Stage 5: Eviction Notice
Issue of Possession Warrant
If a Possession Order is granted and the borrower does not leave by the set date or the borrower defaults on a Suspended Order for Possession, the lender will apply to the court for a formal eviction without a hearing and a Possession Warrant will be obtained*. The borrower will receive a letter from the court showing the exact date and time by which they must vacate the property - generally 7-14 days from the date that the eviction notice is granted.
At the notified date and time, a court bailiff representing the lender and a locksmith will arrive to formally take back control and possession of the property. Residents are generally given around 10 minutes to collect their belongings and leave before the locks are changed. The borrower is allowed one further visit to collect any remaining belongings, which usually takes place around two weeks after they have been evicted.
If the borrower fails to leave the house by the set date, the lender will issue the Possession Warrant and the resident(s) will be forcibly removed from the property.
*Obtaining a Possession Warrant can take between 2-3 weeks, depending upon the court's backlog and the bailiff's work load.
What can be done?
Even at this stage borrowers can still make efforts to stop their home from being repossessed. This can be achieved by suspending the Possession Warrant, which can be done in the following ways:
- Clearing arrears and making ongoing mortgage payments - If the arrears are cleared, the court will no longer see any reason to proceed with the possession action, and will allow the borrower to remain. Payment of the arrears can be achieved by paying an Option Fee. In order to ensure ongoing mortgage payments are maintained, direct payments can be set up through the bank/building society so long as they have given permission to do so.
- Straight Purchase (with or without rent back, and with or without an Option to buy back) – In order to do this, the borrower needs to show strong evidence to the court that the deal has been agreed and that it is from a proceedable buyer. The court should be presented with an application consisting of a letter confirming the offer to purchase the property, a letter from the seller’s solicitors confirming that they have orders to sell, and a letter from the purchaser's solicitors confirming the purchase. Prior to the application to the court, the vendor is also advised to make the most recent monthly payment and to make any further monthly payments that are due until the sale is completed.
*Note, the Court fee to suspend a Possession Warrant is currently £30
It is also vital for borrowers to attend the Court hearing with all documentation in hand. The more evidence a borrower has to show the judge that every effort has been made to meet obligations then the more chance they have in getting a better result in court.