A BRIEF GUIDE TO RESIDENTIAL POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS

Sutton & Co. Solicitors will obtain possession of your property (and in some cases any outstanding rent arrears). There are essentially two options available under the Housing Act, which are: 

1. The Accelerated Procedure – Section 21

2. The Standard Procedure – Section 8 

The Accelerated Procedure Section 21

GUIDE TO RESIDENTIAL POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS
BRIEF GUIDE TO RESIDENTIAL POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS

A Section 21 notice is served on the tenant, giving the tenant a minimum of 2 months notice terminating the tenancy. The notice is for possession of the property only and will not allow the Landlord to recover rental arrears. 

If the tenant does not leave by the end of the notice period, then a claim can be issued at the County Court. The claim is for the possession of the property only and does not usually require a court hearing, it is known as the “Accelerated Possession Procedure”. 

Once the claim form has been served on the tenant, they will have 14 days to reply to the claim. If the tenant does not reply, the Landlord can apply to the Court to make an order for possession. If a response is received by the Court and in any event, the Court will decide the matter after 14 days. 

The Court will ordinarily grant an order possession of the property for between 14 days and 6 weeks. 

If the tenant fails to vacate the premises following the possession order, the landlord will have to apply to the bailiff to request an appointment for an eviction. 

It should be noted that the Section 21 procedure can only be used where the Landlord has complied with rules about Tenancy Deposit Schemes and provided the prescribed information to the tenant. Furthermore, pursuant to section 21, the tenancy cannot be brought to an end prior to the end of the fixed term. 

The Standard Procedure – Section 8

A Section 8 notice is served on the tenant, which gives the tenant 14 days to leave the premises or to pay the rent arrears or remedy any other breach. 

If the tenant does not leave the property or pay the rent arrears, then a claim can be issued at the County Court. This notice gives the landlord the flexibility to apply to the Court for both possession of the property and to obtain a money judgment for rent arrears. 

The Section 8 procedure is lengthy and more expensive than using a Section 21 notice, although the landlord will be able to demand the rent arrears together with the possession of the property. 

The Landlord will also be able, in some circumstances, to bring the tenancy to an end before the end of the fixed term. 

Once the claim is issued at the County Court, a hearing date will be arranged by the Court and both the claim and notice of the hearing will be served on the tenant. 

The tenant will have the opportunity to reply to the claim. The Court will consider all issues raised at the hearing and will consider whether the landlord has established the right to an order for possession. In some circumstances, witness evidence is required to prove the right to possession. The landlord will also be required to attend the hearing to give evidence of the matters contained within the statement. 

If the landlord is successful at the hearing, an order for possession will be made, together with a money judgment. Possession will usually be effective within 14 days after the hearing. 

If the tenant fails to vacate the premises following the possession order, the landlord will have to apply to the bailiff to request an appointment for an eviction. 

For further assistance, please contact Mrs Kax Chana on: 

T: 0121 448 3107 M: 0795 106 4120 E: kax.chana@suttonsolicitors.com 

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