My landlord has started court proceedings to evict me

What will happen next?

Is your landlord using the accelerated possession procedure?

If court proceedings have started you will have received papers from your local County Court.

Look at the papers to find out if your landlord is using the accelerated possession procedure. It will tell you on the claim form (if it is an accelerated claim you will have received an N5B Wales form).

When did your landlord start the case?

You can find the date that your landlord started the case by checking the papers you have received from the court and looking for the ‘Issue Date’ at the bottom of the N5 Claim Form.

The case was started before 3 August 2020

Your landlord needs to complete and serve a Reactivation Notice before the case can re-start

Your landlord must file and serve a Reactivation Notice setting out what they know about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected you and your family.

They must also provide further information if they believe the court should prioritise your case for a review. For example, because of very high rent arrears or significant antisocial behaviour.

If the claim has been brought because of rent arrears your landlord should also give the court an updated rent account for the last 2 years.

The case was started on or after 3 August 2020

Notice of Review Date

Receive a review date from the court

The Review Date is a new stage in the eviction process which happens once your landlord starts or re-starts a case.

You will get notice of a Review Date from the court which will tell you a date that your case will be reviewed by a judge.

You should get this notice at least 21 days before the Review Date.

As soon as you get this notice you should get advice. An adviser might be able to help you come to an agreement with your landlord before the review takes place.

Receive court documents

Receive documents from the court

14 days before the Review Date you should receive documents from the court including:

  • A statement from your landlord setting out what they know about how coronavirus has affected you & your family
  • If your landlord is the council or housing association, confirmation that they followed the right pre-action rules before starting the case.

You will also receive a Defence Form which you should complete and return to the court.

Review Date

 A judge reviews the papers and decides what to do next

Court duty adviser available by telephone

On the Review Date a judge will look at all the papers and review your case.

You do not have to go to court on the Review Date but if you haven’t already got legal advice, it is a good idea to do so. An adviser might be able to help you come to an agreement with your landlord before the judge reviews the papers.

You can contact a court duty adviser by phone on the morning of the Review Date to get free legal help. The court should send you contact details for the adviser.

Did your case resolve on the review date?

Yes

No

Receive notice of a Possession Hearing.

If the case wasn’t resolved on the Review Date, the court will set a date for a Possession Hearing.

This will usually be 4 weeks after the Review Date.

You will have to go to court for the Possession Hearing unless everyone has agreed that it will be dealt with by phone or video.

If you have received notice of a Possession Hearing get advice as soon as you can.

Possession hearing

Court duty adviser available

Both you and your landlord and any representative must go to the Possession Hearing unless everyone has agreed that it will be dealt with by phone or video.

The court hearing will only last about 15 minutes. Your landlord’s representative will speak first. Then you or your adviser can respond.

If you haven’t already got legal advice you can get free legal help from a court duty adviser on the day. Details of how to do this will be in the notice you received from the court.

The court will make a decision

Claim is dismissed

Possession order made

Claim is adjourned

If the judge thinks more information is needed or wants you or your landlord to take some further action, your case will be adjourned. This means that it will be postponed to another date in the future.

The court will write to you with the new date.

Outright posession order

The order will contain a date for possession. This is not the same as an eviction date. But it is the date the court orders you to leave by.

It will usually be 2 or 4 weeks after the order is made. In some cases you can ask the court to delay the date for possession for up to 6 weeks if it would cause you hardship to leave sooner.

Get urgent advice if a possession order is made against you.

Suspended possession order

This means that a possession order has been made against you but you can stay in your home provided you keep to certain conditions.

The judge will tell you what the conditions are. Make sure you ask if you do not understand what you are being expected to do.

Notice of eviction

Receive an eviction date from the court

If:

  • you do not leave your home on the date given in an outright possession order, or
  • you break the conditions of a suspended possession order

your landlord can ask the court to fix a date for a court bailiff to evict you.

If this happens you will receive a Notice of Eviction from the court.

You might be able to stop or postpone the eviction but you will need to make an urgent application to the court. An adviser can help you do this. Get advice straight away.

Eviction

Court bailiffs carry out the eviction

Court bailiffs will come to your home to evict you on the date that is in the Notice of Eviction.

Bailiffs in Wales were banned from carrying out evictions during the pandemic. This ban ends on the 30 June 2021. From that date bailiffs will be able to evict you from your home regardless of the reason for eviction.

If bailiffs do carry out evictions they must follow Welsh Government coronavirus safety guidance.

For more advice about court eviction, click here.

When did your landlord start the case?

You can find out the date that your landlord started the case by checking the court papers and finding the ‘Issue Date’ at the bottom of the N5B Wales claim form.

The case was started before 3 August 2020

If your landlord started the case before 3 August 2020 then they must give you a Reactivation Notice before the case can re-start.

Your landlord must file and serve a Reactivation Notice setting out what they know about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected you and your family.

They must also provide further information if they believe the court should prioritise your case for a review. For example, because of very high rent arrears or significant antisocial behaviour.

The case was started on or after 3 August 2020

If your landlord started the case on or after 3 August 2020 then they must give information to the court when they start the case about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected you and your family.

Court looks at the papers

A judge will look at the papers and decide what to do next.

The accelerated possession procedure allows the judge to make a decision without there being a court hearing.

Make a decision on the claim

If the judge is satisfied your landlord has done everything correctly, a decision might be made without any court hearing.

Under the accelerated procedure the judge can decide to make an outright possession order requiring you to leave the property in 14 days.

Set a Review Date

Court duty adviser available by telephone

The judge might decide to set a Review Date. This is a new stage in the eviction process which allows the judge to review the case and for both parties to try and come to an agreement.

You will get a ‘notice of review’. You don’t need to go to court on the Review Date.

You can contact a court duty adviser by phone on the Review Date to get free legal help. The court should send you contact details with the notice.

If there is no agreement reached on the Review Date the judge might decide to list the case for a Possession Hearing, or if satisfied that your landlord has done everything correctly, make a possession order.

List for a Possession Hearing

Court duty adviser available

The Judge might decide that there needs to be a possession hearing before a decision on your case can be made.

If this happens you will receive a notice from the court.

You should go to any possession hearing. There will be a court duty adviser at court to give you free legal advice and speak to the judge for you. The notice of possession hearing will tell you how to contact them.

If both parties agree, the hearing can take place by telephone or video. Make sure you contact the court if you would prefer this to happen.

At the court hearing the judge may dismiss the case or make a possession order.  Because the case is an accelerated possession claim the judge is unlikely to make any other order.

Make a decision on the claim

Set a Review Date

Court duty adviser available

List for a Possession Hearing

  Court duty adviser available

If the judge is satisfied your landlord has done everything correctly, a decision might be made without any court hearing.

This is most likely to happen where coronavirus has not had any affect on you or your family.

Under the accelerated procedure the judge can decide to make an outright possession order requiring you to leave the property in 14 days.

The judge might decide to set a Review Date. This is a new stage in the eviction process.

You will get a ‘notice of review’. You don’t need to go to court on the Review Date.

You can contact a court duty adviser by phone on the Review Date to get free legal help. The court should send you contact details with the notice.

If there is no agreement reached on the Review Date the judge might decide to list the case for a Possession Hearing, or if satisfied that your landlord has done everything correctly, make an outright possession order.

The Judge might decide that there needs to be a Possession Hearing before a decision on your case can be made.

If this happens you will receive a notice from the court.

You should always go to any court hearing.

There will be a court duty adviser at court to give you free legal advice and speak to the judge for you. The notice of possession hearing will tell you how to contact them.

At the court hearing the judge may dismiss the case or make a possession order.  Because the case is an accelerated possession claim the judge is unlikely to make any other order.

Outright possession order

The order will contain a date for possession. This is not the same as an eviction date. But it is the date the court orders you to leave by.

In accelerated possession claims it will usually be 2 weeks after the order is made. In some cases you can ask the court to delay the date for possession for up to 6 weeks if it would cause you hardship to leave sooner.

Get urgent advice if a possession order is made against you.

Notice of eviction

Receive an eviction date from the court

If you do not leave your home on the date given in the possession order your landlord can ask the court to fix a date for a court bailiff to evict you.

If this happens you will receive a Notice of Eviction from the court.

Get advice immediately.

Eviction

Court bailiffs carry out the eviction

Court bailiffs will come to your home to evict you on the date that is in the Notice of Eviction.

Bailiffs in Wales were banned from carrying out evictions during the pandemic. This ban ends on the 30 June 2021. From that date bailiffs will be able to evict you from your home regardless of the reason for eviction.

If bailiffs do carry out evictions they must follow Welsh Government coronavirus safety guidance.

For more advice about court eviction, click here.

Get advice from Shelter Cymru if court proceedings have started.

An adviser can help speak to your landlord, deal with court papers and speak at any court hearing.

Read our advice pages, ring our helpline or use our webchat.

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We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

This page was last updated on: June 24, 2021

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.