Evicting Tenants: Frequently Asked Questions
On this page we aim to answer the most common questions surrounding tenant eviction. Please do get in touch if you cannot see the answer to your question, our initial consultation is free and our fees are fixed for each stage of the process thereafter.
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Frequently Asked Tenant Eviction Questions
However a landlord’s failure to pay the deposit into an authorized scheme does not affect their entitlement to serve a section 8 notice and issue standard possession proceedings. However landlords should be aware that the landlord’s failure may be raised in the court proceedings by the tenant with a request that sanctions be imposed. The sanctions the Court could impose are payment of between one to three times the amount of the rent deposit.
Landlords should therefore ensure that when they take a rent deposit they do all of following:-
- Pay the deposit into a prescribed scheme within 30 days of payment(link)
- Comply with the initial requirements of a scheme within 30 days of payment.
- Give the tenant the prescribed information relating to the deposit within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
The correct way forward is to serve either a section 8 or section 21 notice and thereafter issue eviction proceedings. Always take legal advice from a Solicitor before considering taking possession without a court order.
Grounds 12 breach of a term of the tenancy agreement and Ground 14 Nuisance or annoyance or criminal conviction are also grounds we are often requested to include in notices and court proceedings. However both of these grounds are discretionary grounds and substantial evidence is required by the Court prior to making a possession order and therefore we do not recommend the same as costs can be considerable.
If the tenancy has come to an end and you merely wish to obtain possession of your property and do not wish to claim any rent arrears then we can use Sections 21(1)(b) or 21(4)(a) of the Housing Act, 1988 to obtain possession of your property followed if necessary by the issue of accelerated possession proceedings.
Firstly you need to serve the tenant with a notice; if they are 2 months in arrears of rent then we can serve a section 8 notice giving them two weeks to leave the property or pay the arrears failing which court proceedings can be issued.
If the tenant has breached any other term of the tenancy agreement then a section 8 notice can still be served, however should it be necessary to issue possession proceedings the District Judge who hears your case would have discretion as to whether or not to make a possession order. We would strongly advise you to take advice and consider all of the options available prior to serving a section 8 notice.
If the tenant is not in arrears and the tenancy has come to an end then a Section 21 notice can be served giving your tenant two months’ notice to vacate the property. If they do not leave then accelerated possession proceedings can be issued.
If the tenant does not vacate the property following service of either notice then Court proceedings will have to be issued.
If you have served a section 8 notice then standard possession proceedings can be issued. The court will allocate a hearing date and it will be necessary for you to attend court to give evidence as to the arrears or file a witness statement. We will request that the Court make a 14 day possession order, together with a county court judgment for the rent arrears, fixed costs and that the rent deposit be released to you.
After 14 days or the date set by the Court if the tenant has not left, then we can instruct the bailiff to remove your tenant from the property. The court will fix a time and date for the eviction and it will be necessary for you to attend with a locksmith and meet the bailiff.
Once your tenant has left the property you can then consider the rent deposit and enforcement action in respect of any judgment obtained. Part of our stage 3 service is advice concerning enforcement of the county court judgment.
We are also happy for your letting agent to attend the hearing on your behalf to give evidence.
The Section 8 notice process takes 16 days. This gives the tenant 2 weeks to either pay the arrears of rent or leave the property.
The Section 21 notice process takes approximately two months after service on the tenant, however if the tenancy is a periodic tenancy this may be slightly longer.
Standard possession proceedings – The hearing date is usually between 4-8 weeks after issue of the proceedings, depending on the location of the Court, please note that the London Courts and Birmingham County Court may take longer.
Accelerated possession proceedings – There is no hearing for these proceedings however the Courts can take 4-6 weeks to serve and consider the application.
Warrant of Possession – eviction dates are usually between 2-4 weeks depending on the Court however once again the London Courts and Birmingham County Court have been known to take 8 weeks.