Depending on the outcome of the hearing you may need help afterwards. Some of the organisations that may be able to help you are included as links on this website.
In some cases it may be possible to return to the court to get the decision changed, but it is important to get help with this as it involves making an application to the court and you may need to provide some information that can be used as evidence to help with your case. You may also have to pay a fee if you wish to go back to court.
Types of Order the Court can make
There are several Orders the court can make and the most common ones are as follows:
Outright Possession Order
This is where the court decides that the claimant is entitled to possession and that you must therefore leave your home.
The possession order will include a date by which you are required to leave but if you do not leave by this date the claimant will still have to get an eviction notice, which will include an appointment for county court bailiffs to attend your home and carry out the eviction.
The date you are told to leave by is called the ‘possession date’. Usually at least two weeks notice is given, but often four weeks or six weeks. In some cases the court may have no choice but to make an outright order, but by going to the hearing you may be able to get an order that is longer than two weeks.
Also, in some, but not all, cases it may be possible to get the order stopped or ‘stayed’ or ‘suspended’, but as this requires an application it is important to get advice about this.
Suspended or Postponed Possession Orders
These are cases where the court decides that the claimant is entitled to possession of the property but then goes on to decide that the defendant should not lose their home without being given an opportunity to put things right.
With suspended or postponed possession orders the claimant is prevented from enforcing the order and you are able to remain in your home as long as you keep to the terms decided by the court. A common term or condition of these types of order is that you pay the rent or mortgage every week or month plus a fixed amount off the arrears.
The court may agree that you can only afford to reduce the arrears by small payments. It is not unusual for an order to be postponed or suspended on terms of £3.75 per week off the arrears.
If the court issues a suspended or postponed possession order it is important that you keep to the terms of the order because even one missed payment can result in the claimant asking the court to issue an eviction notice.
If your circumstances change and you are unable to keep to the terms of an order you should get advice about this as soon as possible because you could return to court to ask the order to be changed or ‘varied’. This is much safer than missing payments or than paying less than you have been told to pay.
There are many different types of adjournment, but if the court decides to make an adjournment it means you cannot lose your home without another hearing.
In some cases, as part of the adjournment, the court will arrange another hearing date and tell you to do something before the next hearing. For example you could be told to pay something off the arrears, make a claim for universal credit, or to get some advice. Alternatively, your landlord or mortgage lender could be told to do something such as provide more information about your arrears.
Sometimes the court may order an adjournment without setting a date for a future hearing. You could be told to do something like pay a regular amount off the arrears on top of your rent or mortgage and the claimant will be told that if you do not keep to the payments they can bring the case back to court to ask for a possession order.
The eviction notice is the final stage of the possession process because it includes a date and time for the county court bailiffs to carry out the eviction. This type of notice is sometimes called a warrant of possession.
An eviction notice will only be issued after a possession order and in some cases it is still possible to return to court to stop the eviction going ahead.
If you are given an eviction notice and you want to stop the eviction it is important to get advice because you will have to make an application to the court and there are only certain circumstances where this will work.