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

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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
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Included in this service:

  • Covering letter for claim form N5 & N119
    This document creates a covering letter to the court for a landlord(s) issuing an application for a possession order on the grounds of rent arrears for an assured or assured shorthold tenancy agreement. To use this document, you will need to have already completed claim form N5 and Particulars of Claim form N119. Please note that this document can only be used in England & Wales.
  • Form N119 – Particulars of claim (rent arrears only)
    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. Important Notice In order to use this document you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. The Adobe software is free and may be downloaded by clicking here.
  • Form N215 - Certificate of service
    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. Important Notice In order to use this document you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. The Adobe software is free and may be downloaded by clicking here.
  • Form N5 - Claim for possession of property (rent arrears only)
    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.

    Important Notice In order to use this document you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. The Adobe software is free and may be downloaded by clicking here.

  • Schedule of costs for applications to court to recover costs
    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
    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
    This document creates a witness statement and a schedule of rent arrears to be used when preparing for the court hearing following an application to court for a possession order on the grounds of rent arrears. It should be completed by the same person who signed Form N119 (particulars of claim) and Form N5 (claim form) and must be received by the court and the opponent at least two days before the date of the court hearing. The witness must attend the court hearing. These documents are only suitable for use in England and Wales.

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