Residential Property Solicitors, York, Wetherby & Malton
We recommend that you obtain professional advice before taking any steps to recover possession of your property. This will ensure that you follow the correct legal procedures and minimise the risk of incurring wasted costs and ultimately being unable to obtain possession.
It is also an offence to evict an occupier of residential premises without a court order or to harass an occupier of residential premises.
If your property is let on an assured shorthold tenancy (an AST) you must first serve a notice on the tenant informing them that possession is required. At present and until the law on terminating ASTs is changed, there are two different procedures for ending a tenancy set out in Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. We will advise you on the appropriate notice to serve and effect service on your behalf; if you have already served your own notice we will check this to ensure that it is valid.
If the tenant does not vacate then a court order must be obtained. If you have served a S8 notice, for example, if you are seeking to terminate a tenancy mid contract for breach of the tenancy obligations, such as failure to pay rent, then there will need to be a hearing so that the court can determine if one of the statutory grounds for possession is satisfied; the hearing will be at least 28 days after the claim is issued but with a standard period of not more than eight weeks after the issue of your possession claim.
If you are relying on a S21 notice then you may be able to use the accelerated possession procedure and the Court may determine your application without a hearing.
We will advise you on the appropriate procedures, the likely outcome of your possession claim and provide you with a full costs estimate.
If the tenant still does not vacate by the date ordered by the Court then the order can be enforced by the county court bailiff. The landlord or your representative should attend the enforcement appointment with the bailiff and a locksmith or any other appropriate person who may be required to assist with entering the property if a lock or other entry feature needs to be removed.