Residential possession claims

Residential possession claims

Evicting Residential Tenants

Sometimes even the most understanding landlord can reach the ‘end of the line’ with a tenant. As a residential landlord, the chances are you will probably need to go through the residential tenant evictions process at some point to recover your property following a tenant’s failure to pay rent or other default on the terms of the lease or you simply just want the property back.

You will need to follow the appropriate legal procedure – the eviction process – if you wish to take possession of the property and cannot negotiate terms under which the tenant will vacate.

In most cases you will already have a Possession Order from the County Court. If you don’t you will need to instruct a solicitor or make a Claim using Section 21 or Section 8
You can use a Section 21 notice to evict your tenants either:

  • after a fixed term tenancy ends – if there’s a written contract
  • during a tenancy with no fixed end date – known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy

You can get legal advice if you do not know which notice to give

To give your tenants notice using a Section 8, you must fill in a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’. Specify on the notice which terms of the tenancy they’ve broken.

You can give between 2 weeks’ and 2 months’ notice depending on which terms they’ve broken.

You can apply to the court for a possession order if your tenants do not leave by the specified date.

You can get legal advice on how to fill in a Section 8 with the correct notice periods and how to give it to your tenants.

Enforcing a Possession Order

Once you have permission from the court to evict your tenant, you may still have to wait for your tenant to leave your property. If your tenant still has not left, you can apply to the court for a warrant of possession to enforce the order. The warrant of possession is enforced by the County Court bailiff, who will notify the tenant of his date and time of attendance and will usually need you or your agent to attend to hand over possession. Dependent on the volume of work, it may take some time for the County Court bailiff to enforce the warrant. It may be best to ask the County Court bailiff’s office about current timeframes. If the delay is excessive and risks damage to the property or severe financial loss, you may be able to apply to the County Court for the possession order to be transferred to the High Court for enforcement by writ of possession.

This is done under Section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 and if it isn’t granted at the possession hearing must be made by way of a separate application. Burlington Group can arrange for this to be done by appointing their subsidiary company who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or you can have your own solicitor to do this for you.

Notice must be given to the defendants, tenants and to any occupiers. Anyone who may be in occupation is required to be informed about the transfer up to the High Court and that you intend to issue a Writ of Possession. The process we adopted has been endorsed in the reported case of Partridge v Gupta [2017] EWHC 2110 (QB)

Once permissionhas be granted by the County Court a separate application needs to bemade to the HighCourt to issue the Writ of Possession. This normally at least 7 days after the County Court have agreed to the transfer butcan be less.Again Burlington Group can arrange for this to be done by appointing their subsidiary company who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or you can have your own solicitor to do this for you.

As High Court Enforcement Officers, Burlington Group have the power to enforce the Writ of Possession and recover the property for you. Enforcing orders for possession in the High Court can be a complicated process, so call our Client Services Team on 020 7118 3100 and allow us to talk you through it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can instruct Burlington Group to evict a tenant?
We can be instructed by the Claimant property owner or their solicitor providing they have an Order of Possession from the court.
Don’t you have to be a solicitor to apply to transfer enforcement to the High Court?
You can do it yourself or we can instruct our own subsidiary company Marston Legal Services who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, to act on your behalf.
Isn’t that expensive?
No, they do not charge for their time, but you will have to pay the Court fees of £266 once they have the Writ of Possession and you will have to pay for the cost of enforcement separately.
How do I instruct you to evict a tenant?
You complete the online form and send us a copy of the Possession Order, a utility bill and some photographic identification.
What happens next?
We acknowledge the instructions and instruct our SRA regulated subsidiary company to complete the relevant applications and obtain a Writ of Possession. Once it has been obtained they cease to act on your behalf, but we then enforce the Writ of Possession and remove the occupants.
Can you guarantee that the County Court will transfer up my application?
Unfortunately, no but most applications are successful.
How long does it take?
The time taken depends on the speed of the Court. Usually it takes them 2 weeks to return the approved transfer.
Can you collect a rent debt too?
In some cases yes, but it’s often more important just to get the property back and deal with the debt at a later date. Please speak to the office and they can explain in more detail.
Can I come to the eviction?
We do not advise this is a sensible approach as it often antagonises the situations and causes delays. We prefer if you wait discreetly around the corner and we can call you once they have left.