Understanding the laws between landlords & tenants

Residental landlords and tenants: what’s involved?

To evict a residential tenant, you must first serve a notice stating the grounds you are relying on. If you’re a landlord we usually advise that you serve a Section 21 Notice (found under ‘forms’) which then enables you to use the accelerated procedure to get the tenant out of the property.

Under this procedure, the notice must be served no less than 2 months before the date you want possession of the property ending on a day before the rent payment would be due. If the tenant does not leave, the Court must order possession.

It is called the accelerated procedure as the Court has to order possession, it has no discretion other than in the number of days it will allow the tenant before they have to leave, and hence there is no need for a hearing – it is entirely paper based.

If the tenant still does not leave, you can then appoint the Court bailiff to physically remove the tenant.

However, a landlord cannot also claim rent arrears with the accelerated procedure and would have to start a separate claim for this.

Other routes to take for a successful eviction

The alternative route is by relying on the tenant’s breach of the tenancy agreement and serving a notice setting out the grounds. If the tenant does not rectify the breach, the landlord can start proceedings not earlier than 2 weeks after service of the notice.

While the notice period is shorter, under this procedure there must be a Court hearing so the overall length of time it takes will usually be longer than using the accelerated procedure.  Also the Court has more discretion to allow the tenant to remain in the property so it is not guaranteed to get them out.

However, a claim for rent arrears can be included by using this procedure so there is no need to start a separate claim.

For further advice and assistance, contact us.