Possession proceedings

A landlord you can use one of two legal procedures if they are seeking possession of their property.

Please note that while either of these processes are being followed the tenant and the landlord must continue to abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement, eg. tenants must continue to pay rent, and landlords must continue to maintain the property.

If the eviction notice is valid we strongly recommend that tenants leave by the date on the notice.

Housing Act 1988 section 21 ‘Notice Requiring Possession'

A Section 21 eviction notice does not require the landlord to state the reasons for the tenancy coming to an end.

A landlord must have fulfilled certain obligations for the notice to be considered valid:

  • the deposit must have been placed within an authorised deposit scheme
  • the tenants must have been given a ‘How to rent’ leaflet
  • there is a valid Gas Safety Certificate
  • there is a valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • the property must be registered under the local authorities current licensing scheme (unless exempt)
  • a section 21 cannot be issued within the first 4 months of a given tenancy and tenants cannot be asked to leave before the end of the fixed term period stated in the tenancy agreement
  • the tenant must be given at least 2 months notice
  • the landlord must use the correct form

If a tenant fails to vacate the property the landlord has 6 months to apply to the court for a possession hearing. If the court grants permission the landlord will arrange for a court appointed bailiff to remove the tenant from the property.

Housing Act 1988 section 8 ‘Notice Requiring Possession'

A Section 8 eviction notice can be used to end a tenancy before the contract comes to an end, if the tenants have broken the rules of the tenancy in some way, eg.  If the tenants:

  • are more than 2 months behind in their rent
  • have damaged the property or furniture
  • gained the tenancy by providing false information about themselves
  • became a nuisance to neighbours
  • have used the property for criminal activities

A landlord must have fulfilled certain obligations for the notice to be considered valid:

  • the s.8 notice must give the tenants the right amount of notice
  • it must state the date after which court action can start
  • it must state the grounds for possession, and explain why they are being used
  • the landlord must use the correct form

Illegal Eviction and Harassment

Please note that a landlord cannot forcibly remove a tenant from the property.  If a landlord tries to remove a tenant by any means such as:

  • changing locks
  • turning off utilities
  • not allowing access to parts of property previously permitted

Our advice is to call the police and local authority immediately as this is a serious offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.