Suspended possession order
Suspended possession orders are fairly common, particularly in mortgage possession proceedings, where a lender is seeking possession of a property where they have lent money to a borrower or borrowers.
If the borrower can prove to the court that they are able to maintain the monthly mortgage payments and also pay off any mortgage arrears within a reasonable period of time, then it is fairly common for the court to grant a suspended possession order. Here the borrower is able to rely on the provisions of Section 36 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 to assist them.
What is reasonable will depend on the court, but there have been cases where the remaining term of the mortgage has been held to be a reasonable length of time for the borrower to clear the mortgage arrears. Often in these types of cases, lenders may consolidate the mortgage arrears into the outstanding mortgage, so that the monthly repayments become slightly higher, but the borrower does not have the burden of having to find the extra arrears payment each month.
It is usual in mortgage possession claims that the suspended possession order is two-fold. The borrower not only needs to pay off the mortgage arrears, but also needs to continue to pay the monthly mortgage instalments. If the borrower breaches either one of these conditions, the lender will be entitled to seek possession from the court.
In possession proceedings involving an assured shorthold tenancy, if a suspended possession order is granted, the court is more likely to grant a shorter period for the tenant to pay off any arrears, as the length of the tenancy agreement is likely to only be around one year and it would be prejudicial to the landlord if he had to wait a lengthy period of time to recover the arrears of rent.
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