How long does it take for a tenant eviction?

How long does it take for a tenant eviction?

19:44 PM, 20th August 2013, About 11 years ago 57

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This all depends on how obstinate your tenant is, at Landlord Action 61% of the time, when we serve a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears (14 day notice) or section 21 Notice (2 month’s notice) ending the tenancy, the tenants will vacate the property. 

If they ignore the notice served, then the landlord will have to apply to the court for a possession order.

It will take generally between 6-8 weeks for the judge to grant a possession order under section 8/section 21.

Tenants can ignore the possession order granted by the court, which is normally a 14 day order and sometimes tenants are told to stay put by the council and encourage the landlord to go to eviction. In these cases the landlord has to go to the final step 3 to apply for an eviction date with the bailiff, this can take between 5-10 weeks, depending on the court your at and how many bailiffs there are at that court working.

So generally from first serving the eviction notice, to going to court obtaining a possession order, then apply for an eviction date, it can take up to 5 months if undefended case.


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Mick Roberts

7:54 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago


I’ve gave notice to tenant a few weeks ago, because of benefit caps.

Housing Advice got in touch, they say it needs this on the notice:

If you do not leave the property, then we intend to, and will apply to the courts for a possession order.

I have said we have took notice to court before without that text, she says Judge shouldn’t have took it.

Any idea's?

Paul Shamplina

8:05 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago


The correct wording, dates and content, needs to be on the section 21 Notice, otherwise the judge will dismiss your case and you will lose time, we are happy to check the notice for you, by all meantimes contact us at the office.

9:01 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Shamplina" at "21/08/2013 - 08:05":

The legislation is quite specific as to what must be on the notice - and those words are not a requirement. However, as Paul says, one mistake is all it takes.

I would re-contact your person at the housing department and ask them for more specifics - ie what bit of legislation requires tha

9:18 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Shamplina" at "21/08/2013 - 08:05":

Another point - Paul says the 'bailiff' stage can take 5-10 weeks, I agree if you use the usual 'County Court Bailiffs' but for non-payers it is often worth using High Court Enforcement Officers. They are somewhat more expensive but as they can have your tenant gone around a week after the possession date then the saving in not-lost-tent may well make it worthwhil

Paul Shamplina

9:24 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

Unfortunately David you need to obtain leave at court on the hearing from the judge to transfer the case up to the Higfh Court before you can use a High Court Sheriff and our experience is that most judges will not grant the leave, as the do not want to take the work away from the county court bailiffs. We tried this option in the past but generally it did'nt work. Mainly the judges see High Court Sheriffs to be used on Squatter cases.

11:20 AM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Shamplina" at "21/08/2013 - 09:24":

I have no doubt Paul that you handle far far more of these than I do, but I can assure you that we have had no problems along those lines - did one only a fortnight ago.

Bob Dunn

16:54 PM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

If you have been lucky enough to get an eviction order from the judge and the tenant still refuses to leave can you instruct a private bailiff company rather than the court bailiffs ?

Paul Shamplina

17:14 PM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi Bob,

You can not use a certified bailiff, only a court bailiff. Or as mentioned in the earlier threads you can use a High Court Bailiff, only if the judge at the hearing grants leave to transfer the case up to the high court.

Steven Burnell

22:42 PM, 21st August 2013, About 11 years ago

At this stage, I'm still only a prospective landlord but it really does seem to me that bad tenants get far to much protection. In the past, were all tenants so under protected & landlords really that bad to warrant such a pendulum swing?
Also, it sounds like some councils collude in abusing the system to the detriment of the private owner. Surely, this is foolish for the long term? Won't it lead to more landlords withdrawing from certain sectors if higher rents are not available to compensate for the risks? Even a 10% yield doesn't look brilliant if there is a significant risk of losing 6 month's income plus legal costs? I wonder, how often is this problem experienced by even diligent & cautious landlords?

8:54 AM, 22nd August 2013, About 11 years ago

The history of the PRS makes quite interesting reading. Before 1988 it was almost impossible for landlords to legally remove tenants who were 'behaving' themselves. If you google 'Rachman' you will find tales of all sorts of atrocities conducted by a landlord to 'encourage' his tenants to leave.

I believe the current 'legal thinking' is that the 2 parties have different situations. A tenant is facing becoming 'homeless' whereas the landlord is looking to recover a mere business asset - that is what this is - a business. The former has a much higher social priority so the courts have to make sure that such am eviction is valid - with s21 that the landlord has done what he should, with s8 to also ensure that the tenant has genuinely committed the breaches that the landlord alleges.

With regard to timescales, I guess that is simply down to the infrastructure of HMCTS which has suffered greatly as the government (of all persuasions) see it as a place where money can be saved without causing bad headlines. I was told a few days ago the Birmingham County court is currently 18 days behind schedule - but their expected performance is to be 10 days behind. They want to be 10 days behind - whatever happened to 'service'. Having said that, when one considers that (in order to ensure all parties are properly informed etc) a possession hearing can not be held until 28 days after the application, we find most are heard within a 4-6 week period which isn't unduly bad.

You mention councils colluding? It is true that may councils will not rehouse (at tax payers expense) unless someone is actually removed from the property. However, looking at it from their cash-starved PoV, their obligation is to put a roof over the head of (certain) homeless people. If someone still has a valid tenancy and a right to stay where they are, would it not be a waste of the councils money (that's yours and mine) and housing resources to rehome them?

They are allowed to, and some legislation that suggests they should do so at least as soon as a possession order is granted, but I don't think my previous paragraph is far away from standard thinking within town halls across the country.

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