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Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims – six months on

The Pre-Action Protocol for Possession claims by Social Landlords (“the Protocol”) has now been in force since 6th April 2015. Despite the fundamental errors in relation to Part 3 (mandatory grounds) of the Protocol, it has still not been amended by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee. As and when these amendments are made, we will update you further, but in the meantime you must endeavor to comply with Part 3 if you are contemplating bringing a possession claim on mandatory claims i.e. where the Court has no discretion but to make a possession order if you prove its case.

Particulars of Claims

Although, many Social Landlords are complying with paragraph 3.2(a) of the Protocol by sending a letter to an occupier inviting them to make written representations about their personal circumstances, we are still seeing many Particulars of Claim drafted by Social Landlords, which do not comply with paragraph 3.3 of the Protocol. Paragraph 3.3 requires a Social Landlord to provide a summary in their Particulars of Claim of the preliminary steps that have been taken in compliance with paragraph 3.2 of the Protocol. Under paragraph 1.6 of the Protocol, the Court has the power to enforce compliance “Courts should take into account whether this protocol has been followed when considering what orders to make.” , which might of course result in proceedings being stayed, or costs sanctions being applied by the Court.

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