Residential Possession Claims
Obtaining possession of a residential property that is subject to a tenancy agreement, is not as straightforward as Landlords might hope. There are a number of issues that both Landlords and Tenants should be aware of when a Landlord wishes to retake possession of a property.
A Landlord must give notice to a Tenant of an intention to retake possession of a property, however before doing so the Landlord should ensure that all statutory requirements have been complied with. Depending upon when the tenancy began the requirements differ slightly, however typically a Landlord will have been required to:
- Protect the Tenant’s deposit within specific timeframes
- Provide the ‘How to Rent’ guide to the Tenant
- Provide the Tenant with an EPC for the Property
- Provide the Tenant with the current gas safety certificate
If these requirements are not met, there is a risk that if the Landlord serves a s.21 notice that the notice will not be valid.
Once a Landlord is ready to serve a notice there are essentially two options: s.21 notice (essentially a no fault notice) or a s.8 notice (for when the Tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy). At the date of writing the notice period required for both s.8 and s.21 notices is two months. Historically this has differed due to emergency measures brought in by the Government in response to Coronavirus restrictions.
If a Tenant does not leave following the expiry of a notice that has been validly served, then court proceedings can be issued to obtain an Order for possession requiring the Tenant to leave. If a s.21 notice has been served and the above requirements have been complied with then it may be that an accelerated procedure is available, which enables the Court to (generally) determine the issue on the papers rather than requiring a hearing. The accelerated procedure enables the Court to make an Order for possession only. If the accelerated procedure is not available then a more standard procedure is available, which may involve a hearing. Using the standard procedure enables the Court to make an Order beyond possession, for example that any rent arrears are paid.
If the Tenant does not leave the property following a Court Order being granted in favour of the Landlord then the Landlord may have to apply for a warrant of possession and instruct the bailiffs to recover possession.
Our team would be happy to discuss possession claims in more detail and provide an overview of our fixed fees for these types of claims. Our team can be contacted on 01444 235232.