Eviction Process in Brief

by CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

14:48 PM, 29th May 2017
About A year ago

Eviction Process in Brief

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Eviction Process in Brief

For most landlords evicting a tenant is a daunting experience, the whole process leaves landlords often confused and baffled by the process.

Gone are the days when landlords could simply write a letter giving the date that they require the property, however most landlords still make this mistake.

In accordance with the Housing Act 2004 landlords will need to serve the tenant with 2 months written notice namely a Section 21 under mandatory grounds.

If the tenant is in 8 weeks or more rent arrears or displays anti social behaviour the landlord can serve notice with a Section 8 under discretionary grounds, the notice period that should be given to the tenant is 14 days.

A section 21 is used when you want to evict a tenant either at the end of the fixed term or when using a break clause to regain possession of your property, to serve a Section 21 notice you do not to give grounds for ending the tenancy agreement.

If your property is being rented under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and you are a landlord trying to regain possession of your property it is necessary to serve a Section 21 notice.

Under the Deregulation Act 2015 a Section 21 notice only has a lifespan of 6 months and can not be served before 4 months of the tenancy has elapsed.

When the section 21 expires in the event the tenant does not vacate you can apply to the Courts for an Accelerated Possession Procedure, meaning most cases are dealt without the need of a court hearing, this costs £355.00 (Court fee)

The Court will then write to the tenant (defendant) giving them 14 days to defend the proceedings, depending on the tenants defence for example the defendant did not agree with the dates on the notice, or the landlord did not have a licence.

If a hearing is requested both sides are given the opportunity to put the case forward in front of the judge, at this point the judge will determine whether possession should be granted.

If the Court award you possession they will write to the tenant and provide them with a vacation date, if this date elapses and the tenant still does not vacate you will have to appoint Court bailiff, this at a cost of £121.00 (Court fee)

If you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact a member of our helpful team.

I hope this information has been useful.

Contact Sherrelle for offline Universal Credit advice

Sherrelle is an independent consultant and is recommended by Property118 for landlords who require professional advice and assistance in regards to dealing with Universal credit related matters


Comments

Jan Martin

13:05 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Sherrelle just to make clear .What you have written with reference to the serving of a section 21 I believe is not correct for us landlords in Wales. As far as I am aware the original guide for serving a section 21 in wales is still in force .
If I am found to be wrong on this very important matter then please do not hesitate to tell me .

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

14:49 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jan Martin" at "30/05/2017 - 13:05":

Dear Jan,

Thank you for your comments.

I will look into the matter in regards to the Wales regulation as this is an important factor raised and I do not wish to mislead Landlords.

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

15:36 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Dear Jan,

Just to clarify the eviction process is the same for England and Wales however all landlords in Wales are required to be part of the rent smart scheme.

Jan Martin

16:04 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sherrelle Collman" at "30/05/2017 - 15:36":

Yes I am a member of Rent Smart Wales . I think you will find that the rules for serving section 21 only changed for England and it hasnt changed for wales at this moment in time.

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

16:12 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Jan Martin

16:55 PM, 30th May 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sherrelle Collman" at "30/05/2017 - 16:12":

I am not saying that you cant use a section 21 to remove tenants I have done this many times myself .What I am saying is that the old rules for serving a section 21 are the same in wales as they have always been .
You have written that lifespan of section 21 is 6months and cant be served before 4 months
of the tenancy has elapsed . These are new rules in England but not in wales .

Mandy Thomson

9:08 AM, 31st May 2017
About A year ago

Jan is correct about the situation in Wales. Provided you have a licence to manage the property under Rent Smart Wales, the eviction process has not changed otherwise.

As for England, all ASTs created on or after 1 October 2015 (including renewals) are affected by the Deregulation Act. For the time being ASTs that pre-date the Act are unaffected, but beware - this will change on 1 October 2018 when all English ASTs will come under the Act.

The changes brought in by the Deregulation Act are:

-Section 21 cannot be served unless the landlord has served the government "How to Rent Guide", an up to date EPC (unless landlord pays bills) and gas safety certificate (if property has gas supply). Note: these documents should be served at the beginning of the tenancy; I came across a case the other day where at least one of the prescribed documents was served later (although before s.21) and the judge threw it out

-As Sherrelle correctly states, section 21 can't be served before the 4th month of the tenancy (assuming the fixed term is no longer than six months or there's a break clause)

-As she also states, a Deregulation Act section 21 only has a 6 month "shelf life" to enforce through the court from its date

-Section 21 also can't be served if there's an unaddressed written maintenance request or for 6 months if the local authority has imposed an improvement notice

-Deregulation Act section 21 notice must be given on a prescribed form, form 6a (this can also be used for non Deregulation Act ASTs but these must comply with the Deregulation Act, so advisable to use old form section 21)

Where section 8 notice is concerned, in England this has recently been updated by two separate pieces of legislation to introduce two additional grounds:

-ground 7a, conviction for serious offence - note, this has to be an actual conviction, not simply an arrest
-ground 7b, where Home Office have served notice as one of the occupiers has lost right to rent, although at least one other retains right to rent

In practice, it is very difficult to bring an eviction against ground 7a, and we normally advise landlords to only use section 8 for rent arrears grounds, and only then if these are significant (well above 2 months) and/or section 21 can't be served for several months.

Provided the legislation has been complied with and the paperwork is in order, it is much easier to secure an eviction via section 21 because the tenant can't defend.

However, as I commented against the BBC1 Programme post the other day, this excessive use of section 21 is fuelling the public's belief that landlords simply evict on a whim, but with the courts as they are, what are landlords supposed to do?

Sarah Quinlan

10:58 AM, 31st May 2017
About A year ago

Hi there This is a very useful thread, thanks for all contributions. I've evicted a tenant - using the NLA repossession service which I wouldn't recommend - but now I want to go after him for the unpaid rent & costs as he can afford to pay. Has anyone used a debt collection agency that they would recommend?
thanks

Mandy Thomson

12:04 PM, 31st May 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "31/05/2017 - 09:08":

I would also add - under the Deregulation Act the s.21 notice period is now supposed to be a straight two months, with no need to adhere to the monthly tenancy renewal date. However, many ASTs (including the one currently offered by the NLA though the new version will change this) still have a clause stipulating the landlord's notice must adhere to the tenancy renewal date (i.e. at least 2 months ending the day before the tenancy renewal date) and many judges will insist on this, even where the AST doesn't provide for it - therefore, it's always best to stick to this.

Also, watch out for clauses in the AST stating notice must be sent recorded delivery if posted. It's always best to deliver the notice by hand with a witness, but if it must be posted we recommend 1st class with postage certificate (to ensure service, send two copies from different post offices) as the tenant can't refuse delivery. If there's more than one tenant, a separate copy notice must be served to each individually (with notice stating all tenants' names).

A tenant recently had a possession order overturned by arguing the notice wasn't served as it was delivered to a communal letterbox for the block of flats, and wasn't sent recorded delivery as mandated by the AST (the landlord had served one copy 1st class with certificate, the other recorded delivery which wasn't signed for so not served).

Full information on legally recognised methods of service is on page 2 of form N215.

Mandy Thomson

12:20 PM, 31st May 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sarah Quinlan" at "31/05/2017 - 10:58":

Hi Sarah

I'm unable to recommend a debt collection agency, but if you don't have the tenant's current address, you could use a tracing service such as Finder Monkey. A useful tip is to wait several months after the former tenant has moved out as they tend to lie low for while, but after a time they will feel confident enough to establish new digital footprints (e.g. apply for credit, mobile phones or another tenancy etc).

As you're no doubt aware, you can then simply make a small claim (assuming the debt is under £10,000). After winning your claim, the defendant has a month to pay, after which you can register the county court judgement against them (it remains for six years, even if settled). There are several ways to recover the debt; see https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment

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