08 06 30 October 2006
POSSESSION CLAIM ONLINE LAUNCHED
As part of the modernisation of court services, claims for possession of residential property can be made online from today.
Possession Claim Online has been launched by Her Majestyâ€™s Courts Service to enable property owners, such as landlords, local authorities and mortgage lenders, to apply electronically for repossession for non-payment of rent or mortgages.
More than 260,000 possession claims were issued in the county courts in England and Wales last year. The 24 hour service allows small and infrequent users, such as private landlords, to fill out their claim online, while frequent users, such as local authorities or mortgage lenders, can link their data system directly into the Possession Claim Online interface to automatically start new claims. Court fees are paid electronically either by credit/debit card or direct debit. Claims are issued straightaway and court hearing dates, to hear the claim, are scheduled automatically. Claimants and defendants can also track their claim online and once a possession order has been granted by a court, claimants can arrange for warrants to be issued via the online service. Currently the whole claim process must be done on paper direct with the court.
Launching the new service for England and Wales, HMCS Chief Executive Sir Ron De Witt said:
â€œPossession Claim Online is putting the needs of courts users first – it’s about accessing justice in a more efficient and convenient manner. The service is more convenient for users as it means that they can make their claim online and it is issued immediately, with a court date automatically scheduled. Those using PCOL no longer have to fill out a lengthy paper claim. And they can keep track of their claim at all stages, instead of having to contact the court.â€?
The new service follows on the back of the success of a similar service for small claims â€“ Money Claim Online â€“ which allows people to make small claims online. That service has been running since 2002 and has processed over 200,000 claims since then.
Possession Claim Online has been successfully piloted in courts in South Wales before its roll-out. Possession Claim Online is available at www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/pcol/
Possession Claim Online was piloted at Aberdare, Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Pontypridd and Swansea county courts.