Here is a question to the blog clinic from Christian who is a landlord
You gained myself a possession order in 2008, no eviction took place as the tenants started to get full housing benefit paid directly to myself.
This has happened ever since and the tenants have never made any effort to pay off any of the rent arrears.
The housing benefit is now being reduced and will leave quite a short fall, that my tenants will probably not pay. As there have always still been major rent arrears no new tenancy agreement has ever been issued.
Is my 2008 possession order still valid / usable and / or how would I need to proceed to gain possession?
Ah yes, back in the day, when I did possession work!
You may be able to use this possession order, yes. Had you given the tenant a new tenancy agreement it would have cancelled the possession order and started the tenancy afresh. However, happily you have not done this.
Generally a possession order is enforceable any time up until six years after the possession order was made.
After that, you will need to get permission from the court (CPR 83.2(3)(a)).
The way to do this is to make an application using form N244. There is a fee payable.
So far as I am aware the application does not have to be on notice (ie you do not have to serve a copy on the tenant to allow them to attend a hearing about it) and you should be able to apply for the order to be made without a hearing. (If the Judge thinks the situation warrants a hearing they will set it down for one anyway).
You will need to explain why you wish to enforce so long after the date of the possession order, but provided the tenant is still in arrears of over 2 months / eight weeks, I can’t see why leave would not be granted.
Has anyone had experience of this? How did you get on?
Note – I closed the law firm side of my business in 2013 to concentrate on other work. However my Landlord Law site has a ‘DIY Eviction Guide‘ based on my 20 years or so of doing this work, and I still offer an advice service.