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 9 years ago 57

Text Size

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.


Our sister website is sponsored by Landlord Action and The Sheriffs Office and provides simple guides to the eviction process. For details please CLICK HERE


by David Sweeney

12:32 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

I am truly sorry if I come over as uncaring, but I am getting fed up of people who think they can enter a business without even the slightest understanding of the risks involved.  Did s21 not exist when Gary became a landlord?  Did forums lke this not exist with tales of woe of landlords who had not done what the law requires - and then moaned about it?  Before section 21 you couldn’t get the majority of tenants out – full stop.  Lets regard it as dramatic improvement, not a hindrance.  And where on earth has a 90% failure rate come from?  The number of s21s that require court action is unquantifiable – estimates vary from 80 to 95%.  So out of 1000 s21s served, 900 go voluntarily.  Of the remaining 100, official court figures (2010) show 70% are granted possession orders, leaving around 30 out of 100 failed.  30 out of a total of 1000.  That’s a 97% success rate by my maths.

If I don’t know how to fix my car, I don’t complain it is too complex and should be like a Ford Model T, I take it to a garage where there are people who can make sure it is put right first time.  If a landlord does not know how to handle this process, surely it is his choice whether he accepts the risk of failure or engages a solicitor or a company like LandlordAction or ourselves to guide them to a successful outcome.

by Mark Alexander

12:41 PM, 3rd September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "03/09/2013 - 12:32":

Well said Dave 🙂

by Gary Dully

5:54 AM, 4th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/09/2013 - 10:56":

I agree with you Mark 125%,

But I think the section 21 system is broken. You are in the fortunate position of having years of experience and so am I.

I want a brand new landlord to be able to fill out the notice without a slide rule and a link to a super computer to get the dates right.

I want the system to work, but this failure rate is unacceptable and its been designed that way for a reason.

Any new landlord will not know how to do it properly and I assume both you and I want them to get it right on the first occasion.

98.0% of my tenants leave with the non litigation / 4 weeks notice route and we think highly of each other.

I don't want any of my paying tenants to leave at all and my section 21's just collect dust in my filing cabinet.
But if I have to evict - then there will be a reason and it usually isn't a good one.

The section 21 route is a no fault eviction route. I have no reason or wish to evict a good tenant. To do so, I feel lacks integrity and you are making a good tenant homeless.

However, the bad tenants are still out there and if I get one, I intend to make them have a marker against their credit file for the benefit of other landlords.

Have you ever had a tenant say,
"I've seen your advert and I thought I would apply for your property, wreck it and then bugger off without paying the rent for 5 months?"

Non of mine ever have said that, but its happened to me and thousands of other landlords.
Mine was by a barrister, for Gods sake!"
Did you see the paper last week about the professional Man City footballer and the damage he caused to a landlord?

I avoid the section 21 route like the plague as I only want bad tenants out of my portfolio.

Mark, if you were just starting out again and gave me a heartfelt answer on this... you know that the section 21 route is an absolute minefield, designed by committee of academical chimpanzees & very tricky to deal with. That is what the original post I answered to was about.

The whole process is a mess and soon will no doubt eventually cross over into other areas such as prescribed information, EPC's, Gas Safety Certificates, Electrical Safety and Tenancy Deposit Schemes, Planning Permission and HMO Licences.

It has been butchered and fiddled with and it was only originally designed to allow a landlord to get legal possession of his property back in an accelerated fashion.

Well that's a bit of a joke now as Citizens Advice will and can stall it under the pretence of creating excessive hardship and find faults in your paperwork on the tenants behalf free of charge.

Our politicians hate section 21's - but our lenders like them, but I think our politicians have a point.

But they are reducing their use fraudulently, by adding more and more reasons to reject them even before a court judgement.

That is being dishonest.
I am simply suggesting that forums such as this one shouts back at politicians to reduce the red tape burden for this route.

If they want to reduce the total , then simply increase the time limit before they can be used, its honest and it then could be made simpler to operate.

The failure rate if taken away, would mean a rapid increase in legal evictions - so why is that?

That reason for the need for so many cases in the first place needs to be investigated - not bogging the industry down with this kind of administrative burden.

Its supposed to be easy, no fault & fast!

But it isn't - its broken and burdensome - unless you are an expert or will pay for one.

by Gary Dully

6:56 AM, 4th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "03/09/2013 - 12:32":

Hello Dave,

Fed up are you? - hey I didn't start the thread on the subject of Section 21's

I am from the Thatcher era and I remember when AST's were first introduced.
They opened up a whole new world of opportunity and I eventually joined the thousands of newbie landlords across the country in the hope that I could offer a decent home to someone and make some decent money in the process.

Since then I bought more and rented more. But I'm older and wiser and I know that competition is good and self serving clique and a qualification chasing industry is bad.
For Example: Do you like career politicians or conviction driven politicians?
One just chases a headline and the other believes in what they are doing.

I want people to join our industry and I want them to be successful, but it is being regulated excessively to stop possession reverting back to a landlord easily and that is to make way for the "Big Boys and Pension Firms" who will have the expertise and resources to force private landlords out of the industry, because of its administration burden.

We don't need more red tape - we need education and enforcement of current rules.
But the Section 21 route is for ending a tenancy not running it.

You may well be fed up of landlords who are amateurs and not understanding the rules of Section 21's - but it is a simple request to get your property back.
It shouldn't be difficult, but this forum is peppered with section 21 woes and strife.

It is getting harder to get through the process and the last thing I want is the loss of a landlords ability to get their property back, without having to pay £600+ to get a section 21 issued, served and carried through the courts, by "Kill A Tenant Ltd"

Its a bit rich suggesting that only the wise should be allowed in the industry - that's unfair and in my view restrictive.
We need new landlords, but they need education not just licences.
I ran national chain garages alongside buying property and I can assure you that a lot of cars are not fixed by "experts". They range from apprentices, tyre fitters and finally technicians.
Most technicians cant fix older cars, they cant adjust, cant use feeler gauges and don't know how to strip a component but they can just rip an old component out and fit a new one. But they can put a plug into a socket and look at a screen.
And older mechanics can diagnose newer cars, but they also have experience and can fix things by stripping them down and that's why trading standards are constantly checking your local garage.
You can apply the same to the lettings industry and many others.

You need to loosen up on processes, not tighten them.
You can create more processes that are required but they should be simple.
You can add more regulation but bad landlords are already ignoring and undercutting the respectable landlords because they ignore the rules.

The section 21 process is designed to end a tenancy at speed, without fault, why make it harder?

I understand your frustration, but I'm just as committed to looking after my tenants as my local council and so far they agree with me.

I didn't have a clue about section 21's etc, 15 years ago - who the hell ever does?
But if you introduce qualification without education we will leave the industry in the hands of the multi-nationals and they are already circling and whispering in the Governments ear.
That can only mean a stitch up is looming in massive regulation in the future.

So I want your kids and mine to operate in the industry, without falling foul of requiring a degree in law before they are allowed to enter it.

by Mark Alexander

8:21 AM, 4th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "04/09/2013 - 05:54":

Hi Gary

Most, if not all, experienced landlords and L&T lawyers would say that the 1988 Act and subsequent amendment are, at best clumsy.

There are also conspiracy theorists, such as yourself, but I don't buy into that personally.

I agree that legislation is a minefield for newbie's due to the "clumsy" nature of the drafting.

The next question is whether it should be completely re-written or whether the existing legislation requires further clarification and further amendment. The jury is very much split on that.

The dangers of a complete re-write is that we don't know whether that would be more or less clumsy or whether it would be perfect. Remember, it's impossible to please all the people all the time. Politics will come into play if this happens and despite landlords, tenants and associated professional advisers combined representing around 25% of the UK's voting population it is an extremely fragmented group at the moment. The likes of Shelter wield more political power and have more money than any of the landlords associations and professional bodies and that is dangerous.

My preference would is education, i.e. the mission of The GOOD Landlords Campaign which is "to promote and facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords and letting agents".

It is frightening that we have so much legislation and no compulsory training before a person is allowed to become a landlord or a letting agent. Legislation is, in my opinion, putting the cart before the horse.

If all landlords were to have a basic understanding of legislation and a simple strategy such as the one I have documented we would all be a lot happier.

Sadly, the importance and availability of knowledge is not well publicised and that's what causes the vast majority of problems. If the industry were to unite the importance and availability of knowledge could easily be shared. For example, if buy to let lenders refused to lend to any landlords who were not accredited that would deal with the vast majority of the problems in just a few years and certainly less than a decade. If the major property portals were to refuse to advertise properties to let unless they were owned by accredited landlords that would address the problem even quicker.

Please see >>>

by The Landlord

20:49 PM, 4th September 2014, About 7 years ago

Have been a landlord for 20 years and approaching final stages of evicting a tenant.....the whole process from a landlords perspective seems very complex indeed and favours the tenant in my opinion much more than the landlord. It's the first time I have had to go through this process and seems to have lots of hoops to go through...just seems wrong and unfair.

by Farah Stehrenberger

10:22 AM, 5th September 2014, About 7 years ago

I represent Landlords and letting agents in courts as well as doing all the paper work for eviction. My evictions take less than 5 months and for undefended accelerated possession its under 3 months if the notice was not served prior to contacting me.

You don't have to obtain the Judge's permission at the hearing in order to instruct High Court Sheriffs. I do ask the Judge though, sometimes I am successful and sometimes not. If I am unsuccessful, I make an application to the court to transfer the enforcement in the HC which does work.

by Lisa Skinner

10:04 AM, 12th February 2015, About 7 years ago

Reading this has been very informative as neither a landlord or evicted tenant ive been looking for some advice on the neighbours from hell we have!!
In july they were issued section 21 after failing to pay rent to the private landlord for 4 months despite recieving housing benefit for the rent. They were given the date od 28 oct 2014. This came and went.

They went to court 22 dec where they were given a date of 5 jan 2015. That came and went too. 7 jan they recieved a bailiff letter saying they had been instructed on the 6th jan.
Suprise suprise they are still there. Acting as if nothings happened with no sign of leaving or even packing. We know the game they are playing waiting for the bailiff to hand them a letter to run to the council with.
We are just so frustrated and cant see any light at theend of the tunnel we just want our normal life back?? Can anyone give me further advice?

by Mark Alexander

11:36 AM, 12th February 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lisa Skinner" at "12/02/2015 - 10:04":

My suggestion is to contact your MP and tell him what is going on.

If you don't know how to go about this see >>>

It is rare for MP's to hear how neighbours are affected by the unfairness of the system. Housing Charities such as Shelter constantly exert massive pressure on MP's to make it even more difficult to evict tenants. Clearly there are more tenants than landlords and the media have been very anti-landlord for several years now so that's sadly what MP's listen too.

Landlords being a frustrated and demonised minority group have very little political influence in comparison to Shelter and the national media.

If MP's were able to understand how homeowners are affected by policies to protect tenants (good and bad) then they might just be persuaded to help landlords to get bad ones evicted more quickly. No good landlord wants to evict good tenants.

by British Naive Person Jameson

12:22 PM, 7th August 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steven Burnell" at "21/08/2013 - 22:42":

I am sorry to say that you are wrong ! Tenants go through hell in the hands of rogue Landlords. I know of cases where Landlords serve notice 21, for none other reason, other than rip off a piece of the deposit, and then put the rent up for the next victim. How does a tenant get protection against that ?

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?