July 15, 2014

This year has seen several changes to court issues.

The first change brought in from 22 April was that the fee for accelerated possession proceeding applications (using form N5B) has increased from £175 to £280. The same prices apply to rent arrears possession using form N5, if submitted to the local court.

Whilst these are steep increases the greatest increase lies in the online possession system where the fees for the N5 have increased from £100 to £250. This has significantly eroded the cost advantage of the online service.

In May 2014 several of the court forms were changed and so all applications must now be on the revised forms. You can always check the latest versions of forms on the HMCS website and the court form finder.

Lastly and by no means least, is the legislation contained within ‘The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012’. In section 83 of this act, it allows for the current fines, set by levels on a standard scale, to be replaced by “wealth based fines”. This would mean a landlord with high income or a lot of assets could be fined a much greater sum than someone without such wealth. Indeed, once this is introduced, there will be no maximum fine anymore, it will be unlimited.