Landlord and Tenant Dispute – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I evict a tenant manually without taking things to court?

No – it is expressly forbidden to undertake any manual eviction proceedings in the United Kingdom. Irrespective of the extent to which the tenant has breached the terms and conditions of their tenancy agreement, it is a criminal offence to attempt to evict tenants manually.

How long does the formal procedure involving the courts take?

It varies significantly from one case to the next, but a court order for eviction of tenants is usually issued within 4 to 8 weeks. It may be possible to accelerate the process and receive a court order quicker, in accordance with the circumstances and severity of the situation.

Will my tenants definitely leave after being served a formal notice?

Evidence suggests that approximately 75% of tenants who are issued a formal notice leave relatively quickly. However, some tenants may choose (or even be advised) to stay for as long as possible, until a full order for possession has been obtained. It’s therefore important to begin formal legal
proceedings at the earliest possible stage.

How are eviction notices served?

Eviction notices are served no later than 24 hours following the receipt of the request from the client. Notices are sent via recorded delivery, in order to provide evidence of their receipt.

What if I do not have a written tenancy agreement?

If you have lost the tenancy agreement or didn’t produce a written agreement in the first place, you still have the right to evict your tenants. You’ll need to discuss the matter in full with your legal representative and prepare a series of formal documents to successfully obtain possession of your property.

What is a section 8 notice?

A section 8 notice gives the tenant (or tenants) a maximum of 14 days to pay all outstanding rent arrears or face eviction. If they fail to pay all required rent arrears during this time, the landlord can go to court to obtain:

  1. An official court order to evict the tenant or tenants
  2. A court order requiring the tenants to cover your legal fees and court
    costs
  3. Permission to collect interest on all outstanding monies
  4. A daily rent charge judgment

In the event that the tenant still fails to pay all outstanding arrears, a County Court Judgment (CCJ) will be issued against them. If all outstanding rent and interest payments are collected, the landlord has the option to refer to the section 21 notice to obtain possession.

What is a section 21 notice?

A section 21 notice provides tenants with two months’ notice that the landlord intends to end the tenancy legally on a predetermined date.

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