As a landlord what is the procedure for evicting a tenant?

Evicting a tenant

One of the most difficult aspects of being a landlord is dealing with a tenant who has not paid their rent. Many other disputes such as the condition of the property or facilities in the property can be settled by an agreement between the two parties. However, when a tenant is not paying the rent to the landlord action will have to be taken.

A landlord must ensure that he or she follows the correct procedure for eviction as the courts often do not look favourably on landlords who try to do this by their own means.

When can an eviction take place?

If a landlord has failed to extract payment from a tenant – or the guarantor on behalf of the tenant – and there seems that there is no possibility of a negotiated settlement then the time will come to pursue matters further bringing with it the inevitable court action.

Is it possible for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order?

It is a criminal offence for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order. Therefore it may be advisable for a landlord to obtain specialist legal advice in this area to ensure that all procedures are followed to the letter.

The Housing Act 1988

The law in England and Wales regarding tenancies for the private sector is provided for in the Housing Act 1988.

Under the act a court can award a repossession order in relation to that particular property which enables the landlord to force the tenant to vacate the premises.

When can a repossession order be granted under the Housing Act 1988?

A repossession order can be granted under the Housing Act if the tenant owes more than two months or eight weeks rent.

What is the first step in the process for a repossession order?

The first thing that a landlord should do to start the repossession process is to issue a Section 8 Housing Act 1988 notice. This notice will give the tenant 14 days in which to respond.

Is there a specific procedure which a landlord must abide by when serving this notice?

When a landlord serves a Section 8 Housing Act notice on a tenant this must be done in the correct manner.

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For more information on:

  • What happens after the 14 day period has expired?
  • What is the reasoning behind this hearing?
  • Are there any exceptions to the rule of cases that the court will hear?
  • What happens once the court has provided a repossession order?
  • What action can be taken if a tenant still refuses to leave the premises?
  • Is it legal for a landlord to order court bailiffs in this manner?