A landlord will require this service when a tenant has fallen behind with payment of their rent and the landlord wishes to evict the tenant due to this breach. In such circumstances we will request on behalf of the landlord that the court orders possession of the property as well as an order that the tenant pays the arrears of rent owing.
Below is a summary of the procedure required to evict a tenant who is in arrears of rent based on a property being rented out under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. This is the most common form of tenancy agreement although there are other types of agreements in existence.
How does the process work/what are the steps involved?
If the tenant has fallen into arrears of rent and the landlord wishes to evict the tenant, the first step is to serve a Notice on the tenant informing them of this. This is known as a Section 8 Notice (Notice pursuant to Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988).
Once the Section 8 Notice has been served, the tenant must be allowed a period of at least 14 days in which to make payment of the arrears of rent to the tenant. If the tenant fails to do this, then the landlord is entitled to proceed to issue possession proceedings at court to evict the tenant.
Once issued the court will list the matter for a hearing. We will ordinarily arrange for the landlord to be represented at the court hearing (normally via the attendance of a barrister).
Assuming that the proceedings are uncontested and that at the time that the Section 8 Notice was served and at the date of the court hearing there are at least two months arrears of rent owing to the landlord; the court will order the tenant to vacate the property and will also require the tenant to pay the landlord the arrears of rent owing. If there are less than two months rent owing the court will have discretion as to whether to award possession of the property to the landlord or not. Where the court does have discretion, it could consider awarding a suspended possession order instead to the landlord. This would allow the tenant to remain living at the property provided that payment of future rent was paid on time and the arrears cleared by the tenant.
If the court does order the tenant to provide the landlord with possession of the property, it will normally allow the tenant a further period of fourteen days within which to vacate the property.