Permission to enforce a writ of possession is not always necessary.

This was confirmed in Pritchard v Teitelbaum. The claimant had agreed to sell the freehold of her property to the fifth defendant company (F) and to grant it a 20-year lease. F successfully took possession proceedings to obtain possession of the property and it was ordered that F be registered as the owner of the property. It was further ordered that the claimant could stay in the property until 30 August 2004.

The claimant applied to stay the order. The property was not vacated by the deadline and F obtained a writ of possession. F did not apply for permission to issue the writ as it took the view that the claimant was a trespasser and therefore permission was not necessary. The writ of possession was enforced and the claimant evicted. Some of her belongings remained in the property. The claimant sought an order permitting her to retake possession of the property or alternatively permitting her to collect her possessions.

The court refused the application. The court held that the prospect of the claimant succeeding in an application to set aside the possession order was slight. A claim against trespassers was dealt with differently from other possession claims and did not require the safeguard of the need for permission pursuant to Order 45 r3 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.

Here, the claimant, after 30 August 2004, remained in the possession of the property as a trespasser and so the order for possession had been made in a claim against trespassers. No permission of the court was required to issue the writ of possession. Further, there was no requirement that notice be given to the person against whom the writ was to be executed. There was no procedural defect in the execution of the writ.

Things to consider

This is a useful judgment in cases where persons may have entered into possession of property without the re-possessing lender's consent but who are not tenants or sub tenants (whether the tenancy has been terminated or not).