Possession and Eviction
Possession and eviction are matters that need to be dealt with very carefully. Sometimes this is a straightforward process – simply a matter of a fixed term tenancy coming to an end and the tenants move onto their next house. In other cases this is a more difficult process.
The three key areas to know about are section 21 notices, section 8 notices and illegal evictions. These notices are used by landlords to repossess rented properties and are implemented using a court order. Illegal evictions are what should be avoided by landlords, and indeed can be if the correct notices are given.
A section 21 notice can be used to repossess a property which is on a fixed-term tenancy. This confers an automatic right to possess the property once the term ends – no grounds e.g. rent arrears need to be proved. The requirements of the notice must be complied with for it to be valid.
Section 8 Notices
A section 8 notice is used to repossess a property on one of the grounds listed in the Housing Act 1988 – including rent arrears and where the landlord wants to live in the property. Depending on the ground used, the Court will either have to grant the order for eviction or will have discretion to grant the order. Again, there are notice requirements that must be met.
The reason landlords need to be very careful when repossessing a property and evicting the tenants is because illegal eviction is a criminal offence. If carried out incorrectly, tenants can go to court to obtain an injunction that will let them back into the house. Tenants can also claim compensation. Harassment is also a common issue with illegal evictions – sometimes landlords think they are using peaceful means to remove tenants by doing things such as not carrying out repairs, but this is actually harassment.
We can advise landlords and tenants on possession and eviction. We seek to obtain the best outcome for you, whether that is advising you of the correct means of evicting tenants, or taking a claim to Court for illegal eviction.
To talk to us about possession and eviction, please call our Bayswater office on freephone 0800 524 4709 to make an appointment or fill in our contact form.
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