By brocs1, Oct 27 2020 10:34AM
First Stage – Service of Notice
The first step taken to remove a tenant is to issue one of two notices available through the Housing Act 1988.
The initial steps is sometimes sufficient to secure vacant possession or payment of arrears outstanding.
• Section 21 Notice: a two-month notice to terminate a tenancy agreement and seek possession of the property. The Government has temporarily changed the rules around using a Section 21 notice during the coronavirus pandemic and any section 21 notice served in England must give at least six months notice to the tenant.
• Section 8 Notice: a 14-day notice seeking possession on grounds of rent arrears. The Government has temporarily changed the rules around using a Section 8 notice during the coronavirus pandemic. The notice period to be given in a Section 8 Notice will in many cases now be six months but can be much shorter depending on the grounds used.
To take instructions from you, prepare and service the appropriate notice = £150 plus VAT
Second Stage –
Possession Order following a Court Hearing
This procedure is available to a landlord following the service of either the Section 8 Notice or Section 21 Notice. However, it differs from the accelerated possession proceedings as it allows the landlord to apply for a judgment for rent arrears in addition to a possession order.
To issue proceedings in the County Court, prepare for and attend a hearing to obtain possession and judgement for rent arrears = £750 plus VAT. There will also be a Court fee payable to the Court.
In the event that the Court Hearing is contested by the tenants, then this may incur further costs and we will advise you on receiving instructions of what this may entail.
Accelerated Possession Proceedings
If the tenant has been served with a valid Section 21 Notice, then it may be possible to obtain a Possession Order without the need of a Court Hearing. The procedure is sometimes known as an Accelerated Possession Procedure, although this may not be the fastest route. An Accelerated Possession Order can only be made if you are seeking possession alone (and so not seeking a County Court Judgement for rent arrears).
If you wish to recover rental arrears under this Procedure, then you will have to issue standard possession proceedings or separate debt recovery proceedings through the County Court. The purpose of the Accelerated Procedure is to avoid the need for a hearing.
The landlord must file a notice setting out what they know about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tenant and their dependents within the claim form.
A tenant can still seek a hearing on the following basis:
• Challenge the procedure
• Challenge the validity of the notice
• Seek to extend the time in which to vacate the property
If you are a Landlord or Tenant and need advice, please contact us on 0800 567 7595 or email [email protected]