Tenant refusing to leave – advice?

Tenant refusing to leave – advice?

0:05 AM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago 13

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Hello, I would be grateful of some advice about a tenant that is refusing to leave, even after a S21 notice.

We’ve had the property up for sale as our fixed rate mortgage is coming to an end, and we are going to struggle keeping up with the repayments, but now we have lost our buyer as the tenant is refusing to leave.

She is a single mother and put as her court defence that there is damp in the bathroom. She has also told me that she doesn’t want to go into temporary council accommodation, although this would be an option for her.

My solicitor is saying that if I go to court and not give her another 45 days and reapply, that this may put my application back further and I won’t be able to evict her.

I can prove that the property was up for sale and our new mortgage payments. I’m really worried now of the likely outcome?

Has anyone had any experience here or advice they could give me please.

Thank you,


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Tessa Shepperson

9:22 AM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago

So long as your section 21 notice is correct and you have complied with all the legal pre-requisites there should be no reason why you can't issue proceedings as soon as the notice period expires. Indeed you should do this as it is clear that this tenant is not going to vacate otherwise.

If the tenant is not going to vacate voluntarily the only way you can get vacant possession is through the courts, which will take you some time - probably between six months and a year.

Your solicitor's advice sounds odd to me - are they experienced in this work? For eviction, it is always best to use solicitors who do a lot of this work. Landlord Action would be a good choice.

My service has a lot of guidance - see here: https://landlordlaw.co.uk/evictionquickstart/

Dylan Morris

9:43 AM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago

I can recommend The Landlord Group (also featured on Channel 5) they were very good when I had to evict a couple of years ago.


9:51 AM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago

This just highlights the desperate situation the property market is heading towards. Not good for landlords or tenants! You've already been offered excellent advice...but goes without saying take a look at the damp accusation (if you haven't already) Give no reason that you are in anyway a non active landlord!


9:54 AM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago

We had a similar situation recently and corroborate Tessa's timescales. Now the Section 21 has proved ineffective, regardless of whether your tenant is on any Housing Association waiting list or refuses temporary accommodation, possession has to be achieved through the courts. Accelerated possession is the way - plenty of form filling and you need to show all Gas Safety Certificates from throughout her tenancy. Also needed is the usual documentation given to tenants when letting property out. At Court she may be offered a type of legal aid - a person to sit alongside and speak to the Court on her behalf whilst you have to make your own arrangements if required. There may be a last ditch attempt by the ' legal friend ' to keep the tenant in the property by appealing to your better nature before you go into Court. We were successful in our application. The Court has jurisdiction to offer different notice periods to suit the situation and once the letter with the end date was received she took it to the Local Authority who, as if by magic, gave her a three bedroomed house where none had existed before.
Did you respond to the damp issues and offer advice or rectify . Have you a paper trail relating to this?


12:19 PM, 4th July 2023, About 10 months ago

I would advise you to file the court papers at the earliest opportunity as the process can take some time. From my own experience, I would also ask the court as part of the repossession judgement for permission to go to the high court. The reason is that if you need public bailiffs they can take some months, but if you have permission to use the high court you can use high court bailiffs which are in the private sector and can evict quickly, given your need to sell the property.


13:46 PM, 5th July 2023, About 10 months ago

Assuming you are using s21, did the tenant tell you in writing about the damp before the notice? If not, then they would not be able to claim retaliatory eviction.

If your solicitor is a housing specialist, you should listen to them.

Tony Phillips

14:17 PM, 5th July 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tessa Shepperson at 04/07/2023 - 09:22
Hi Tessa, I'm.in the exact same situation. S21 served, applied for accelerated possesion 21 days ago. So almost 3 months in already!! Its scandalous that it takes so long.

I note you depressingly mentioned a much longer period of 6-12 months! Can you elaborate? Was this due to the courts being slow, the tenant counterclaiming and was this the accelerated procedure?

Many thanks

Tony Phillips

14:23 PM, 5th July 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Amethyst at 04/07/2023 - 09:54
Hi Amethyst

I'm already 3 months in (S21 served and accelerated claim for possesion papers submitted three weeks ago)

So now waiting for the court to hopefully serve possesion order. Will this really take 6-12 months in total... Thats a depressing thought :-((


14:37 PM, 5th July 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tony Phillips at 05/07/2023 - 14:23It could. In our case we were granted accelerated possession but tenant didn't go so we applied for bailiffs. Court lost the papers and so we were told the bailiff would take another 8 weeks. I complained and the Court official walked across the room to the bailiff's office and, as it was their error, organised one then and there for two weeks' later. Whole process still took months and months but fortunately the tenant was still paying rent. My buyer walked away twice but came back in the end and the house is now off our hands.


16:11 PM, 5th July 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tessa Shepperson at 04/07/2023 - 09:22
But what if the tenant had previously complained to the local authority about a health and safety hazard? Retaliatory eviction arguments will follow.

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