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Valuable information for people facing possession proceedings

If you are in arrears with your rent, your landlord may seek possession of your home by issuing a summons against you. You will be given a hearing date, usually in your local County Court. You should attend the hearing.

The court will want to know how the arrears accrued and whether you will be in a position to clear the arrears within a reasonable period of time. You should take evidence with you that shows of any likely change in your financial circumstances such as an award of housing benefit, a new job,a wage increase.

The court will look at whether you will be able to pay the rent and an amount towards the rent arrears. If you are not able to pay off the arrears, the court could decide to issue an outright possession order that would specify a date on which you will have to leave your home. If you did not leave then, the landlord can issue a warrant for possession and a bailiff would call to evict you.

The court can also make a suspended possession order which would let you stay in your home as long as you comply with the terms of the court order, usually that you pay the current rent plus a fixed amount off the rent arrears.

The court can also dismiss or adjourn the proceedings.

You will probably be liable to pay your landlord's costs if the court is satisfied that the landlord took appropriate action in issuing the proceedings. This can happen even if you pay off all the arrears before the hearing date.

You should always seek advice if a summons for possession has been issued or a warrant for your eviction has been issued.

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