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Evicting Residential Tenants

Evicting Residential Tenants

Sometimes even the most understanding landlord can reach the ‘end of the line’ with a tenant. As a residential landlord, the chances are you will probably need to go through the residential tenant evictions process at some point to recover your property following a tenant’s failure to pay rent or other default on the terms of the lease. You will need to follow the appropriate legal procedure – the eviction process – if you wish to take possession of the property and cannot negotiate terms under which the tenant will vacate. Here is the process for obtaining a High Court Writ of Possession: obtaining high court writ of possession process  

Burlington can help

As High Court Enforcement Officers, Burlington have the power to enforce judgments or orders of both the High Court and County Courts. This means that we can evict tenants from residential premises when enforcing an order for possession. We can also recover rent arrears, service charges and sundry debts even after the tenants has left your premises and relocated (if your order allows this). Enforcing orders for possession in the High Court can be a complicated process, so call our Client Services Team on 0330 900 8000 and allow us to talk you through it.

Contact us for advice on Residential Evictions

Download our free Guide to Enforcing Orders for Possession Arrange for a call back from our Client Services Team for further advice on our lease forfeiture service. You are welcome to contact us at any time on 0330 900 8000 and we will endeavour to help you with your enquiry.

About Residential Tenant Evictions

How to know if you can evict your tenant

Has your tenant failed to pay rent? Recovering unpaid rent arrears is one of the biggest challenges landlords face and this is where Burlington can help. Here are some common situations in which a landlord might decide to evict a tenant:

  • If the tenant stays on the property after the lease expires or is legally terminated
  • If the tenant causes major damage to your property
  • If the tenant breaks specific rules that you set out in the agreement (i.e. guest limitations, noise restrictions or pet rules)
  • Failure to pay rent

Before you start eviction proceedings, you will be required to give your tenant notice of minor breaches and reasonable time to correct the problems. If you do not warn your tenant first, the judge could decide in their favour when the court considers your case. You will also need to serve notice of your intention to evict and you’ll need to take care to ensure that the notice is adequate and in the required form.

Giving your tenant notice

Once you have decided to evict your tenant, you will be required to give them written notice before you can issue proceedings for possession of your property. There are two different types of notices you could serve depending on your situation; Section 8 notice or Section 21 notice.

Section 8 Notice explained

You must ensure that notice of an intention to start possession proceedings under an assured tenancy can be given under section 8 of the Housing Act (1988) if you want to take back possession of your property before the expiry of the tenancy and because of a default. You can use this template – Section 8 Notice template – to draft the section 8 notice. You will need to nominate or cite ground(s) for seeking a possession order. See this Section 8 Notice Guidance Note for helpful information.

Section 21 Notice explained

If you have a periodic tenancy that is coming to an end, or has come to an end, you might want to issue a notice under Section 21. Again, you can use this handy template – Section 21 Template. See this Section 21 Notice Guidance Note for helpful information. You should attempt to serve the notice by ‘personal service’ (as opposed to service by post). Burlington can help you with this paper serving and can produce an affidavit of service for court proceedings if required, to prove that notice has been served.

Issuing Court Proceedings for Eviction

If your tenant does not take act by the date stated on the notice served, it could mean that you have to start the eviction process by applying for a County Court order for possession.

Taking your tenant to court

Depending on your situation and the type of notice you serve, there may or may not be a court hearing. However, you will still need to be able to produce any documentation you have, including your tenancy agreement, a copy of the notice you served, bank statements that show rent is missing and records of communication with your tenant. Make sure you prepare what you are going to say to the judge on the day. Both you and your tenant will have the chance to make your case. The judge will make the decision as to whether to grant an order and under what terms. The judge may give the tenant a further 14-28 days to vacate. If the tenant does not vacate, you will need to take action to enforce the possession order.

Enforcing a Possession Order (Evicting a tenant)

Once you have permission from the court to evict your tenant, you may still have to wait for your tenant to leave your property. If your tenant still has not left, you can apply to the court for a warrant of possession to enforce the order. The warrant of possession is enforced by the County Court bailiff, who will notify the tenant of his date and time of attendance and will usually need you or your agent to attend to hand over possession. Dependent on the volume of work, it may take some time for the County Court bailiff to enforce the warrant. It may be best to ask the County Court bailiff’s office about current timeframes. If the delay is excessive and risks damage to the property or severe financial loss, you may be able to apply to the County Court for the possession order to be transferred to the High Court for enforcement by writ of possession. Once this has been granted in the County Court, you must apply to the High Court for permission before a Writ of Possession can be issued.

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Instruct Burlington Today

Let Burlington’s award-winning Enforcement Team help you recover outstanding debts. As Enforcement Agents and High Court Enforcement Officers, Burlington can assist with both general debt collection and judgment enforcement. So, whatever your enforcement requirements, let Burlington help you. To instruct Burlington to act for you simply complete an online instruction form.
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