How do I start a possession claim at court?

Court possession claims should normally be commences in the county court and it is only in exceptional circumstances that a claim should be commenced in the High Court.

The possession claim should be commenced in the county court which serves the address of the property where the tenants are living. If the possession claim is started in a different county court, it is likely that the matter will be transferred to the local county court serving the property, so it is important to issue in the correct court to avoid delays.

For possession claims based solely on rent arrears or possession claims by banks based solely on mortgage arrears, it is also possible to issue a claim online, via the Possession Claims OnLine service, known as PCOL.

To start the claim, you need to complete a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim and file these at court with the correct court fee. You need to ensure that you use the correct Claim Form and correct version of the Particulars of Claim, as depending on the type of possession claim you need to issue, you need to include certain specified information in the Particulars of Claim.

If your possession claim is against trespassers, then you should use Claim Form N5B. Otherwise, you need to use Claim Form N5. Copies of both of these claim form are on the government’s website at

Similarly, the correct Particulars of Claim forms to use are as follows:

N119 – Particulars of Claim for possession (rented residential properties)

N120 – Particulars of Claim for possession (mortgaged residential properties)

N121 – Particulars of Claim for possession (trespassers)

It is often easier using one of the above forms as they contain all the information that you need to provide for the specific types of possession claim that you are intending to bring.

The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim must be issued and served together at court and the correct court fee paid.

When the possession claim is issued, the court will fix a hearing date. In the case of claims against non-trespassers, the hearing date will be at least 28 days after the date the claim was issued and should not be more than 8 weeks after the issue date.

In the case of claims against trespassers, the hearing date will be much closer to the issue date, although the court will normally provide a date within 7-14 days, as the claimant is required to give the residential trespassers at least 5 days’ notice of the hearing and has to serve them with the claim form, particulars of claim and any witness evidence it will rely on, at least 5 days’ before the hearing.

Contact an expert possession claims solicitor now

Please contact one of our friendly expert possession claims solicitors now for your friendly consultation. At Francis Wilks & Jones, our team of dedicated possession claim lawyers are ready to take your call. Whatever your questions, we can help you. Don’t delay – contact the possession claim experts today.


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