Evicting a tenant protected under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, including period tenancies and assured tenancies, can be a difficult process and could be disastrous if you get it wrong. The good thing about tenant evictions is that there is a clear process that you can follow to insure you do not incur any liability. This step by step guide walks through the process:
Step 1: Notice of eviction
The first step in the process is to notify your tenant that you plan to evict them. There are two types of notices you can use depending on your situation:
- Section 21 – this is used to get your property back once the fixed term ends
- Section 8 – this is used if your tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement
The length of the notice is typically found in the tenancy agreement. The general rule is that ‘reasonable notice’ needs to be given. For a periodic tenancy this is usually the length of one period, for other tenancies it could be as long as 2 months.
Step 2: Possession order
If your tenant still hasn’t moved out once the notice period comes to an end you need to obtain a possession order. This is an order from the court granting you possession of the property and ordering your tenant to leave.
If you are not making a claim for unpaid rent you can apply for an Accelerated Possession Order. It will cost more money to get the order, however, it is quicker because there will be no court appearance.
Step 3: Warrant for possession
If your tenant is still refusing to leave, you will now need to apply for a warrant for possession. This is another application to the court and the result is the bailiffs evicting your tenant.
You can accelerate the process by transferring your case from the County Court to the High Court. This will be another fee. This option is only available if you are claiming more than £600 including court costs. The High Court Enforcement Officers will then carry out the eviction.