Renewal Of Orders For Possession After Twelve Years

Published date03 December 2020
Subject MatterFinance and Banking, Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration, Charges, Mortgages, Indemnities, Financial Services, Trials & Appeals & Compensation
Law FirmDillon Eustace
AuthorMr Jamie Ensor

This article considers the decision of Ms Justice Gearty in the recent case of Start Mortgages v Barry Piggott1. The Court found that the twelve year limitation period barring actions brought in respect of judgments did not apply to the renewal of an order for possession in High Court proceedings. A finding that will be of relevance in the context of possession cases during the Covid-19 pandemic and into the future.

The facts

Start Mortgages (Start), as Plaintiff, obtained an order for possession in respect of Mr Piggott's residential property on 30 June 2008 (the Order). Over the course of the following years payment plans were put in place in respect of his loans secured on the property. Each eventually failed, with Mr Piggott stopping all payments in 2016.

The Plaintiff obtained leave to issue execution of the Order in November 2018, which is a requirement when more than six years have passed since the date of the original Order. This execution order was then renewed in July 2019, giving the Plaintiff until 24 July 2020 within which to effect execution, some weeks after the twelve years would have passed. The Plaintiff subsequently sought to renew the execution order for a second time.

The law

The Court was required to assess whether such an extension could be granted in light of section 11(6)(a) of the Statute of Limitations Act 1957, which provides that:

"An action shall not be brought upon a judgment after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable".

The primary issue in this case was whether the enforcement action of renewing the execution order was to be considered an "action...upon a judgment" for the purposes of section 11(6)(a) of the Statute of Limitations.

All parties involved acknowledged that this would be an undesirable outcome. The Plaintiff did not wish to enforce the Order before the expiration of the twelve year period, seeking to avoid a situation where Mr Piggott would be dispossessed of his family home during the current pandemic. The Plaintiff had also acknowledged the relatively recent efforts of Mr Piggott to reduce the debt owed. Furthermore, Mr Piggott consented to the renewal sought, as if the renewal was not granted the Plaintiff would have little choice but to enforce their security to avoid being statute barred. The Court acknowledged the alignment of interests between the parties.


The Court relied heavily of the judgments of the High Court and Supreme Court respectively in...

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