5.8 Applying To Court For Possession — Accelerated Procedure
An application for possession by the accelerated procedure is only available after service of a section 21 notice and is normally processed using the N5B claim form.
The claim is dealt with through an exchange of papers without a court hearing. The court will issue the claim to the tenant who is then given 14 days to provide a response. The 14 days is from a designated date of service which may be slightly later than the date the papers are received. The tenant is given the opportunity to respond to the facts given in the claim. If there is any dispute about the facts the court may decide to hold an oral hearing at short notice to make a finding of fact. If, however, the facts are not disputed and the claim is in order the judge will make a decision to award possession, normally 14 days after the date of the decision. The date may be later if the tenant has been able to establish that they will suffer undue hardship. The date cannot be later than 42 days after the decision was made.
A landlord association may be able to recommend solicitors who specialise in housing law and who can undertake this type of work for a fixed fee. Alternatively, the various landlord websites may provide guidance on the procedure. The forms issued by the court are reasonably easy to follow and perhaps after one application has been drafted professionally, a landlord should be able to follow the guidance.