Hewetts Solicitors Guide For Landlords - Your Questions About Tenant Evictions Answered.

Tenant Evictions form a large part of our daily work.

We know that landlords have enough to deal with when owning property and we like to take the stress, hassle and emotion out of the situation by providing our tenant eviction service.

Oliver Kew has prepared this short guide to answer your questions.

If you would like more detail or need specialist help, please do call to reserve an appointment.

Tenant Eviction Guide

 

You have heard of a tenant eviction. What does it mean?

The simple answer to this is when a landlord or owner of a property, wants to take “possession” back from the tenant. Simple and straightforward.

What circumstances are the most common reasons for eviction?

The most common reasons for taking possession are;

  • Unpaid rent
  • The tenancy has ended
  • Unreasonable behaviour by the tenant

There are strict legal procedures that you have to follow as a landlord.

And in the first instance, it may be possible to avoid a dispute or having to evict simply by talking. Sometimes a mediator can help.

But if you have to go down the legal route you must be aware of the notice periods.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Depending on the reason for the eviction, the notice period can vary (now that we are back to pre-COVID rules) between one month, two months or two weeks’ notice.

Even if rent is owed, you have to follow a strict legal process as a landlord.

The first step is issuing a Notice.

If rent is owed to the landlord, or the behaviour of the tenant is truly difficult, then it is likely that the eviction can be carried out regardless of whether the tenancy is still in its initial fixed term.

What are the two types of Eviction Notices?

Landlords have to ensure the right type of Notice is issued. There are two types; Section 21 and Section 8.

A Section 21 notice can potentially be used to obtain a possession order even though the tenant is not at fault. Often, even if the tenant is at fault, a s21 Notice may still be preferable, if its use is possible.

Section 8 notices are used when your tenant has broken the terms and conditions of your agreement (in other words they are at fault) and you wish them to leave the property.

How landlords get things wrong when trying to evict

Often Landlords try to issue an Eviction Notice themselves, usually to avoid the cost of having it done by a solicitor. However, there are often simple mistakes that occur, and any one error can result in an application for possession being dismissed, thus costing the landlord far more time and money (through further unpaid rent) than if they had instructed an experienced solicitor at the outset.

Some of these mistakes include:

  • Setting the wrong dates on forms
  • Not complying with surrounding legislation, such as deposit legislation
  • Inaccurate or incomplete paperwork e.g. rent arrears
  • Simple admin errors in names and addresses
  • Not serving the Eviction Notices in the right way

Although it is tempting to cut corners and do everything yourself as a landlord, it really is better to use someone experienced to save yourself time, hassle and extended rent arrears. The bottom line is that if you set off on the wrong track at the outset, it is almost impossible to rectify your position, leaving you to start again from the beginning of the process.

So you’ve issued the eviction notice and it has been ignored

The next step is to issue a claim for possession in the local county court, relying upon the Notice you have served. Your aim is to secure a Possession Order.

What are Possession Orders?

A Possession Order is the Court Judgment entitling you to possession of your property. In order to obtain one, you must win your claim, by:

  • In the case of a s8 Notice, proving the fault of the tenant and convincing the Court it is so bad that you are entitled to possession; or
  • In the case of a s21 Notice, proving that all your paperwork is perfect.

What happens if the Possession order is granted?

The tenant is often given a short period before having to leave the property. Normally this is between two and six weeks.

Tenants that refuse to be evicted. What can a Landlord do?

If your tenant is refusing to leave despite the fact a Possession Order has been issued then you must instruct bailiffs to forcibly evict them under a Warrant of Possession. This can either be County Court Bailiffs, or High Court Enforcement Officers.

How Hewetts Solicitors Can Help New and Experienced Landlords.

As a law firm, we work with new and established landlords to put processes in place to reduce the risks of having to evict tenants.

Our service is one in which we analyse your entire tenancy and all the circumstances in advance, so that we can rectify any errors before serving notice. You can therefore be assured of the best possibility of obtaining a Possession Order.

Our success rate in obtaining Possession Orders in the first Possession hearing is close to 90%. The remaining 10% have all been obtained in the second Possession Hearing. We have never had a possession claim fail.

Whether you are a new landlord, or a seasoned landlord, we are here to help with Evictions, Possession Orders and Warrants of Possession.

Reserve a landlord consultation with Oliver Kew by calling 0118 957 5337 or email o.kew@hewetts.co.uk

 

Published on 01/10/2021

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