How do I evict my tenant?
In order to do this, it is important to firstly consider why you want to evict your tenant. There are two procedures to regain possession of your property, and these are laid out in Sections 8 and 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
Has the tenancy has expired and you don’t want to renew it? Issue a Section 21 notice
Has the tenant broken certain terms of the tenancy or are they in rent arrears? Issue a Section 8 notice
A Section 21 notice is utilised when a landlord only seeks an Order for Possession and does not seek an Order for rent recovery. This must give the tenant at least two months’ notice from the date of serving the notice. It must also specify the date in which possession is required. If the tenancy was created after 1 October 2015 you have to use form 6a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy’. This is a relatively quick process where there is usually no Court hearing required, as the tenant has less of a chance of defending the matter. The only viable defence the tenant can raise is one of hardship and the only thing that it is likely to result in is to extend the deadline by which the tenant must vacate the property.
A Section 8 notice should be served if you wish to obtain an Order for Possession and rent arrears (tenant must be in two months’ rent arrears if you wish to include rent arrears in the section 8 notice). The notice given can be between two weeks and two months depending on which grounds under the Housing Act are being relied on. This will save costs and will avoid the need for you to issue a separate money claim to obtain an order for the rent arrears at a later stage. However it is a longer process (than possession via a section 21 notice) as a Court hearing is required.
Remember the changes in 2015
- You can’t use a Section 21 notice if you haven’t provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate (EPC) or a gas safety record under Section 38 of the Deregulation Act 2015.
- The Deregulation Act also introduced the ‘use it or lose it’ concept whereby a Section 21 notice will cease to be usable six months after the date of service.
- From 5th April 2015 a new version of the Section 8 notice was released which amended the notes section of the notice. Using a Section 8 notice in its previous format will make it invalid which presents a risk that the Court will strike out any Claim for Possession if the incorrect version of the notice is served.
We can draft and review both of these notices to ensure that they are valid and served in the correct format.
If they don’t leave the property within the time specified in the notice then we can issue proceedings for possession of property.
Contact Vantage Legal Services if you need any help and advice with eviction proceedings.