Q&As

In accelerated possession proceedings, is it possible for the claimant to file and serve a witness statement in support of their claim, where the defendant has already filed and served a defence?

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Produced in partnership with David Nicholls of Landmark Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 17/10/2017

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with David Nicholls of Landmark Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In accelerated possession proceedings, is it possible for the claimant to file and serve a witness statement in support of their claim, where the defendant has already filed and served a defence?
  • Summary
  • Explanation

In accelerated possession proceedings, is it possible for the claimant to file and serve a witness statement in support of their claim, where the defendant has already filed and served a defence?

Summary

Under Civil Procedure Rules 1998, SI 1998/3132, the general approach is that witness statements may only be filed and served with the court’s permission (CPR 32.4(2)). There is no rule permitting the filing and service of witness statements in the accelerated possession procedure. Thus, even though there is nothing to prevent the filing and service of a witness statement, any such witness statement will not have the court’s permission and may be ignored. In any event, it is unlikely that a witness statement from the claimant in response to the defence will assist the claimant to obtain a possession order without a hearing.

Explanation

Accelerated possession proceedings apply to properties let on an assured shorthold tenancy, provided the conditions specified in CPR 55.12(1) are satisfied. Principally, there must be a written tenancy agreement and notice must have been given under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988). Where the procedure is correctly used, the claimant will usually be entitled to a possession order without a hearing. There will very rarely by any defences available to the defendant.

The claim is brought by using Claim Form N5B. This form should contain all the required information

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