- 24th March 2014
- Posted by: Seatons Solicitors
- Category: Articles, Landlords
Do you need to evict your tenant? Do you know what the correct legal procedure is for doing so? Have a look at our top 10 tips for landlords below:
- A landlord is only entitled to bring Court proceedings to evict the tenant if they have served the proper possession notice first and waited until the notice period has expired.
- It is a criminal offence in law, to evict a tenant by any means other than obtaining a Court order for possession. Even then, if the tenant still refuses to move out, the landlord has to instruct bailiffs through the Court.
- If the reason for the eviction is due to rent arrears, then you should consider other options. Often, going to Court under a Section 8 (rent arrears) can be lengthy.
- The notices must be correctly drafted otherwise the Court will throw the matter out. This means you would have to start again – serving 2 months’ notice before commencing Court proceedings.
- As well as the correct form, you must have evidence demonstrating that the notice has been served. The landlord (or agent) should serve by hand with a witness or use a professional process server.
- The easiest and quickest way to evict a tenant is under the Section 21 accelerated procedure. This uses a previously served Section 21 notice and the matter is usually concluded without a formal hearing. The decision is based on the paperwork. However, it does normally take 10-12 weeks before an order is obtained.
- The accelerated procedure can only be used for possession. If the reason for eviction is say, rent arrears, the landlord will have to use the standard possession procedure. However, it should be noted that a landlord can bring a separate claim for any outstanding rent.
- If the reason for eviction is the tenants’ unreasonable behaviour, you should consider your options carefully. It may be best to use the accelerated procedure, claiming possession under the ‘discretionary’ grounds can take a lengthy period of time and if the tenant agrees with the Judge to start behaving, the Judge can allow the tenant to remain in the property.
- If you have a tenant who wants to be re-housed by the Local Authority, they will not normally get involved until a Possession Order has been made by the Court.
- Judges in possession claims, expect the landlords to have followed the correct procedure as losing your home is a serious matter. Any mistakes could mean the case is thrown out of the Court, and the landlord can even be liable for the tenant’s legal costs.
If you have any queries relating to landlord and tenant, please do not hesitate to contact us.