The tenant eviction process is not always a straightforward and easy thing to do for landlords. Thus, one of our London Property Managers will try to walk you through these steps and break down the tenant eviction process into small steps.
With the current situation and the laws constantly changing, this process is even more complex and hard to understand. In this article we are going to look at the usual steps requires in the process for evicting a tenant and the recent changes in the law with regards to this process.
How the regular tenant eviction process works
Step 1: Give written notice to your tenant
The amount of written notice required depends on the type of agreement that you have with the tenant. Usually, you have to give the tenant 2 months notice unless you have a periodic tenancy agreement (rolling monthly contract), which requires that you only give 1 months notice.
Currently, there are two ways of giving notice to the tenant. One of them is using Section 21, which is used at the end of the tenancy agreement. This way of eviction can also be used If the tenant has signed a periodic tenancy agreement when the tenant has been in the property for over 4 months. At the moment, the government are looking into a way of abolishing this way of evicting a tenant but it can still be used currently. You can read more about non-fault eviction here.
The second way of evicting a tenant is by using Section 8. This procedure is mainly used when the tenant has breached the terms of the agreement, like missing rent payments, damaged the property or is causing a nuisance.
You can, however, serve both a Section 21 and a Section 8 notice at the same time, and issue court proceedings based on one or both notices.
The notices are totally independent and served for distinct reasons, but produce the same outcome – you get your property back.
With the properties we manage, we prefer to serve a Section 21 because it can be served even if the tenant hasn’t done anything wrong and you don’t have to provide a reason for recovering vacant possession of the property.
Step 2: Seek a possession order
If you have served your notice and your tenant hasn’t left by the time mentioned in your letter, you will have to go to court and apply for a Standard Possession Order which costs £325.
A faster way of getting rid of the tenant is by applying for an Accelerated Possession Order. With this procedure, it is implied that you are not claiming any rent due in arrears. This way you will recover your property much faster and without a court hearing. like this, you can save more money in upcoming lost rent and it is more efficient so it’s worth considering.
You will have to fill in a form at the County Court of your area Intended and send it to the tenant who will have 14 days to reply. Unfortunately, this period can be extended by the judge if the tenant has a very good reason for not paying.
Step 3: Apply for a Warrant for Possession
The last action that you need to take to repossess your property is applying for a warrant of possession. The application needs to be done at the court. You with gain possession of the property with the help of bailiffs who will remove the tenant.
To speed up the process, you can ask to transfer the case from the County Court to the High Court, and a High Court enforcement officer will carry out the eviction. You can only do this if you’re claiming more than £600 including court costs.
Tenant Evictions after Lockdown
With the government working to offer tenants more security, the Coronavirus bill passed on the 25th March 2020 and changed the amount of notice landlords have to give tenants before applying to the court to evict them. Instead of 2 months notice, a landlord now has to give a tenant 3 months advance notice, if served after 27th March 2020. This applies until the 30th of September 2020.
This does not mean that you are not allowed to serve any eviction notices, It just means that the notices will not be processed in court, so the tenants will not be ordered by the court to leave the property before September 2020.
Other ways to claim possession of your property fast
If you want to go the legal way, you will have to make sure you have all the evidence necessary and the correct forms in place to complete the eviction process in September.
Another route you could take is applying for an Accelerated Possession Order, which will not get you the money owed by your tenant but will give you the opportunity to have your tenant out without a court hearing.
If the rental amount lost in rent monthly is very high, you might want to consider paying your tenant to move out this is an out of the box idea but it will save you a lot of time and headache.
We hope that this post has shaded some light on how to go about evicting a tenant. If you have any further questions or need our assistance with this process, feel free to get in touch with one of our property managers.