Michael Jackson, Vice Chair of HCEOA, looks at the recent suspension of County Court bailiff appointments and how HCEOs can help.
Landlords across the country are now being left in limbo amongst growing concerns over the suspension of County Court bailiff appointments over inadequate personal protection equipment (PPE).
The suspension began in London earlier this month, but is now understood to be affecting other areas of the country.
With the average time to completing a Writ of Possession through the County Court reported to be 37.1 weeks (according to the Ministry of Justice report published on 18th May 2023), further delays do not bode well for landlords hoping to reclaim their properties.
Why are County Court bailiff appointments suspended?
In a statement from HM Courts and Tribunals a spokesperson said: “The safety of all bailiffs is of paramount importance.
“We are sourcing bespoke Personal Protective Equipment to ensure that all evictions can go ahead safely and securely.”
- Following work with the bailiffs on Risk Training, it became apparent that some bailiffs did not have their own bespoke PPE. This equipment is now being urgently sourced.
- We have effective health and safety risk monitoring systems, which are regularly reviewed, particularly in relation to sensitive activity such as the work of county court bailiffs.
- Guidance is in place to continue critical services in the interim
Is there another option for landlords?
Using High Court enforcement to support with evictions has always been an alternative option for landlords.
The benefits of using High Court enforcement for possession judgments include:
- Dedicated points of contact and regular updates on your case
- High success rates with motivated enforcement agents
- Quick turnaround with significantly shorter wait times
- Robust health and safety protocols with fully qualified enforcement agents
Transferring an Order for Possession obtained in the County Court to the High Court is similar in many respects to that of transferring a judgment for money, and most High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) will provide a service to facilitate the transfer.
You can also apply to the court to transfer the judgment yourself. However, this process can be complex depending on the particular circumstances. We would recommend speaking with your HCEO before deciding to progress this yourself.
Instructing High Court Enforcement Officers is easy, and they can assist with everything necessary to issue the Writ of Possession to authorise them to act.
To find a HCEO just visit our members page.