The Eviction Process

How the Eviction Process works.

Evicting tenants is inconvenient and frustrating for landlords and it is often difficult to fully understand eviction law, what your eviction rights are and what steps need to be taken to make the process less stressful and easier to manage.

The first and most important point that needs to be made is that you will need to follow specific legal procedures before tenants can be evicted as it is a criminal offence to evict tenants other than by court action.

The eviction process should be initiated by notice in writing that you want your tenants to leave, called a Section 8 Notice. This details why the tenants must be evicted, referring to the original tenancy agreement if necessary. The letter should also include the notice period which will vary depending on the type of tenancy and reason for eviction. 

If the reason is rent arrears and the tenant has not left the property or settled payments, then there are two types of court proceedings which are commonly used:

  • Accelerated possession (where the order is made on the paperwork and there is no hearing)
  • Rent arrears ground (where a court order can only be made after a court hearing which you or your agent will have to attend to give evidence)

If the tenant still refuses to leave, then you will need to apply to the court for a possession order. If this is granted then it ends the tenant’s legal right to live in your property and they can be evicted. The tenant will then be given a brief period before they have to leave (usually between 14 and 28 days). If they fail to do so then you can ask for a warrant (of execution) and the court bailiffs will be able to carry out the eviction.

If you have not followed the correct procedures up to this point then the court may either delay making an order or decide not to make one at all. Under some types of tenancy, the court can suspend an order on terms (suspended possession order) if eviction is deemed to be too harsh. These terms may include an agreement by the tenant to follow a payment plan to settle your arrears or agree to stop any offensive behaviour.

You can also instigate proceedings to evict a tenant if the accommodation has failed to be kept in good condition, they have violated part of the rental agreement, or, if that agreement has come to an end and you are not in a position to renew it.

It can be a complex process, particularly if the correct procedures haven’t been followed. To avoid the situation becoming difficult and aggravating, you are advised to speak to eviction experts.

Helpland Ltd assists landlords and letting agents throughout England, Scotland and Ireland, and gives professional, valuable advice on many areas of eviction, including serving notice to tenants via Section 8.

For more information, call our helpline on 0845 450 0536 or Contact Us Here.