Bob has claimed possession of a property from Alice. Alice has received the form from the court and not returned hers within the allotted 14 days. Under normal possession claims, the passage of this time under Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction 55A entitles Bob to submit a written request to the court for a possession order without a hearing. However, if he does not submit this and Alice never defends the claim, then it will not go before a judge until one of these things happens and if neither does for 3 months then it will be automatically stayed. However, if Alice defends the claim before Bob writes in with his request for judgment, then it is as if she had done so within the 14 day time limit.

It has been suggested by a professional advisor that the above is not true, however, in case Bob has filed an accelerated claim for possession, in which case if after the 14 days no defence has been received from Alice, then it will automatically go before a judge. But I have not been able to find any basis for this claim in the relevant CPR/CPD 55A. Is it correct?

And if it is, can an accelerated claim which received no defense within the allotted deadline from Alice and resulted in a possession order being issued by the judge erroneously based on an error of law given all of the information that was apparent in the claim form be subsequently appealed by Alice even though she did not punctually submit her defense form within the 14 day time limit?

  • There are few different questions here, so I picked out what I assume to be the most relevant.
    – user35069
    Nov 2, 2022 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


I don't wish to gainsay or contradict a "professional adviser", especially as I have no idea on what information they based their suggestion.

All I can do is direct the OP to the relevant extracts from the section headed "II ACCELERATED POSSESSION CLAIMS OF PROPERTY LET ON AN ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY" in the Civil Procedure Rules, especially my emboldened text at the end of Rule 55.15.

  • Rule 55.14

(1) A defendant who wishes to –

  • (a) oppose the claim; or

  • (b) seek a postponement of possession in accordance with rule 55.18,

must file his defence within 14 days after service of the claim form.

(2) The defence should be in the form set out in Practice Direction 55A.

  • Rule 55.15

(1) On receipt of the defence the court will –

  • (a) send a copy to the claimant; and

  • (b) refer the claim and defence to a judge.

(2) Where the period set out in rule 55.14 has expired without the defendant filing a defence –

  • (a) the claimant may file a written request for an order for possession; and

  • (b) the court will refer that request to a judge.

(3) Where the defence is received after the period set out in rule 55.14 has expired but before a request is filed in accordance with paragraph (2), paragraph (1) will still apply.

(4) Where –

  • (a) the period set out in rule 55.14 has expired without the defendant filing a defence; and

  • (b) the claimant has not made a request for an order for possession under paragraph (2) within 3 months after the expiry of the period set out in rule 55.14,

the claim will be stayed.


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