Bailiff evictions are facing delays and extra expense as thousands of already sanctioned warrants tick over the 12 months mark following the multiple ‘ban extensions’ announced by the government since the pandemic started.
This is because bailiff warrants granted to evict tenants a year ago will now have to be reissued.
This will require bailiffs to fill in the paperwork again (an N325 Warrant Possession Request form and an EX97A Bailiff Risk Assessment form) and also pay a fee of £121, adding more time and expense to rentals arrears and other types of eviction exempted from the ban.
One message to a bailiff from the Department of Justice recently suggests civil servants are aware of the frustrations this additional red tape will cause.
“As the expiry of the warrants is not the fault of yourselves, we are producing a submission to ministers to ask that they use the Lord Chancellors exceptional powers to exempt the fee and it may be possible to get a refund depending on the answer from number 10,” it says.
“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.”
So far, LandlordZONE is not aware of any decision being made by the Cabinet Office at Downing Street.
Tim Frome (pictured), legal director at eviction specialist Landlord Action, says: “For landlords who expected to gain possession of their property over a year ago it is another kick in the teeth to be told they have to pay a further court fee to re-engage the bailiff.
“We are having to break the bad news to landlords on cases where the bailiff warrant is over 12 months old.
“An application can be made to extend a soon to expire warrant but that requires time to draft and also incurs court fees so the landlord is no better off.
“This is another example of unintended consequences of the current court processes impacting landlords.”
This problem does not affect evictions that have been passed on to High Court enforcement companies like those featured in Channel 5 programme Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! (pictured).
More information from Landlord Action.
Picture credit: DBLG Ltd/Channel 5