On 6 September 2018, the Civil Procedure (Amendment No 3) Rules 2018 were laid before Parliament and the changes are due to come into effect on 1 October 2018. Rule 8 of the amended rules will amend rule 83.2(3) of the 1998 rules as below.
Civil Procedure Rules 1998
Writs and warrants of control, writs of execution, warrants of delivery and warrants of possession – permission to issue certain writs or warrants
83.2 (3) A relevant writ or warrant must not be issued without the permission of the court where—
(a) six years or more have elapsed since the date of the judgment or order;
(b) any change has taken place, whether by death or otherwise, in the parties—
(i) entitled to enforce the judgment or order; or
(ii) liable to have it enforced against them;
(c) the judgment or order is against the assets of a deceased person coming into the hands of that person’s executors or administrators after the date of the judgment or order, and it is sought to issue execution against such assets;
(d) any goods to be seized under a relevant writ or warrant are in the hands of a receiver appointed by a court or sequestrator;
(e) under the judgment or order, any person is entitled to a remedy subject to the fulfilment of any condition, and it is alleged that the condition has been fulfilled; or
(f) the permission sought is for a writ of control or writ of execution, and that writ is to be in aid of another writ of control or execution.
The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2018
Amendment of Part 83
- In rule 83.2(3), after “has been fulfilled” insert “(other than where non-compliance with the terms of suspension of enforcement of the judgement or order is the failure to pay money)”.
The change in the Civil Procedure Rules will alter the permission requirements for the issue of writs or warrants following suspended orders (to include suspended possession orders). The alteration will remove the requirement for permission where breach of the order was by way of failure to pay money. It is important to note that this amendment is only applicable when the breach is by failure to pay money.
In an example, the landlord takes their tenant to court under section 8, grounds 10 and 11, both being discretionary grounds. The Judge gives a suspended order and the tenant is required pay £X in order to pay the rent that is due per calendar month and a contribution towards the arrears. In the event that the tenant fails to fulfil the payment requirement of the suspended order, the landlord is able to go and request the bailiffs, no court hearing is required. If the breach is non-monetary the landlord will have to apply for another court hearing before requesting the bailiffs.
This amendment effectively reverses the decision in the Cardiff County Council V Lee court case on suspended judgements, at least for judgements based on rent arrears. Where the judgement is based on breach of tenancy or anti-social behaviour, an application to the court will still be needed. Cardiff County Council v Lee (Flowers)  EWCA Civ 1034