Court Orders Possession – what’s next?

Court Orders Possession – what’s next?

15:35 PM, 10th October 2019, About 3 years ago 5

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The Section 21 date expired, but the tenant did not move so I sent off for an accelerated order for possession. This has been granted with a date in 10 days time.

If the tenant leaves on the day, should they hand the keys back to me?

What about their stuff left behind that they can’t carry? Am I obliged to give them a set date after the date they left where by it must be moved by, thereafter can I dump it?

Am I allowed to change the locks the same day so they can’t return?

I understand if they don’t leave I will have to apply for the bailiffs at more cost and drama… 🙁

Reluctant Landlord

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14:03 PM, 11th October 2019, About 3 years ago

You hope! But it is likely the tenant might not go, because of sickening advice offered by Local Councils and various groups like Shelter etc who advice tenants to stay put until the bailiffs arrive! (and they say the law is heavily biased against tenants!) You then wait for Court's decision, since any flaws with your paperwork the court can throw your case out, but if all is OK, the court gives you a possession date order, it is more than likely it would not be an immediate possession so it gives the tenant some time say between 14 or more days to move out, tenants can then appeal for more time, depending on their circumstances, the court may allow them further time, this I believe can only be extended one more time only, if they are still not gone, then you will have to go back to court to book bailiffs, this may take another month before you even hear from bailiffs as to which date they will be coming to evict the tenant, you will also have to fill a certain form for risk assessment to bailiffs, so the date when they would attend could be further away, therefore expect many more weeks (2 more months in my case) from the date of court possession date! indeed who said it was easy to evict tenants even using section 21.
If money was not objective, I would book bailiffs on the day you get a possession order from the court.
( This has been my experience, but it may be different for each case, and judges can make different decisions, I have had a same Judge who went ahead on a eviction case despite a flaw on my Particulars of Claim, yet the same Judge adjourned a case by 28 days for the very same flaw, simply because in the second case a duty solicitor representing the tenant pointed it out to the Judge, so she was being a nice judge offered me two choices either resubmit my application with new fees or accept adjournment, and gave me 14 days to submit amended Particulars of Claim, luckily through grace of God, the tenant did turn up to defend the case but was an idiot and went to a wrong floor and waited for his name to be called, since he was not in the correct court room, as far as the judge was concerned he did not turn up so I got an immediate possession. I used Section 8 for rent arrears, but on my Particulars of claim I only mentioned that possession is being sought on the grounds of rent arrears, I should have also put down Ground 8. Which I didn't, to me this was absurd, because Rent Arrears is Ground 8 and not any other, so like wise Ground 8 is for Rent arrears, both are one and the same thing, but from legal point of view you have to mention both!
Any damn excuse to throw cases out!

As a matter of fact, if you go to shelter's own site and see what they advice to tenants, then you know exactly what can happen and how it can happen so you could get your expectations or how to counteract them , so use their own site to prepare your case well, I find you will know all the secrets they can use against you)


14:15 PM, 11th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Sorry everytime I use Edit function, it loses the paragraphs, Not sure why, and you get forward slash before apostrophe , not sure why obviously a technical issue.

Also sorry I didn't answer some of your other questions regarding goods being left behind an keys being returned or not when a tenant leaves. I will leave that for others to answer.
(Please note I am not a legal adviser so all what I say is general in nature and may not be exact)


15:03 PM, 11th October 2019, About 3 years ago

thanks for the advice Mike. I'm REALLY hoping he does go on the date...I've told him I'll help take him to the Housing Office . Just wondering if I can change the locks after he voluntarily leaves...


13:14 PM, 13th October 2019, About 3 years ago

As for changing the door locks, if assuming the tenant has definitely surrendered his tenancy i.e. handed his keys back, and has taken most of his belongings out, leaving perhaps just a few items he doesn't want or are worthless, take pictures or video as evidence, in fact when he hands his keys back to you take some sort of video, or even sound recording device like your smart phone, recorded all the conversation exchange with him, if needed to prove that he had voluntarily handed you his keys back, and the recording would also register him saying some of the stuff he is leaving behind he does not want and it can be dumped. You are then free to go in and change the door locks.

However, It really depends on what kind of relationship you had and the reason you had to evict him, he may be resentful, not cooperating, in which case he is unlikely to hand the keys back in your hands, or may perhaps leave them through the letter box after locking up.

Again depending on if you evicted him for rent arrears, then he won't be getting his deposit back, so he may just not bother returning the keys, or if he was evicted for a different reason, he would most certainly want his deposit back, in which case he would hand back his keys voluntarily even if resentful.

Just don't go alone to collect the keys, take someone with you and have him do the video discreetly, like pretending he is reading a text message, or taking a video of the house rather than of him.


14:23 PM, 13th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 13/10/2019 - 13:14
thanks - never thought of recording the conversation. To be honest the chap in question is of limited understanding so this might work best. Cheers for the tip 🙂 I will also have the neighbour there too (as he wants to move into the flat this chap is leaving) so I will have a witness as such.

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