Most private landlords let their properties as an assured shorthold tenancy. This type of tenancy lasts for a fixed period or a shorter period that can be rolled over until either you or the tenant want the tenancy to end.
Under an assured shorthold tenancy, there are two ways to evict a tenant from a property under the Housing Act 1988: you can issue a Section 8 notice or a Section 21 notice.
You can issue a Section 8 notice to claim for rent arrears, damage to your property and/or anti-social behaviour. You and the tenant will need to attend a court hearing where the outcome is decided by a Judge. Usually, tenants are given 14 days’ notice to leave the property.
A Section 21 notice is a faster process in total, but it can only be used if you do not want to claim rent arrears. The Judge will decide the outcome based on paperwork, so there is no need to attend court. Under a Section 21 notice, tenants are given at least 2 months’ notice to vacate.
You can start proceedings if the tenant fails to leave your property once their notice period is up. This involves applying to court for a possession order, and then a County Court Bailiff will be instructed to evict the tenant.
Should you need to evict a tenant, it is essential to follow proper procedures. Failure to do so can lead to imprisonment or a fine under the Prevention from Eviction Act 1977. At Davisons, our landlord solicitors can support you through the process to make sure paperwork is compliant with legislation. Even small mistakes can prevent a court order from being granted.