Use a solicitor to help evict a tenant or do it yourself?

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Use a solicitor to help evict a tenant or do it yourself?

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Use a solicitor to help evict a tenant or do it yourself?

I have a property which is being managed by a letting agent and the tenant who is a single parent in full time work is now over 3 months in arrears. The tenant has had lots of letters sent to her and been into the letting agent to arrange a payment plan to pay off the arrears a couple of months ago but only made a few weekly payments then stopped paying again. I have asked the letting agent to serve a section 8 notice mainly due to the fact she will not answer any telephone calls or reply to any messages sent to her. Use a solicitor to help evict a tenant or do it yourself

The section 8 gave her two weeks notice which expired last Friday. I spoke to my letting agent today who has advised me to use a solicitor to help with the eviction process. I spoke to a solicitor who said he can submit paperwork to the court for £180 and go to court for another £350 and I will need to pay £250 court costs.

From the advice he gave me I am also serving a section 21 notice as well as extra security.

I am not sure if I should try to do the process myself online as it looks quite simple, any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Andy

Comments

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Hi Andy

You can do it yourself and some landlords will advocate that .... I am not one of them.

The benefit of over quarter of a century in this business has taught me that evictions are a minefield. You might make it across yourself but it's far safer to follow a man who has made the crossing hundreds of times before.

The advice provided by your solicitor so far is good. However, how many evictions has he handled? Landlords Action are the specialists and have done 10's of thousands. You regularly see them on TV and you may well find they are more cost effective. At the very least, contact them and get a second quote - see >>> http://evicting-tenants.net/
.

Gary Nock

3 years ago

Judges don't like Landlords I'm afraid. And doing it yourself- well I wouldn't advocate it. And this from someone who has spent hours in Crown and Magistrates Courts (not as a defendant I hasten to add) Leasehold Valuation Tribunals presenting cases, and County Court Small Claims. I went to court with a solicitor a few times on our own evictions and saw some of the battles experienced solicitors had with awkward Judges. And if the tenant gets Legal Aid and has a Shelter approved legal eagle then you are in trouble. Listen to Mark. The fees asked by your brief are not excessive. Either use them or landlord action. Or better still use an agent who provides rent insurance guarantee like Letting Supermarket.

wanda wang

3 years ago

Do it yourself. I used a solicitor to serve the section 21 notice, they got it wrong. cost me further month unpaid rent and extra legal fee. It is not difficult to do it yourself. I have wrote my section 8 experience to share with all landlords. Which you can find in old articles here.

andy lyons

3 years ago

Thank you Mark, Gary and Wanda for your helpful comments, I have looked at the web link you suggested Mark and it says £850 for solicitor fees including court costs so it's about the same as what I have already been quoted, however I appreciate the solicitor I spoke to won't have the same experience.
I spoke to another letting agent who said the section 21 route is a lot easier and cheaper as there is no need for a court hearing and you are guaranteed to get your property back without argument. I have asked my agent to serve a section 21 but due to date of when the tenancy started (16th of Month) I have to give until the 15th June. Then if she hasn't moved I can go straight to bailiffs. I need to look at this carefully and weigh it all up. It looks like a choice between:
Section 8 using a solicitor approx. £850 and another 6-8 weeks rent lost.
Section 8 doing it myself £250 but risking a dispute situation with the potential of more costs, or Section 21 nearly 3 more months lost rent but no court costs or solicitors and guarantee to get tenant out. The letting agent I spoke to this morning issue a section 21 notice with a new tenancy agreement as it is valid for 2 years, that way if there any complications after the fixed term they can quickly remove the tenant.

Romain Garcin

3 years ago

Andy,

I think you have misunderstood what the section 21 route is:

At the expiry of the notice, if your tenant refuses to go, you will still have to begin court proceedings (and pay a £280 court fee) in order to get a court order.

It is simpler and more straightforward because if your notice is valid then a court order is guaranteed, and if there is no complication there is no court hearing.

As for using a solicitor: Well, it depends, IMHO.
For simple cases a solicitor is overkill in my view if you do your homework. Then the more complications you expect obviously the more it becomes useful (if not necessary) to seek help from a professional.

andy lyons

3 years ago

Thank you Romain, I will do my homework on this, I have only issued the S21 to cover all bases, really I should have issued both at the same time, I suppose I may as well try myself using the S8 pay the court fees and if there are any complications I have the S21 as back up.

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "andy lyons" at "24/03/2015 - 23:34":

I agree with Romain
.

Rob Crawford

3 years ago

Hi Andy, I would suggest from the questions you are asking that as this is your first repossession that you do as Mark suggests and use Landlord Action. They do this all the time and will ensure the best approach. If you use your own solicitor you will need to find one that has current experience in PRS evictions, you don't want to have a solicitor cutting his/her teeth on your case as any mistakes will be at your cost! Landlord Action has the experience and any legal opposition and the judge will know this. You can learn from this and maybe do it yourself next time!

David Asker

3 years ago

Just a quick line to say that if you do require a quick eviction (some Court bailiffs are quoting 3 months) applying for leave to use an HCEO at the outset is highly recommended as obtaining leave retrospectively can be problematic.

Visit the evicting tenants section on this site and download our guide.

You can then make an informed decision dependent on your own Courts eviction timescales.

andy lyons

3 years ago

Thank you all for your help, I have spoken to Landlord action and will be using them to help me evict my tenant with the section 8 that has already been served.

David I have not been able to find the guide to using a HCEO on this site, I will have a better look tomorrow.

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