How To Fill Out Form N244: A Step-by-Step Guide For Legal Applications In The UK Property Market

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Form N244 is an important legal document used frequently in the UK property market. It allows individuals to apply to the court relating to an ongoing case. Completing the form correctly is essential to ensure your application is accepted and avoids delays. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of filling out the form accurately for property disputes and conveyancing matters.

What is Form N244?

Form N244 is the standard application notice used to apply to the county court in England and Wales for legal orders relating to an ongoing civil court case. It allows you to request a specific court order, give notice of various applications or provide information to the court.

The Ministry of Justice provides the template N244 form. It must be used for the majority of civil applications, from procedural steps like amending claims to making enforcement applications. Using the standard form ensures consistency across county courts.

When is it Used in Property Matters?

Form N244 is commonly required during property transactions and conveyancing matters. Typical uses include:

  • Notifying of a change in solicitor during conveyancing
  • Requesting an extension to complete probate after a death
  • Applying for a stay of eviction by a landlord
  • Seeking an injunction in a boundary dispute
  • Appealing a judgment about the right of way
  • Contesting inheritance claims on a property
  • Challenging compulsory purchase orders
  • Suspending possession proceedings by a mortgage lender

It provides a formal process to apply for court orders relating to property sales, rentals, transfers, disputes and transactions. Using the form helps progress or resolve legal issues.

How To Fill Out Form N244

Follow these steps to fill out Form N244 accurately and completely to avoid rejection:

1. Add Case Details

In the top section, provide key details about the case the application relates to. This includes the claim number, court name, and claimant and defendant details. Dates of any previous hearings and orders should also be included.

2. Select Application Type

Review the long list of application options and tick the relevant box for your specific request. Options range from adding a party to proceedings to appealing a previous order.

3. Include Grounds for Application

Explain clearly your reasons and grounds for making the application. Keep it concise while including sufficient legal justification. Refer to relevant case law or statute where applicable.

4. State the Order Sought

Be specific about the outcome, decision or order you are requesting from the court. For example, an injunction against a party or the lifting of an eviction order.

5. Provide Supporting Evidence

List any supporting documents, exhibits or evidence that you are submitting alongside the form. This supplementary material should back up the grounds provided.

6. Add Date and Sign

Date the form with the day you are completing it. Ensure you sign the declaration at the bottom confirming the details are true to the best of your knowledge.

7. Include Correct Fee

There is a fee payable depending on the type of application being made. The current fee levels are available in the N244 guidance notes online. The appropriate fee can be paid by cheque or money order along with the form.

8. Check Page Numbers

Add page numbers to any supporting documents submitted with the form. Bundle them securely and list the page numbers in the relevant section of the form.

9. Make Copies

Make one copy for your own records and an additional copy for every party involved in the case before sending it to the court. This ensures all parties receive the application details.

10. Send to Correct Court

Check you are sending the completed N244 form to the correct county court handling the case. Send by recorded delivery to have proof of postage and receipt.

Getting it Right the First Time

Taking care to provide the right level of detail and following the steps correctly means your Form N244 has the best chance of being accepted and processed swiftly. Allocate sufficient time to complete the application comprehensively. Seek assistance from a legal advisor if required.

Watch Out for Common Mistakes

Some common mistakes to avoid when completing Form N244 include:

  • Failing to use the latest version: Check you have the most recent template before starting. Outdated forms may be rejected.
  • Incomplete information: All relevant sections should be fully completed to avoid queries. Especially details of other parties and the order being sought.
  • Lack of evidence: Provide supporting documents and exhibits where possible to reinforce your grounds for application.
  • Unclear reasons: Give precise yet concise reasons for your application. Avoid vague, weak or ambiguous justification.
  • Wrong fee: Check the current fee schedule to include the right payment. Underpayment may delay acceptance.
  • Sending to incorrect court: Applications can be rejected if sent to the wrong court location.
  • Forgetting page numbers: Clearly number all pages of supplementary documents submitted.
  • Failing to make copies: Send the required number of copies for all parties to prevent delays.

Using Form N244 for Property Disputes

The flexibility of Form N244 makes it a practical solution for initiating many property proceedings. Common examples include:

Boundary Disputes

If negotiating with a neighbour fails, Form N244 can be used to apply for a court order to resolve a boundary issue. This may seek to prevent an obstruction, remove encroaching structures or clarify title deeds if the boundary is unclear.

Property Possession

Applying for a possession order to remove individuals from a property they are unlawfully occupying. This could include tenants exceeding their lease or squatters within an empty property awaiting sale.

Contested Probate

If disputes arise within a family regarding the rightful beneficiary of a property inheritance, Form N244 allows one party to initiate legal proceedings over the estate.

Compulsory Purchase Challenges

Landowners can contest compulsory purchase orders made by development corporations or local authorities acquiring property for regeneration. Form N244 starts the process of disputing the order.

Leaseholder Alterations

Where lease terms are prohibitive, leaseholders may apply via Form N244 for court permission to make alterations or improvements to a property.

The above examples demonstrate the broad applicability of Form N244 for instigating hearings, seeking orders and furthering property-related legal matters in dispute. Using the standard form correctly ensures an efficient process.

Receiving the Court’s Decision

Once the completed application form is submitted, the court will review the request and supporting documents. Straightforward applications may receive a decision within 14 days. More complex cases may take several weeks or months.

The court can either grant the order requested, arrange a hearing for further deliberation or dismiss/reject the application stating reasons. All parties will receive notification of the outcome in writing. If your application is successful, follow any instructions to adhere to the conditions granted.

In some cases, one party may contest the order by filing their own N244 application. This initiates a new stage in the legal process. Grounds for appeal can also be filed later once an order is given.

A Step Towards Resolving Property Disputes

Completing Form N244 begins the legal proceedings needed to resolve a property dispute or conveyancing issue. Following the steps carefully and providing the required information maximises the chance of a prompt and successful outcome. Navigating the court process takes time and patience, but the eventual resolution makes it worthwhile. With the completed form now submitted, you have taken an important step forward in the journey towards settling your property case.

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