A landlord may be guilty of harassing or illegally evicting tenant(s) from their property if the correct, strict procedures are not followed. The exact procedure will depend on the type of tenancy agreement and its terms. The most common form of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”).
General Procedure to Evict a Tenant under an AST
- Serve a Section 21 and/or a Section 8 Notice. These notices are different and the type of notice used will depend on the reasons for ending the AST.
- If the tenant does not leave by the date in the notice, the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. There are two types of proceedings: normal possession or accelerated possession proceedings. The type used will depend on the landlord’s reasons for ending the tenancy (for example, the accelerated possession procedure cannot be used if the landlord is claiming rent arrears).
- If the tenant(s) still do not leave following the possession order, the landlord could apply for a warrant for possession. This means bailiffs can remove the tenants from the property.
A landlord must not evict a tenant without following this procedure.
A landlord must also ensure that all of the requirements and conditions on landlords have been complied with (for example, joining a Tenancy Deposit Scheme). If the landlord has either served an invalid notice, or not complied with any of the landlord’s conditions, the court may refuse to make a possession order.
If you have an AST which you would like to end, whether you are a landlord or tenant, then our Dispute Resolution team can assist. Please contact Lucy Penfold on 01932 852057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.