The #TeamCES Two Minute Guide to:‘Possession Claims’



What is a Possession Claim?


A ‘Possession Claim’ means a claim for the recovery of possession of land. This includes buildings or parts of buildings. ‘A Possession Claim Against Trespassers’ is a claim for the recovery of land, which the claimant alleges to be occupied by trespassers. This doesn’t include claims against tenants or sub tenants, irrespective of whether a tenancy has been terminated or not.


Who can bring a Possession Claim?


A landlord, mortgagee or licensor (current or former) can bring a possession claim, as can a land owner against trespassers, or in some cases, a tenant seeking relief from forfeiture.


How do you start the Possession Claim?


The claimant can make the claim at any County Court hearing centre, where it will be sent to the relevant hearing centre for the address of the claim. If the claimant does not know who is in occupation or the possession of the land (as is often the case with trespassers) the claim can be brought against ‘persons unknown’.


What happens next?


The court will set a date for the hearing. Any trespassers must be served with the claim form, along with any witness statements. For residential property, this should be no less than 5 days before the hearing date, and for any other land, this should be no less than 2 days before the hearing date. The hearing date will be not less than 28 days, and not more than 8 weeks from the date of the issue form.


How are the forms served against trespassers?


By attaching copies of the claim form to the main door or some other clearly visible part of the land, and by inserting copies of the documents in a sealed transparent envelope through the letterbox.


Does the defendant need to respond?


The short answer is ‘no’…


What happens at the hearing?


The court may decide the claim or give case management directions. If the defendant has agreed to attend, they may wish to put forward their case or seek an adjournment.


Full Information on ‘Possession Claims’ is available at:


https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part55



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