Landlords usually seek vacant possession of their property for two reasons;
- Due to the tenant’s breach of tenancy
- The landlord wants the property back to sell or for own use
If the tenant has breached the tenancy due to rent arrears, nuisance or any other reason than a landlord has 2 options to seek possession under section 8, or section 21.
Although the tenant has breached the tenancy, to avoid contention a landlord may want to consider seeking possession under section 21. If the landlord has;
- A guarantor
- No disrepairs
- Has fully complied with legal obligations as required in letting and managing a tenancy
Provided the answers to all of the 3 above is Yes and you have rent arrears of more than at least 2 months, then you may want to consider seeking possession under section 8. The benefits are you can claim rent arrears and possession of your property, both at the same time within the same claim.
The court fee for section 21 claim is known as the accelerated route, the court fee is £355 (28/01/19). Under section 8 the court fee is ££355 if the claim is issued by post. If the claim is issued online it is £325.
The time it takes for the section 21 accelerated claims is an average 6 to 8 weeks.
The time it takes for a section 8 possession claim by post is on average 8 to 10 weeks. Section claim online is an average of 5 weeks.
If you are successful in your possession claim, the court will grant a possession that gives the tenant 14 days to give up possession. 14 days is the normal time given by the court, but can if the tenant successfully pleads to be given the maximum period of 42 days.
If the tenant is seeking to be housed by the local authority the Council will advise the tenant to stay put and not give up possession until the tenant is evicted by bailiffs.
County court bailiffs can take between 6 to 12 weeks to evict a tenant. London bailiffs take the most time.
You can use the High Court enforcement officers if you have leave (permission) to use high court enforcement officers.
We strongly recommend you do not do the possession by yourself. If you get it wrong not only will you lose your court fee, you could end up paying solicitors, legal fees which could be anything from £1,500 upward.
You have the option to use the British Landlords Association member lawyers should you wish