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Stage 2: Starting court proceedings for possession (rent arrears)

Use this pack after correctly serving a notice seeking possession under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 where the tenant(s) has failed to pay the rent arrears in the time stipulated in your notice. 

The documents contained in this pack give you everything you must use in order to start court proceedings, obtain an order for possession and to obtain an order for the tenant(s) to pay the rent arrears (if they do not issue a defence at court disputing your claim). The pack contains all the court forms, letters and ancillary documents, such as schedules and witness statements, required to follow the court procedure and to claim back your costs, where your tenancy agreement states that the tenant will be liable to pay for them.

You should start the process by using the documents ‘Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only)’, ‘Form N119 – Particulars of claim (rent arrears only)’and ‘Schedule of rent arrears for form N119’. You should then send these completed documents to the court along with the associated covering letter ‘Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119’.

The document notes that come with these documents will explain which of the documents included in this pack you will need to use next or view our flowchart .

If it is unlikely that the tenant(s) will pay the rent arrears (due to their financial circumstances) then you may want to consider obtaining a possession order using the ‘accelerated possession procedure as this process is quicker, but does not order the tenant(s) to pay the rent back. Start with our pack 'Stage one: Before you start court proceedings (accelerated possession)'.

Pack documents:

•    Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only)
•    Form N119 – Particulars of claim (rent arrears only)
•    Schedule of rent arrears for form N119
•    Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119
•    Updated rent arrears schedule and witness statement for possession hearing
•    Schedule of costs for applications to court to recover costs
•    Form N215 - Certificate of service
•    Possession claim notice: effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the tenant

Compatible region(s): England & Wales

Stage 2: Starting court proceedings for possession (rent arrears)

Use this pack after correctly serving a notice seeking possession under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 where the tenant(s) has failed to pay the rent arrears in the time stipulated in your notice. 

The documents contained in this pack give you everything you must use in order to start court proceedings, obtain an order for possession and to obtain an order for the tenant(s) to pay the rent arrears (if they do not issue a defence at court disputing your claim). The pack contains all the court forms, letters and ancillary documents, such as schedules and witness statements, required to follow the court procedure and to claim back your costs, where your tenancy agreement states that the tenant will be liable to pay for them.

You should start the process by using the documents ‘Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only)’, ‘Form N119 – Particulars of claim (rent arrears only)’and ‘Schedule of rent arrears for form N119’. You should then send these completed documents to the court along with the associated covering letter ‘Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119’.

The document notes that come with these documents will explain which of the documents included in this pack you will need to use next or view our flowchart .

If it is unlikely that the tenant(s) will pay the rent arrears (due to their financial circumstances) then you may want to consider obtaining a possession order using the ‘accelerated possession procedure as this process is quicker, but does not order the tenant(s) to pay the rent back. Start with our pack 'Stage one: Before you start court proceedings (accelerated possession)'.

Pack documents:

•    Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only)
•    Form N119 – Particulars of claim (rent arrears only)
•    Schedule of rent arrears for form N119
•    Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119
•    Updated rent arrears schedule and witness statement for possession hearing
•    Schedule of costs for applications to court to recover costs
•    Form N215 - Certificate of service
•    Possession claim notice: effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the tenant

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Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119 (Guidance Notes)

This document creates a covering letter to the court for a landlord issuing an application for a possession order for rent arrears for assured shorthold tenancy agreements. To use this document, you will need to have already completed claim forms N5 and N119. This document can only be used in England & Wales.
Form N119 - Particulars of claim (rent arrears only) (Guidance Notes)

The N119 particulars of claim form should be used when applying to court for a possession order if there are rent arrears. It is used for rented residential properties let under either an assured tenancy agreement or assured shorthold tenancy agreement. It must be completed together with Form N5. Once completed, both forms must be sent to the relevant court together with the appropriate court fee to be issued. It is only suitable for claims within England & Wales and should not be used for claims using the accelerated possession procedure.
Form N215 - Certificate of service (Guidance Notes)
The N215 certificate of service should generally be completed after having sent any court documents, such as claim forms or applications to the court, or other important documents to an opponent after (or sometimes before) court proceedings have begun. The form provides evidence that the documents have been served on an opponent. It is only suitable for claims within England & Wales.
Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only) (Guidance Notes)
Use the N5 claim form to apply for a court order to get possession of a property. You can use it if you've given your tenants a valid 'section 8' notice (seeking possession due to rent arrears) and the tenants have either not left or still not paid the arrears by the deadline given in that notice.

You can only use it if you are a private landlord seeking possession against a tenant with an assured or assured shorthold tenancy agreement solely on the grounds of rent arrears.

It must be completed together with Form N119. Once completed, both forms must be sent to the relevant court together with the appropriate court fee to be issued. It is only suitable for claims within England & Wales and should not be used for claims using the accelerated possession procedure.

Possession claim notice: effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the tenant (Guidance Notes)
When making a possession claim in England or Wales, new rules require you to tell the court what you know about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the tenants and their dependants. You can do that with this document.

You'll need to use it in 2 situations:

1. When starting a new accelerated possession procedure (i.e. section 21) claim on or after 3 August 2020, sending it with claim form N5B; or

2. At any possession hearing (i.e. under the section 8 or section 21 procedure) for claims that were made on or after 3 August 2020. You must bring 2 copies to the hearing and give a copy to the tenants at least 14 days before it.

This notice is required even if you don't know what effect the pandemic has had on the tenants.
Schedule of costs for applications to court to recover costs (Guidance Notes)
This document creates a schedule of costs to be used in general court proceedings by a litigant acting in person when applying to recover their costs of time spent and expenses incurred in conducting a claim. Please note that this document can only be used in England & Wales.
Schedule of rent arrears for form N119 (Guidance Notes)
Use this document to create a schedule of rent arrears as is required when applying to the court for a possession order on the grounds of rent arrears. This document must accompany N119. Please note that this document can only be used in England & Wales.
Updated rent arrears schedule and witness statement for possession hearing (Guidance Notes)
This document creates a witness statement and a schedule of rent arrears for possession proceedings in England & Wales on the grounds of rent arrears.

You can use this document in two situations:

1. To send with a reactivation notice: where you made a claim any time before 3 August 2020 that was stayed (paused) by the court without a final possession order being made.

2. When preparing for a court hearing for a possession order: regardless of when you started your claim.
Rent arrears pack flowchart