If you need to, you can enforce a Tenancy Tribunal order or a Sealed Mediation Order through the Ministry of Justice.

The Collections Unit in the Ministry of Justice is responsible for enforcing civil debts. This includes orders from the Tenancy Tribunal.

Before you go to the Ministry of Justice, try fixing the problem by talking to the other person. If you can’t fix the problem yourselves, you can enforce the order through the court system.

Only a named party on the order can apply for enforcement. This will be either the judgment creditor (eg, the person who is owed money) or sometimes the judgment debtor (eg, the person who owes the money). A lawyer can also apply on behalf of either party.

Apply for civil enforcement (external link) (Ministry of Justice website)

You can recover any enforcement fees from the person owing the money. The fees can be added to the amount they owe.

You will need to know the current address of the person who owes the money. If you don’t know the current address, we have a service that may be able to help.

How to find a current address for enforcement

There are three main types of order you can have enforced.

Orders to regain possession of a property

If you have a possession order and the tenant has not vacated the property, you need an eviction warrant. If you’re not sure whether the tenant has vacated the property or not, you should apply for enforcement through the Ministry of Justice.

Once you file to enforce a possession order, it becomes an eviction warrant. A court bailiff can then return possession of the property to the person named in the order.

How to apply for an eviction warrant (external link) (Ministry of Justice website)

You can help the bailiff carry out the eviction process without delays, by letting them know about any known health and safety risks like:

  • dogs on the property
  • gang affiliations
  • if the tenant is a known drug user.

You might want a locksmith to be there when the eviction warrant is enforced. The locksmith can change the locks so that the house is secure.

If the tenant leaves belongings behind after the eviction date, the landlord should arrange for the tenant to collect them. If the tenant doesn’t collect them, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a disposal order.

How to deal with abandoned goods

Orders to recover money

The Ministry of Justice can assess the debtor’s ability to pay the money they owe (their financial means). If the debtor has the financial means to pay, then the registrar can make an order.

Apply for an assessment of financial means (external link) (Ministry of Justice website)

Orders to seize and sell belongings so you can recover money

A warrant to seize property lets you have the debtor’s belongings seized and sold to pay you. This is only useful if the debtor has belongings with a reasonable resale value.

A bailiff will visit the debtor and demand they pay the money they owe. If the debtor doesn’t pay, the bailiff can report on belongings that can be seized. The Ministry of Justice can seize the belongings and sell them to pay you the money you’re owed.

How to apply for a warrant to seize property (external link)   (Ministry of Justice website)

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