General Step-by-Step Guidance for Landlord and Tenant
The exact process of eviction will depend on the type of tenancy which was granted to a tenant (Secure, Assured or Assured shorthold tenancy), and the terms of the tenancy agreements. There are a strict process and procedure which must be followed by landlords in order to evict a tenant.
This guidance is prepared for Assured Short Hold Tenancy. Where a landlord wants to evict his/her tenant the following process should be followed.
Notice to Quit (Section 21 or Section 8)
The Landlord must serve a tenant with a notice to quit. There are two types of notices one is referred as Section 21 notice and other is Section 8 Notice
A landlord can use a Section 21, Housing Act 1988, Notice where the fixed term of the tenancy has been expired.
John had let his flat for 12 Months to Mark. After the expiry of the 12 Months, if John wishes to get his property back, he has to serve Section 21 Notice on Mark.
It is important to note that the process under Section 21 notice is quicker as compared with the process under Section 8 Notice quicker. If time is the essence, the landlord should serve Section 21 Notice.
N.B. Sample Section 21 Notice is provided in Sample section
Section 8 Notice
A landlord can also serve notice to quit the property under Section 8, of Housing Act 1988, where the tenant has breached a term of a contract agreement. For example, unpaid rent and sublet. Section 8 Notice cannot be served within initial 6 months of Tenancy
John had let his flat for 12 Months to Mark. The tenant has not paid any rent for the last three months if John wishes to get his property back, he has to serve Section 8 Notice on Mark after the expiry of initial 6 months
It is imperative that landlord or his/her solicitor must comply with legal requirements when filling the Section 8 or Section 21 Notice. Landlord must ensure that they are serving a valid notice, please refer to step 1 for further guidance
The Notice must state a date, which is the last day of a period of the tenancy, after which possession is required.
I hereby give you a two months’ notice to quit and Possession is required after 31 December
Step 3 (Possession Proceedings)
Where a tenant does not leave at the expiry of the notice, a landlord can start possession proceedings. There are two methods for Possession Proceeding
- Accelerated Process: This method is used where a tenant does not leave a property at the end of the notice and the tenant does not any rent. The costs £335
- Standard Process: This method is used where a tenant does not leave a property at the end of the notice and the tenant also owe some The costs for Accelerated Process is £325
- Landlord must also fill in “Particulars of Claim” as well Form (N19) along with Claim Form N5 or N5b
Step 4 (Hearing)
In this step actual Hearing will take place in the County Court. The Judge, may Dismiss the Case, make the Possession Orders or even Adjourn the hearing.
Step 5 (warrant for Possession and Bailiffs)
Where a tenant does not leave after possession proceedings/Hearing (Generally, 14 to 28 days after the hearing), a landlord can apply for a warrant for possession. It cost £121. The tenant will be sent an eviction notice, which will provide the tenant with a date by when the tenant must leave the property. Form Used is N325.
Step 6 (High Court Enforcement)
The process of eviction can speed up by involving High Court and applying to have the warrant transferred from the County Court to the High Court. In this case, the eviction will be carried out by a High Court Enforcement Officer. However, it will cost a landlord £600 including Court costs. Form to Use for Step 5 is the same Form N325 which is used in Step 4.
Warning for Landlords
Harassment and illegal evictions.
The landlord has to really careful while proceeding for eviction. It is important to note that any harassment or an act to force a tenant to evict the property without following correct procedure may result in serious Criminal Offence and Tenant may claim damages against a Landlord who does not follow the correct procedure to evict the tenant
Any act or omission (do or do not) which makes a tenant feel unsafe or threatened or which forces the tenant to leave the property will be treated as an act of harassment. Harassment can be anything that a landlord does or does not do that makes the tenants feel unsafe in the rented property or forces them to leave.
Common Examples of Harassment
- Stopping services, like electricity, water, gas or Landline
- Withholding keys, for example, if there are 2 tenants in a property but you’ll only give one key, changing locks without tenant’s consent or court order
- Forcing yourself in the property without the consent of Tenant
- Refusing to carry out repairs
- Anti-social behaviour by someone on your behalf, for example, your friend moves in next door to your tenants and causes problems
- Threats and Physical violence
- Illegal eviction
A landlord will commit an offence where he evicts a tenant illegally
- A tenant is not provided with the right amount of notice to leave the rented property
- Changing the locks
- Evicting a tenant without a court order
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legalally does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.