Types of House Possession Orders

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Types of House Possession Orders

Decisions the Court Can Make

House Possession Order cases in court go through a detailed legal repossession process. The judge will then decide whether or not your house will go through the repossession process. The court decisions can be:

  • To make an outright possession order
  • To make a suspended possession order
  • To make a time order (in the case of secured loans or second mortgages)
  • To adjourn or dismiss the case

How Possession Orders Work

Possession orders are court orders that grant a landowner rights to evict a tenant or an illegal settler from the property. The landlord files a case in court to make it legally possible. The tenant is given a certain period of time to vacate the property.

On the other hand, the tenant is also given a fair chance to stop repossession. If the both parties have not reached any agreement, the court will decide upon the case. There are three types of House Possession Orders the court can make depending upon the case. These are an Outright Possession Order, a Suspended Possession Order and a Postponed Possession Order.

Suspended Possession Order – SPO:

  1. What is a Suspended Possession Order?

If a possession order means to evict a tenant or borrower to regain the landowner’s property, a suspended possession order is the complete opposite. It means to stop repossession of the property by the landowner. This type of court order protects the right of tenants or borrowers based on agreed terms.

The strength of this order depends on a tenant’s adherence to the contract. If the tenant regularly pays the stipulated rent, he or she has the right to stay unless the contract expires. If there have been payment lapses, then the landowner has the right to evict the tenant.

  1. What can the court decide?

The court has jurisdiction over decisions to suspend possession orders. Although this process protects the rights of a tenant, the judge will also give due hearing to the landowner. This is why decisions may or may not favour any of the parties. In this case, the contract between the two parties is vital.

The judge can decide in favour of a tenant if the tenant:

  • Regularly pays what has been agreed based on the terms of their contract.
  • Has made a lump-sum payment before a given date.
  • Has made a series of payments to keep the agreed payments updated.

Basically, the court’s decision will likely be in favour of a tenant if the tenant follows the conditions given by the court.

  1. Form N244

Form N244 is a standard form or document used to postpone or stop repossession. When a tenant files for a suspended possession order in court, he or she must fill up this form. Form N244 is not difficult to use. It can be found online and is available for download in PDF format.

  1. What are the effects of a Suspended Possession Order?

The effects of a suspended possession order depend on the type of tenant and property. If the tenant is a mortgage borrower, the tenant may be obliged to pay all the remaining arrears in order to keep up with the lender’s conditions. This is the usual issue between a borrower and a lender.

In case of rent, a tenant that files a suspended possession order may trigger the landowner to look for means to evict the tenant. The effect will be that the court is likely to exercise its legal right to decide on the case. It may go against either of the parties. A landowner cannot grant all the conditions of a tenant.

  1. Sending of Bailiffs

Sending of bailiffs is the final action in such a case. However, sending of bailiffs may also prolong the case if the decision is not conclusive or a tenant or a borrower appeals to reconsider the decision. There are times when sending of bailiffs may go against the landowner, especially if the tenant fails to comply with only some minor condition.

Ideally, the court will send a bailiff only if the complaint of a landowner is justifiable. In case of mortgage, sending of bailiffs will take place when a borrower fails to pay the arrears on or before a given date. This means that the suspended possession order is not valid.

Outright Possession Order – OPO:

  1. What is an Outright Possession Order?

An outright possession order is the opposite counterpart of a suspended possession order. If a suspended possession order stops the action of a landowner or lender from repossessing the property, an outright possession order, on the other hand, is a court decision that favours the landowner or lender. When a tenant or borrower fails to pay the agreed amount within the agreed period of time, the landowner or lender will file a case in court to repossess the property.

In other words, an outright possession order is a court decision that legally allows a landowner or lender to repossess a home. This decision or order provides the landowner or lender with legal power to decide whether or not to evict the tenant or borrower.

  1. What are the effects of an Outright Possession Order?

An outright possession order may not necessarily evict a tenant. Although this decision gives the landowner or lender full power over the property, the tenant or borrower can still choose to appeal or negotiate.

When the court decides for an outright possession, the order will be in effect in 28 days. This means the tenant has 28 days to vacate the property. The tenant can also file for reconsideration to delay this order until 56 days. Beyond that, every decision to vacate the property will depend on the landowner. The landowner or mortgage lender may dismiss the order anytime.

  1. What is Bailiff’s eviction?

Bailiff’s eviction is an order or action to forcibly evict a tenant. It is the last resort to settle such an issue and may be granted to the landowner by the court. This may arise when a tenant does not follow the contract and the court’s orders.

On the other hand, bailiff’s eviction does not happen based on the whim of a landowner. It has to be justified in court through a separate case. A landowner can file for bailiff’s eviction of the tenant when the tenant does not want to vacate the place even after failing to settle the stipulated conditions.

Order to Adjourn the Case:

  1. What is Adjournment?

Adjournment is the suspension or postponement of a meeting, proceeding or hearing. In parliamentary procedure, it is the suspension of a meeting. In court, it is the postponement of proceedings or hearing. This happens when evidence is required but not currently present at the time of hearing a case.

Adjournment must have a specified period of time. The judge may postpone the case indefinitely which means that the hearing has no specified date of continuation. It is the judge who will determine when the hearing of the case must resume. Nevertheless, the judge can also adjourn the case for a specific period of time.

  1. Reasons for Adjournment

There are several reasons why a judge adjourns a hearing. It may or may not be related to the case. There are times that the court adjourns a hearing because of technical issues or any factor that is out of the control of the court like a calamity or disaster. Sometimes, the adjournment is related to the process itself such as workload.

But usually, adjournment takes place when the court cannot immediately decide on the matter. Most of the time, more evidence or documentation is required. To furnish such evidence, a lawyer may ask for adjournment to provide for appropriate amount of time to produce what is being asked for.

  1. Conditions for an Adjournment

Conditions for an adjournment are required when adjournment is filed by the lawyer of any party. The judge will ask for a valid reason to adjourn. This is done to ensure that adjournment is not being used as a delaying tactic to give undue advantage to any party.

For the judge to grant the request for adjournment, there must be a valid reason to do so unless judge himself or herself decides to adjourn without any particular request. Normally, reasons to adjourn are:

  • Further evidence
  • Confirmation of some information
  • Natural factors
  • Judge preference

Court Order to Dismiss the Case:

  1. Reasons for Dismissing the Case

There are many reasons why a case could be dismissed. Most of the reasons are pertaining to a landowner or lender’s preference. Nonetheless, here are some general reasons for dismissing the case:

  • The tenant or borrower has already settled the condition of the lender or landowner
  • The case is in favour of the tenant
  • Death of any or both parties
  • The lender no longer appears in court or is charged with contempt of court
  • The lender simply files to dismiss the case
  1. What happens if the case is dismissed?

If the case is dismissed, the tenant will not be evicted or will be able to stay much longer. The landowner or lender will have to file another separate case to evict the tenant.

Money Judgements:

Money judgements are when the court awards a plaintiff with a sum of money. If a lender asks for the full payment plus the damage, the corresponding amount can be granted by the court through a money judgement.

Suspending Money Judgement:

Suspending a money judgement can be possible if the party that is supposed to pay the money has promised to pay it at a later time and is accepted by the lender according to amicable settlement.

Order of Court Costs:

You can ask for an order of court costs depending upon the case, and both parties can do so. Examples of these are:

  • Fixed cost
  • Plaintiff’s cost
  • Cost in any event
  • Cost thrown away

Time Order:

A time order is an order to execute or complete a transaction on or before a specified period of time.