If you are the landlord of domestic property, you will occasionally need to recover possession. The tenant may be in arrears with the rent, or refusing to leave after the tenancy period ends. Or you might need to obtain possession to carry out essential repairs. Whatever the reason, the process of recovering possession is not easy. We can assist you and ensure that you don’t trip up – mistakes can be costly.

When The Tenant Agrees To Leave

When a fixed-term tenancy comes to an end (and you do not want to renew it), the tenant will often agree to leave. This can also be the case with a tenancy which has continued on a month-by-month basis after the end of the fixed-term. If your relationship with the tenant is good, then you may be able to agree their departure date with them. They should then just hand over the keys to you.

Giving Notice To Quit

If the tenant does not agree to leave, you will need to serve notice to quit. You might do this anyway for the certainty of the formal procedure, and to ensure that they do leave. If the tenant is in breach of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (for instance not paying rent), you need to serve a “section 8 notice”. When there is no breach but you want possession for some other reason, you need to serve a “section 21 notice”. Service of a notice tends to have the effect of concentrating the mind of the tenant. Rent arrears will often swiftly be brought up to date.

Claim For Possession

If the tenant ignores the notice to quit and does not vacate the property, what is the next step? You have to issue court proceedings for a possession order, which will lead to a short court hearing. If the tenant’s defence does not show that there is a genuine dispute or no defence is filed, the judge will normally grant the possession order at the hearing. If there are grounds for a defence, the hearing will be adjourned to a later date, to allow evidence to be filed.

The tenant should leave on or before the date shown on the possession order. If they refuse to leave you will need to make a further application to court for a warrant of possession. This will allow a bailiff to evict the tenant, and return the property to you.

It is important to take advice about a particular set of circumstances. Call us today to discuss your situation and how we can help.

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