How do I complete court papers N5, N119 & N325 for possession?
There are 2 types of Possession Procedures. In each case there are some general principles:
- The action must be started off in the County Court covering the area where the property is situated.
- You need 3 sets of documents for one tenant, and one set of documents for each additional tenant. You are permitted to write one in black ink and make photocopies.
The first Possession Procedure is:
This does not normally lead to a Court hearing. You will get no money other than the court fee.
To do this you need
- A written agreement from the time the tenancy started.
- The most recent agreement if more than one was issued.
- If the tenancy started before 28.2.97, you need a Section 20 Notice of Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
- You need a Section 21 notice.
- If the notices were issued by an agent or someone other than the landlord, that person has to complete a Certificate Of Service Form N215.
- These go with County Court form N5b. Form N5c tells you how to complete Form N5b. See the Possession Procedure below for details of how to complete the Statement of Truth.
- Send your completed form copies of all agreements and notices requested in the form and a cheque for £355, payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service, to the County Court and wait.
- After about a week, the Court will send you a Notice Of Issue form. That tells when the form was posted to the tenant, when it is considered served, and the date until which the tenant can file a defence. The only valid defence is that the paperwork is defective, or the notices were not served.
- Once the time has passed, complete the bottom part of the Notice of Issue, asking for the possession Order. That is granted without a hearing if the Judge is satisfied about all the papers.
Please be aware that court fees are always subject to change so while these prices are accurate at the time of writing it is always best to check the price beforehand.
The second type of Possession is for a Breach of the Tenancy Agreement. This leads to:
Possessions with a court hearing
This is started by the issue of a Section 8 notice, most commonly for Rent Arrears, but may also be for nuisance, or damage to the property or furniture.
You may start the proceedings the day after the S8 notice has expired.
You do this by issuing County Court forms N5 and N119.
Page 1 of the N5 is straightforward.
Page 2 has a left hand side for Grounds for Possession. Most commonly you are ticking the box for rent arrears. Tick trespass if your tenant has left the lodger or ex-partner behind. Tick other if you think the tenant has abandoned the property, but you want a Court Order to cover yourself. Insert the word 'Abandonment' in that part.
If you can tick the right hand side, you should get a quicker hearing - but make sure you can justify it!
Tick no for the Human Rights bit.
For the Statement of Truth, the Landlord or Landlords have to sign. Landlords delete the words (the claimant believes) and the next line which reads "I am duly authorised by the claimant to sign this statement".
The landlord then signs and dates it.
The landlord prints his full name
Delete the last 2 lines.
If the landlord is a Company, then reverse the process. In such cases, the person signing and appearing at Court should be a senior member of the Company such as a Manager or Director. They should have with them a letter signed by the Company Secretary or Managing Director authorising that person to represent the Company.
Complete the Claimant and Defendant and Court name at top right hand side.
Paragraph 1 is the address of the property, Paragraph 2 is the name of the tenant.
Paragraph 3(a) normally this is Assured Shorthold. If in doubt, phone the helpline.
Paragraph 3(b) is the amount of rent on the agreement.
Paragraph 3(c) is the same daily rate you put on the S8 notice at paragraph 4.
Paragraph 4(a) - 2nd line delete "details are set out below". In the white space insert the words "Schedule of payments attached. Please see exhibit 'A'"
You then print off a set of the rent accounts from the time the tenant started going into arrears. It is a legal requirement that, 5 days before the Court hearing, you send the tenant and the Court (quoting the case number) an up to date list of the rent accounts.
Paragraph 4(b) is for other breaches of the tenancy. Keep it simple, e.g nuisance, sub-letting, as the full reasons are in your notice.
Paragraph 4(c) Put Grounds 8, 10 and 11 Schedule 2, Housing act 1988
Paragraph 5 - Insert how many phone calls you made, letters you wrote and visits you made to try to get money.
Paragraph 6 - Delete notices for possession, Notice of breach of lease. What you served is a Notice seeking possession.
Insert the date that was served.
Paragraph 7 - If the tenant received Housing Benefit which never came your way, say so - it is relevant. Otherwise you are not compelled to say anything.
Paragraph 8 - If the landlord is facing repossession, because he cannot pay his mortgage because he is not getting his rent, say so - it is relevant. Otherwise you do not have to say anything.
Paragraph 9 - If there is a mortgage, delete 9(a) and insert the lenders details at 9(b).
You are supposed to serve a copy of the Form N119 on the lender.
Paragraph 10 leave it as it is.
Sign the statement of Truth.
Make the copies and send your cheque for £355 payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service to the County Court.
You will be notified of a hearing. The landlord or his solicitor must attend the hearing in person. The landlord should bring some proof he owns the property, eg, title deeds, mortgage statement, letter from a solicitor etc. Prove your case by stating the rent position. Bring with you any letters that have been sent - the Judge may ask to see them. You do not have to send them to the Court beforehand. Be careful the tenant has no valid Counterclaim. If you have been slow doing repairs, you are advised not to pursue this path.
If successful, you will be granted a Possession Order. That gives the tenant 14 or 28 days usually to vacate. If they do not, the day after that time has passed, you need to complete County Court form N325 Warrant For Possession Of Land and pay £121. That instructs the Bailiffs.
For more on completing court papers, for fault based possession please click here.
Please be aware that court fees are always subject to change so while these prices are accurate at the time of writing it is always best to check with the courts first.
Complete name of court and claim number at top right hand side
Paragraph 1 (Claimants Name and Address) is the landlord or his/her solicitor name and address.
Paragraph 2 (a) Enter "As Above" unless the address is different.
Paragraph 3 (Defendants Name and Address) is all the tenants names and the full property address details.
Paragraph 4(a) If the claimant has asked for and received a judgement for costs then insert £355 into section 4a. If the defendant is not required to pay costs, then insert Nil.
Paragraph 4(b) Insert the same amount as box a, unless the tenant has paid some of the judgement already. Then insert £121 for issuing the notice and any legal representative costs that have accrued and then total up the amount.
Paragraph 5 (Property/Land Details) Date of judgement/order, this is the date of the hearing. Date of possession, this is the date possession should have been given up
"Describe the Land" box is simply the address and post code of the property.
In the signature box on the right hand side delete the wording within both sets of brackets in part (1) and delete the whole of part (2). Add signature and date
At the bottom of the form put the contact details of the landlord.
Once completed post N325 form to court with the appropriate fee of £121. It is advised that the landlord retains a copy of the completed and signed N325 form, for their own records. The court will then contact the defendant.
For more on completing court papers, for possession at tenancy end please click here