Possession Claim Online - Help

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Introduction to Possession Claim Online.

Possession Claim Online (PCOL) is HM Courts & Tribunals Service's Internet based service for claimants and defendants.

PCOL is a simple, convenient and secure way of making or responding to certain types of possession claim on the Internet.

A Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction governs the type of claims that can be issued using the PCOL service. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this and the contents of the User Guide before issuing a claim on PCOL.

With PCOL you can keep an eye on the status of your Claim, Judgment and/or Warrant.

You will be asked to pay the fees to issue Claims and Warrants and other process online by Debit or Credit Card. If you use this service regularly you may be eligible to pay fees by Direct Debit.

PCOL has been designed to be easy to use from a computer and is supported by a Customer Help Desk.

If you have any doubts as to the viability or validity of your case we would advise you to seek independent legal advice before proceeding. Remember you may be liable for your opponent's costs in the event of your action being unsuccessful.


Possession Claim Online - User guide

Who can use this service


Possession Claim Online can be used by:


  • Individuals
  • Solicitors
  • Government
  • Businesses

who wish to issue a:


  • Claim
  • Warrant
  • Or certain other processes related to possession claims.

Solicitors who wish to put themselves on record as acting for a Claimant or Defendant within existing proceedings that were issued through PCOL.


Who cannot use this service


Possession Claim Online cannot be used by:


  • Vexatious Litigants
  • Minors (under the age of 18)
  • A Child or Protected Party within Part 21 of the Civil Procedure Rules
  • A Legally assisted person within the meaning of the Legal Aid Act

Examples of who cannot be sued are:


  • Government
  • The Monarchy

Hardware/Software requirements


To use PCOL, you must:


  • Use either a personal computer (PC) running Windows or a Macintosh computer.
  • Have a working Internet connection.
  • Use Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (or later) or Netscape 7.0 (or later) or Mozilla 1.7 (or later).
  • Have an Internet browser with JavaScript and cookies enabled and be capable of supporting 56-bit or 128-bit SSL.
  • Have Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 (or later) if you want to save your claim forms to your computer and print them. You can use the following link to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


How to save and print claim details


When you are completing forms online and select any function in PCOL (e.g. continue, previous or exit), your work is automatically saved as a draft within your personal homepage online. You can also save information as you work by selecting the Save button when provided to you. When you have submitted a form online and it is accepted by the court, it is stored as a PDF document within the claim event history.

You can also store (save) your submitted forms to your computer and print them by selecting the specific document from within the claim event history. The printed forms are for your reference only and cannot be accepted by a County Court as an issue request or served on the defendant personally.

If your claim does not meet all of the above requirements you cannot use this service and you should contact your local County Court for advice. You can use the HM Courts & Tribunals Service CourtFinder to find your local county court.


Is PCOL suitable for your claim?


Please check that PCOL is suitable for your claim before you start.
PCOL is suitable if:


  • It is brought under Section I of Part 55.
  • It includes a possession claim for residential property by - a landlord against a tenant, solely on the ground of arrears of rent (but not a claim for forfeiture of a lease); or a mortgagee against a mortgagor, solely on the ground of default in the payment of sums due under a mortgage.
  • It does not include a claim for any other remedy except for payment of arrears of rent or money due under a mortgage, interest and costs.
  • You have an address in England or Wales where documents can be delivered.
  • All defendant's have an address for service in England and Wales.
  • The claimant is able to provide a postcode for the property to be recovered.
  • You have an e-mail address.

If your claim does not meet all of the above requirements you cannot use this service and you should contact your local County Court for advice. You can use the HM Courts & Tribunals Service CourtFinder to find your local county court.


It is advisable that before you start making a claim online, you have the following information available: Full name and address of the person(s) you wish to make a claim against, a schedule of the arrears of rental/mortgage payments (full details of the requirements for the schedule of arrears are included in the Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction that governs PCOL), facts relating to the claim e.g. efforts you have made to reach agreement with the defendant to resolve the arrears.


Once you submit your request for the issue of a claim/warrant to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, the cost of processing the request will be incurred. Full details of the fees payable for issue of process are contained within the EX50 leaflet. All claims received are processed upon receipt it is therefore not possible that the court will be able to stop a claim from being issued once the claim has been submitted online.


Any refund of fees is entirely at the discretion of the Court Manager.


Registration help


How to register

To register you must provide an e-mail address and you will have to enter a unique username and password. You decide what your username and password should be. Both your username and password must be between 8 and 12 characters long and be a combination of both letters and numbers. You are not allowed to use spaces. You will need these details each time you wish to use this service. Keep your password in a safe place, as it will not be provided to you again.


Individual Claimant Registration

Before starting your claim for possession using the online service you are advised to familiarise yourself with the information pages within the Possession Claim Online - User guide and the Civil Procedure Practice Direction covering Possession Claims. You may also wish to visit the HM Courts & Tribunals Service website for further information and general guidance on possession proceedings.


Solicitor Registration

Before starting your claim for possession using the online service you are advised to familiarise yourself with the information pages within the Possession Claim Online - User guide and the Civil Procedure Practice Direction covering Possession Claims. You may also wish to visit the HM Courts & Tribunals Service website for further information and general guidance on possession proceedings.


Organisation Registration

Before starting your claim for possession using the online service you are advised to familiarise yourself with the information pages within the Possession Claim Online - User guide and the Civil Procedure Practice Direction covering Possession Claims. You may also wish to visit the HM Courts & Tribunals Service website for further information and general guidance on possession proceedings.


Login help


How to login

To login you must enter the user name and password that you provided at registration, if you are a claimant or their representative. If you are a defendant, your username and password would have been provided with the documentation you received from the court. If you have forgotten your password, choose the forgotten password option. If you have forgotten your username you will need to contact the Customer Help Desk.


Forgotten your password?

If you have forgotten your password, we can provide you with a new password for the PCOL service. You will need to choose the forgotten your password? link on the PCOL welcome page. You will then need to provide the username that you provided at registration.


Administration account functions


Direct Debit mandate

Use this facility to view and print the Direct Debit mandate form. You will need to complete and submit this form to the address provided in order to request payment of fees by direct debit. If authorised, your registration details will be updated and you will be notified that fees will be collected on a monthly basis from your nominated account for the transactions completed through the PCOL service.


Create bulk claim account

In order to create a bulk claim account, you must be authorised to pay fees through the PCOL Direct Debit facility. You must also have set up the required interface described within the PCOL bulk claims interface. This sets out the format and manner of data exchange between PCOL and organisations wishing to submit possession claim in bulk.


Add new delegate

Use this facility to register a delegate of your organisation with the PCOL Service. This registration process provides the delegate with the ability to transact with the service and submit fee-bearing items to the service.


Claim actions help


Begin New Claim

Before beginning a new claim issue you should ensure you have all relevant information regarding the claim. If required you can save a partial claim and return to complete it later if you need to gather more information. You should familiarise yourself with the contents of the Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction that governs PCOL.


Submit General Correspondence

You can use this facility to send a letter to the court. You should provide as much information as known in order to assist the court in dealing with your communication. It is not appropriate to use this facility if you are requesting a judicial decision or directions. In this case you should make an application and pay the appropriate fee.


Submit General Application

You can use this facility to submit an application to the court. If your application intends to rely on a separate witness statement or documentation you will not be able to submit your application online. Please be aware that some forms require you to pay a fee. The fee for each application will be displayed before payment details are requested. Some people who are in receipt of benefits may be eligible for exemption from paying the court fee. If you believe you may be eligible please read our Fee Exemption leaflet. If, having read the leaflet, you believe you are eligible, you can make an application on line but will need to complete the fee exemption application in the presence of an authorised officer of the Citizens Advice Bureaux. Click this link to view a list of current court fees. Click this link to view our fee exemption guidance leaflet.


Request Hearing adjournment

You can use this facility to submit an application to adjourn a forthcoming hearing. If the hearing is imminent (within five days) you cannot use the online submission and must apply directly to the court. If your application intends to rely on a separate witness statement or documentation you will not be able to submit your application online, and must apply directly to the court. Please be aware that some forms require you to pay a fee. The fee for each form will be displayed before payment details are requested. Some people who are in receipt of benefits may be eligible for exemption from paying the court fee. If you believe you may be eligible please read our Fee Exemption leaflet. If, having read the leaflet, you believe you are eligible, you can make an application on line but will need to complete the fee exemption application in the presence of an authorised officer of the Citizens Advice Bureaux. Click this link to view a list of current court fees. Click this link to view our fee exemption guidance leaflet.


Reply to claim

You can use this facility to reply to the claim made against you. Before commencing your reply you are advised to read all the documentation served on you by the court and familiarise yourself with the guidance notes on replying to a claim. Do not ignore the claim made against you. If necessary you should seek advice from a solicitor or advice agency.


Withdraw claim

You can use this facility to withdraw your claim online. It is your responsibility to ensure that you inform every other party that you are withdrawing the claim. Once the claim has been withdrawn it will become view only within the PCOL system, with no further online actions available.


Terminate Party representation

You can use this facility to remove your solicitor as acting for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you inform every other party and the court that you are now acting in person.


Application To Fix Date For Possession

You can use this facility to submit an application to the court for a date to be fixed for possession where the defendant has failed to comply with the terms of the N28A (Order for Possession (Rented Premises)(Postponed)). You must take note that the supporting evidence required by CPR PD55 Section IV 10.7 must be filed directly with the court and cannot be attached to your online application. See Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction for precise details of what evidence is required to be submitted.


Issue Warrant of Possession

You can use this facility to submit a request to the court to issue a Warrant of Possession. As part of your request you may give additional contact details of the person who will be dealing with the warrant or possession appointment on your behalf (if appropriate), together with any other information that you feel may assist the bailiff in their duties of executing the warrant. E.g. is there any information known about the occupants that may cause the bailiff to request assistance from, Police, Social Services, the RSPCA etc. Please be aware that you are required to pay a fee. The fee for each request will be displayed before payment details are requested. Click this link to view a list of current court fees.


Confirm Repossession Appointment

You can use this facility to confirm to the bailiff your attendance at the appointment fixed for possession. As part of your confirmation you may give contact details of the person who will be in attendance at the appointment, together with any other information that you feel may assist the bailiff in their duties at the possession appointment. E.g. is there any information known about the occupants that may cause the bailiff to request assistance from, Police, Social Services, The RSPCA etc


Request Suspension of Eviction

You can use this facility to submit an application to suspend a forthcoming eviction appointment. If the eviction is imminent you cannot use the online submission and must apply directly to the court. If your application intends to rely on a separate witness statement or documentation you will not be able to submit your application online, and must apply directly to the court. Please be aware that you are required to pay a fee. The fee for each application will be displayed before payment details are requested. Some people who are in receipt of benefits may be eligible for exemption from paying the court fee. If you believe you may be eligible please read our Fee Exemption leaflet. If, having read the leaflet, you believe you are eligible, you can make an application on line but will need to complete the fee exemption application in the presence of an authorised officer of the Citizens Advice Bureaux. Click this link to view a list of current court fees. Click this link to view our fee exemption guidance leaflet.


Leave to Issue a Warrant of Restitution

You can use this facility to submit an application to the court for Leave to Issue a Warrant of Restitution. Warrants of Restitution are only applicable in the circumstances when the Bailiff has successfully executed a possession warrant and the previous occupant has regained possession of the property. If your application intends to rely on a separate witness statement or documentation you will not be able to submit your application online. Please be aware that some forms require you to pay a fee. The fee for each form will be displayed before payment details are requested. Click this link to view a list of current court fees.


Re-issue Warrant of Possession

You can use this facility to request the Reissue of a Possession Warrant. Possession Warrants can only be re-issued in certain circumstances e.g. if a previous warrant has been suspended by the court and the defendant has breached the terms of the suspension. As part of your request you must give details of the reasons for requesting re-issue. You may also give contact details of the person who will be dealing with the warrant or possession appointment on your behalf (if appropriate), together with any other information that you feel may assist the bailiff in their duties of executing the warrant. E.g. is there any information known about the occupants that may cause the bailiff to request assistance from, Police, Social Services, The RSPCA etc.


Customer help desk and useful links


Customer Help Desk

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the PCOL system then call 0300 123 1057. In order to assist the helpdesk in dealing with your query please have as much detail of the procedure you were undertaking at the time of the problem and details of any error messages shown.


If you have queries relating to court procedures then you should call the court responsible for administering your claim.


Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction

Click on the link to see the Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction that governs the type of claims that can be issued using the PCOL service.


Useful links

Finding your local county court.

Fees payable for issue of process - EX50 leaflet.

The HM Courts & Tribunals Service website - guidance for landlords.

The HM Courts & Tribunals Service website - information for occupants.

CLS Direct - The website of the Community Legal Service.

Citizens Advice Bureaux website - Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Shelter website - Shelter.

Eligibility for exemption from paying fees - EX160a leaflet.

Your first time at Court? What you can expect.

Some things you should know about coming to a court hearing.


Frequently Asked Questions.

Question - Is my possession claim suitable for issue using PCOL?

Answer - A Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction governs the type of claims that can be issued using the PCOL service. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this and the contents of the User Guide before issuing a claim on PCOL.

Question - How do I register for PCOL?

Answer - Choose the register option from the PCOL homepage. Select the type of registration you require according to the type of claimant you are i.e. an individual, solicitor or an organisation. You should then follow the step by step guidance notes for completing your registration details.

Question - How do I pay fees?

Answer - You will be asked to pay the court fees to issue Claims and Warrants and other process online by Debit or Credit Card. If you use this service regularly you may be eligible to pay fees by Direct Debit. In order to request payment of fees by Direct Debit you will be required to submit an application for consideration by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Question - How do I submit multiple claims on line?

Answer - PCOL provides a system to system interface for bulk submission of claims. This facility is available for customers who have been approved for payment of court fees by Direct Debit.. In order to do this you must, register with the PCOL service and , apply and be authorised to pay fees by Direct Debit, You must also have set up the required interface described within the PCOL bulk claims interface specification. This sets out the format and manner of the data exchange between PCOL and your system.. This document can be found on your administration homepage or at http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/onlineservices/pcol/index.htm.

Question - How do I monitor the progress of my claim?

Answer - All claims that you have issued or are involved in are shown on your homepage. By selecting the link from these claims you are taken to a summary for that specific claim and from that summary a link to a summary of actions that have occurred on that claim.

Question - How do I request actions to be taken on my claim?

Answer - On each claim specific summary page a list of available actions for that claim is displayed, e.g. sending a letter or application to the court.


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