How long does a suspended possession order last?
It is fairly common in rent arrears cases, for the suspended possession order to include a condition that the possession order will remain suspended as long as the tenant continues to pay the monthly rent, together with a contribution towards the arrears.
As long as the tenant maintains these payment arrangements, then the landlord cannot ask the court to make an outright possession order.
At the possession hearing, the court will normally ask the tenant to provide details of their income and expenditure and details of how much they could pay towards the arrears. If the payment proposals appear reasonable to the judge, he is likely to suspend the possession order on those conditions.
If however, the offer of paying off the arrears is not reasonable and it would take many years for the arrears to clear, then the judge may not be minded to grant a suspended possession order.
Alternatively, the judge may ask the tenant to pay a lump-sum towards the arrears immediately and then small payments over the next month’s towards the arrears, as well as maintaining their normal rental payments.
As long as the tenant or borrower maintains the payment arrangements set out in the suspended possession order, the court should not make an outright possession order.
It may however be possible for the landlord to go back to curt to seek an amendment to the conditions of the suspended order if he believes the tenants circumstances have changed or he believes that it is taking too long for the arrears to be paid off.
If the suspended possession order is more than 6 years old and the landlord seeks to make the possession order outright, they will need to the consent of the Court before doing so.
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