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How Long Does a Charging Order on a Property Last? 2022

HomeDebt InfoHow Long Does a Charging Order on a Property Last? 2022
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For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

If you’ve been issued with a Charging Order, you might want to know if it can expire. The truth is a Charging Order can expire, but it will depend on your location. Learn the fundamentals of Charging Orders and court processes here, as well as the answer to our main question. 

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What is a Charging Order?

A Charging Order is a type of court order that secures a debt you owe against a property you own. This means the debt will have to be repaid from any proceeds generated by the sale of the property. The process of getting a Charging Order against your property follows a strict process. 

The process of getting a Charging Order

Before a claimant can apply for a Charging Order on their debtor’s property, the debtor must have already been issued a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or equivalent order, instructing them to pay the debt. 

The claimant can ask the court to enforce the debt. Often the claimant will enforce the debt using bailiffs, but if the debtor owns their own property, they might ask the court to issue a Charging Order. 

A Charging Order can be requested straight away if the initial court order was issued after October 1st 2012. If the initial court order was issued before this date, the creditor can only ask for a Charging Order if the debtor has missed repayments. 

In either situation, the claimant must first get an Interim Order, which is a court order that stops the debtor from selling the property while the court assesses the request for the Charging Order. If the court allows the Charging Order, the Interim Order will change to what is known as a Final Charging Order. 

Interim orders are requested without a court hearing and they’re usually granted within 21 days. After which, the debtor will have 28 days to object to a Final Charging Order being issued. If the debtor objects there will be a court hearing and they must attend. 

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Do you have to sell a property with a Charging Order?

You don’t have to sell a property with a Charging Order unless the claimant also applies for an Order for Sale and is successful

An Order for Sale instructs the homeowner to sell their property that is subject to the Final Charging Order. The money raised from the sale of the property will be partially or fully used to repay the amount owed to the claimant. 

There will be a court hearing to decide if an Order for Sale is allowed. The creditor isn’t able to get an Order for Sale if both of the following apply:

  1. The debt is covered by the Consumer Credit Act, which includes payday loan and credit card debts
  2. The total owed is less than £1,000 (including court costs)

They also cannot get an Order for Sale if the Charging Order was issued after October 2012 and you are up to date on your repayments. 

Can you sell a property with a Charging Order on it?

You’re allowed to sell a property that is subject to a Charging Order if you wish. But the debt will have to be cleared using some (or all) of the funds raised from the property sale. Interest on the debt may also be taken from the sale proceeds. 

Does a Charging Order expire?

A Charging Order only expires in Scotland. In England and Wales, there is no expiry date on a Charging Order.

Is there a time limit on Charging Orders?

The time limit for a Charging Order to expire is 12 years in Scotland. Because Charging Orders don’t expire in England and Wales, there is no time limit before they expire. They will remain active until the creditor has been fully repaid, including any statutory interest owed. 

What can you do after a Final Charging Order is made?

After a Final Charging Order is granted, you can either:

  1. Accept the order and look to pay off the debt
  2. Ask for the Charging Order to be “set aside”
  3. Ask for the Charging Order to be subject to conditions

Getting a Charging Order set aside is extremely difficult and can typically only be done if the courts have made errors. You have a better chance of getting conditions attached to the Charging Order, such as the inability to get an Order for Sale while your children are still in school. 

How do I remove a Charging Order from the Land Registry?

Charging orders are added to the Land Registry when the claimant secures an Interim Order. 

However, the record can be removed from the Land Registry if the debtor pays off the debt before the Interim Order transpires into a Final Order. The record is likely to be automatically removed if the full debt is repaid after a Final Order has been made. Creditors usually contact the Land Registry to tell them the debt has been repaid.

You can also ask for evidence that the debt has been repaid and the Charging Order cancelled. To do this, ask the court for a certificate of satisfaction.

Worried about a potential Charging Order?

If you’re worried about a potential Charging Order being issued against a property you own, speak with Citizens Advice or a UK debt charity. They can provide personalised support and advice based on your situation and with complete confidentiality. 

You can also find valuable information and solutions for dealing with existing debts on our debt info page

How long does a Charging Order on a property last? (Quick recap)

A Charging Order on a property cannot expire in England and Wales. The Charging Order remains active until the creditor has been fully repaid, including any interest owed. But a Charging Order will expire after 12 years in Scotland.

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  • Reduce pressure from people you owe
  • Stop interest and charges from soaring
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