In Cardiff v Lee the Court of Appeal ruled that any landlord seeking a warrant on the tenant’s breach of a suspended possession order must apply for permission from the court, with evidence of the breach. While this mostly impacts social landlords, it will also apply to private landlords.
Previously, landlords were simply applying to the County Court using Form N325 to issue a warrant of possession when a tenant breached the terms of a suspended order.
The Court of Appeal ruled that this was the incorrect procedure and landlords needed to seek the court’s permission.
As a result, landlords were required to bear the additional cost and delay of seeking permission to issue a warrant in addition to the already costly and timely process of obtaining the initial possession order.
The majority view of the CPRC members is that a distinction should be made between cases where an order is suspended on monetary terms and those where other conditions are imposed.
Where an order is suspended on purely monetary terms, such as rent arrears, the Committee does not consider it necessary for the tenant's protection to insist the landlord seek the court’s permission.
Conversely the committee’s view is that in respect of any order suspended on terms other than monetary payment, the requirement for an application for permission to issue a warrant is appropriate and should be preserved. The committee is now consulting on these proposed changes.