Fraud Blocker

Advice for Landlords on evicting tenants in England and Wales

Written by: Keoghs Solicitors

Date: 23rd June 2023

We strongly recommend seeking legal advice at an early stage if you have a tenant in your property
that is refusing to leave, in rent arrears or not looking after your property. An initial review can
provide invaluable advice as to the process to evict a tenant.

There are certain legal obligations and processes that must be followed before you evict a tenant and
if a landlord breaches those obligations and/or processes, or forcibly evicts the tenant, the landlord
could be sued for a substantial sum or even receive a custodial sentence.

As a landlord, you may have a variety of issues with your tenant including but not limited to;

  • Engaging in anti-social behaviour
  • Be causing damage to your property
  • Disputes regarding the deposit
  • Dilapidation claims for the Property
  • Disputes over payment of rent
  • A potential Disrepair claim
  • Breaches of the tenancy agreement such as keeping pets without permission.

We offer our clients a professional but personal service to help reduce the stress and amount of time
to evict the tenant from your property.

We can help where landlords take measures to recover their property.

The ideal way to recover possession of your property is by consensual agreement between the tenant and the landlord, however, where the tenant refuses to come to an agreement, you will  normally require a court order and potentially a warrant for possession to require the tenant to leave the property.

The two most common routes to recover possession of your property is to use a formal notice under either Section 8 or Section 21.

A Section 21 eviction notice

A section 21 eviction is commonly referred to as a “no fault” eviction which is the easiest way to proceed to evict a tenant, you do not require a reason to seek possession but, merely that the fixed term has expired and that you have complied with all of your legal obligations to the tenant that you are required to do so as a landlord.

Section 21 notice to evict your tenants can be done:

  • after a fixed term tenancy ends
  • during a tenancy with no fixed end date which is known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy

You cannot use a Section 21 notice if you have not given the tenants copies of (examples):

  • the EPC
  • How To Rent Guide
  • A current/in date Gas Safety Record

Advantages
Time and speed – a Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave your property. Section 21 possession applications consist of a “Accelerated Possession Procedure” where it is all handled by paper correspondence meaning there is likely to be less of a delay. One you have complied with your obligations in conjunction with having served the notice, then the court is obligated to order possession of the Property back to the landlord.

Cost benefit – If the application is not contested then it is likely that it will be dealt with by a Judge on paper alone, meaning you may not have to attend a hearing in person.

Disadvantages

  • Length of notice period for a Section 21 – 2 months
  • The Section 21 notice must be validly served
  • You must have prior complied with your landlord obligations
  • You cannot claim for funds which the tenant may owe you.

To ensure recovering possession of your property we will:

Review your documents and provide you with advice.

We can remedy any defects if needed and prepare and serve the Section 21 notice compliantly then if the tenant fails to leave your Property, we can prepare the application for possession  accelerated possession proceedings) and take enforcement measures via the Courts if required.

A Section 8 notice

A Section 8 notice is used where a tenant has breached the tenancy, such as by defaulting in rental payments or specific breaches of the tenancy such as keeping pets or poor maintenance of the property.

Advantages

  • Length of notice period – shorter than serving a Notice under a Section 21 route. Only 14 days’ notice is required when serving a section 8 notice on the grounds of at least 2 months’ rent arrears.
  • Money – you can seek to recover your rental arrears back.

Disadvantages?

  • Cost – A Section 8 application to Court is more detailed compared to a Section 21 application.
  • Time– it will be dealt with at a court hearing.
  • Proof –to show to the court prof of the relevant grounds in the application stipulated.

We can help you by:

Reviewing your documents and proving you with initial advice for you to act upon.

We can prepare and serve the Section 8 notice and prepare the application for the Court, including if necessary drafting witness statement and exhibits.

At the final stage we can assist with ascertaining an enforcing order if this is needed

Contact us to discuss your matter and we can provide you with a free initial consultation to help you remove a tenant.

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