A Partridge in a Pear Tree

01 December 2017

This is the first of a series of blogs we shall be posting in the run up to Christmas based upon The Twelve Days of Christmas carol with a property theme. We hope you enjoy reading them and have a very merry Christmas.

Mr Partridge, an assured shorthold tenant was notified of Mr Gupta's intention, as his landlord, to apply for a writ of execution but was the notice sufficient?

The background to the case Partridge v Gupta [2017] EWHC 2110 (QB) is that Mr Gupta, having issued possession proceedings in the County Court against Mr Partridge and his family under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, wanted to transfer the claim up to the High Court, obtain permission to issue the writ and execute it (the High Court Enforcement Officers being a more speedy route to execute than County Court bailiff appointments).

Mr Partridge was refused permission to appeal the possession order and Mr Gupta was granted permission to transfer proceedings to the High Court. Notice was then served on Mr Partridge and separately on "the occupiers" informing them of a) the application to transfer proceedings to the High Court and b) the intention to issue a writ of possession. However, the application to issue a writ of possession was made without notice and the order granted some 3 months after the notice letters were sent.

The High Court is only allowed to permit a writ of possession to be issued under CPR r83.13(8) if

"every person in actual possession of the whole or any part of the land […] has received such notice of the proceedings as appears to the court sufficient to enable the occupant to apply to the court for any relief to which the occupant may be entitled".

The guidance in this case issued by Foskett J. made it clear that notice of intention to apply for the writ was sufficient as Mr Partridge knew enough about the proceedings to be able to apply for any appropriate relief. No further notice was needed following the application to issue a writ of possession.

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