What is the Proper Tenant Eviction Procedure?
The Economic downturn has had a considerable effect on the rental market and the finances of landlords in particular. As unemployment rates across the country has increased, many tenants who previously enjoyed comfortable lives are now struggling to make their rental payments on time. With mortgage re-payments to make, many landlords have been eager to cut down on losses as much as possible, and if a tenant becomes unreliable with payment, the best course of action has been to have them evicted and find someone else. But how do you go about legally evicting someone? What is the proper tenant eviction procedure?
Tenant Eviction Procedure – Issuing an Eviction Notice
The first thing you need to learn is that there are actually two different kinds of eviction notices, and neither are suitable for all eventualities. The first one we are going to talk about is the Section 21 Notice. The most important pieces of information about this type of notice are:
- Can be issued at any point in time, but the earliest the period of notice can finish is at the end of the fixed-term.
- Landlord doesn’t have to have valid grounds to issue a Section 21 Notice.
- Landlord must have put the tenants deposit into an approved security programme.
- The notice period in most cases must last at least 2 months.
This type of notice is commonly used by landlords who simply wish to re-claim possession of the property after a short amount of time. It can’t be used to bring a fixed-term to an end prematurely though. The only way a fixed term can be ended early is to serve a Section 8 Notice and have a valid reason for doing so.
For a Section 8 Notice to be accepted in a court of law, the tenant has to have broken at least one of the terms and conditions that are set out in the tenancy agreement. The most common reasons cited are failing to pay rent and causing damage to the property or items inside it. The notice must also clearly state the landlords intention to evict the tenant according to Section 8 of the UK Housing Act and also the reason for doing so. Grounds 8, 10 and 11 are often cited and are all related to rent owed.
If a landlord serves a tenant with a Section 8 Notice, they have a period of 2 weeks to take action. They should either resolve the problem or vacate the property. Should they fail to do anything, the landlord needs to take the next step in the tenant eviction procedure, which is completing an application for a possession order. This has to be done with the county court and it can take a number of weeks to arrange a hearing date.
Final Step in the Tenant Eviction Procedure
In most cases, if the court grants a possession order, the tenant will usually comply, knowing that if they don’t, they will probably face a huge legal bill. If they don’t leave even after the possession order is granted, the landlord can submit another application that, if granted, will result in a bailiff evicting the tenant and securing the property. If the Section 8 Notice was served because of rental arrears, the court will also make arrangements for this to be repaid. These rental arrears will remain on the courts records until they have been fully repaid by the tenant.
It is absolutely vital that the proper tenant eviction procedure be followed in this order. It’s not legal to simply take matters into your own hands.