Accelerated Possession Orders

What is an Accelerated Possession Order

An accelerated possession order is sought by a landlord when he wants to take a property back into his possession, usually to avoid large losses as a result of a tenant who refuses to pay rent or is unable to continue doing so.

When can a landlord apply for an Accelerated Possession Order

Before a landlord can apply to the court to obtain a possession order they must firstly have served what is known as a section 21 notice on the tenant which lets them know that the landlord requires possession and gives the tenant 2 months notice to quit the property. The 2 month period has to expire before the landlord makes an application to the court. Further, there must also be a written tenancy agreement (this is a contract between the landlord and the tenant) in existence and it is therefore important to note here that a verbal agreement is not sufficient in order to make an application for an accelerated possession order.

If a landlord has made an application for this type of order it means that the tenant will have signed an assured shorthold tenancy agreement meaning that the landlord will not have to show any of the grounds for possession that would have to be shown if the tenant had instead signed an assured tenancy. This thus means that, the latter agreement (assured tenancy agreement) provides the tenant more protection in the circumstances where a landlord wants to regain possession of the property in which the tenant lives in.

What will the court take into consideration

The court will not consider whether it is reasonable or fair to make the order and there will not usually be a court hearing for the granting of accelerated possession orders unless:

  • The court is not satisfied that all procedures have been complied with in the application process or;
  • The tenant makes a case for exceptional hardship

In the circumstances where a case for exceptional hardship has been made, possession may be delayed for a period of up to 6 weeks. If neither of the above grounds are made out by the tenant however, a possession order will usually take immediate effect as from the time that the court grants it.

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For more information on:

  • What procedure will be followed for the application for these orders
  • What do I do if an application for an Accelerated Possession Order has been made against me
  • This list is not exhaustive but, the circumstances outlined are the most common grounds for constructing an exceptional hardship defence.