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The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern announced today new and improved possession procedures aimed at helpi...
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern announced today new and improved possession procedures aimed at helping landlords and tenants.

Welcoming the announcement, Housing Minister Sir George Young said: 'These new procedures for assured shorthold and assured tenancies will reduce delays and costs for private landlords. I hope this will help revive investment in the private rented sector, as delays in reclaiming possession are sometimes quoted by potential landlords as a reason for not renting out properties'.

The new rules and forms which come into force on 1 November 1993 will: introduce a streamlined procedure to enable private landlords to recover their property more quickly and cheaply; ensure county courts will be given more information about claims for possession; encourage greater participation in possession proceedings by tenants and borrowers; and warn undisclosed tenants in mortgaged property of possession proceedings.

Accelerated Possession Procedure: Using this new procedure, landlords will be able to recover possession of rental property, where the tenant is unlikely to have a defence, without the need for a court hearing. The scope of the new procedure is limited to assured tenancies where possession is being sought on certain specified grounds, and to assured shorthold tenancies.

The landlord must provide sufficient written evidence to support his claim for possession which must be served on the tenant at the outset of the proceedings. A judge will decide whether to order possession on the basis of the papers. Forms and leaflets, available from county courts and law stationers, will stress the need for tenants to seek urgent advice. County courts will provide tenants with a list of agencies from whom they can obtain free advice.

General Possession Procedure: The new rules also introduce prescribed forms which will provide courts with more information about the basis of the claim (particularly where the grounds for possession are based on arrears of rent or mortgage repayments) and about the defendant's personal and financial circumstances.

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