The repossession of a house is often a devastating, life-changing event. While most repossession orders are avoidable, some are handed down by the courts erroneously.
Anyone who has their home repossessed has the right of appeal — on a range of grounds. Most successful appeals occur where the spectre of eviction was a factor. This is because the courts accept that people panic when their home is in jeopardy.
If you or your legal representative can demonstrate solid grounds for an appeal, there’s a reasonable chance of buying yourself more time.
Getting permission to appeal the repossession of a house
An appeal is possible if you can demonstrate that the decision was incorrect, not fair or the result of procedural irregularities. You must have permission to appeal, however. The presiding judge grants this in most cases. But even if permission is initially refused, you have the option of asking a more senior judge.
The appeal process
You have 21 days from the date of the initial order to lodge an appeal. You’ll need to file the appeal at court, which requires the payment of a fee. Before you pay, however, ask the court if you qualify for fee exemption status.
You’ll be given a date for an appeal hearing. You or your legal representative will have to explain to a judge why you believe the repossession order should be reversed. The judge can decide on one of three options: order a new hearing, reverse the initial order or uphold the initial ruling.
Living in a rented home
If you rent your home and face eviction, the process is different. Nevertheless, you may be able to appeal an eviction order if you can demonstrate that your landlord didn’t follow the correct procedures.
Unfortunately, reversing an eviction notice as a tenant is very difficult in England and Wales. Your appeal won’t be possible under the following circumstances:
- The landlord used a mandatory reason for eviction under an assured tenancy
- The landlord used the “section 21” procedure to evict under an assured shorthold
- You’re a council tenant, and you have a demoted or introductory tenancy
- You’re living in halls of residence as a student
The court can grant a possession order to a landlord who makes an application to the court. If granted, the court sets a date by which you have to vacate the property. If you fail to leave by that date, bailiffs can be sent to remove you forcibly.
Appealing possession orders
You might be able to apply to the court for a change to the house repossession order. This might be possible if certain procedures weren’t followed during the eviction process. A judge may agree to postpone or suspend the date of possession while further negotiations or investigations occur. You may also get extra time to leave.
If you’re fighting repossession, selling your house fast might be the best option. At least this way you can move on without the event tarnishing your credit record. Flying Homes can buy homes in a matter of days — helping you to stop the repossession process before it reaches court.