Writ of Possession was made on an affidavit was adequate provided that the occupants had received sufficient notice to enable them to apply for relief.

In the present case, the HCEO gave notice to the tenant and his wife by a letter which referred to the transfer up and to the impending eviction. The Defendant argued that this was not sufficient as there was no indication of when the application was going to be made or the date for such hearing. However, Mr Justice Foskett held that notice did not necessarily require either the service of the formal notice of application for permission, or even a more informal letter indicating that the application was to be heard on a particular day or at a particular time. Either was sufficient, but neither was required by the rule, provided that the notice was sufficient to enable the occupant(s) to apply for relief.

Where there was a sole occupant with full knowledge of the possession proceedings (as was the case here), a reminder of the terms of the court order and a request that possession was given up under the order was sufficient. Where a sole defendant had played no part in the possession proceedings, a letter containing all the above information would ensure that sufficient notice within the rule had been given. Where there were other occupants known to occupy the property, then a letter addressed to them if known by name, or to “the occupants” in similar terms was required.

This Judgement is now the leading case on what constitutes sufficient notice before a Writ of Possession can be sought by the HCEO in order to enforce residential possession orders.

Shahram acted for Burlington Group Limited as an Interested Party in the proceedings.

Judgment is available here.

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