Accelerated Possession Procedure: A Swift and Effective Solution
Welcome to our guide on the accelerated possession procedure in the United Kingdom. The British Landlords Association understands the urgency and importance of reclaiming possession of your property efficiently and legally.
This article will deal with the accelerated possession procedure’s eligibility and criteria, step-by-step process, and the benefits it offers landlords. We aim to provide valuable insights and knowledge, empowering you to navigate this legal process confidently.
Understanding the Accelerated Possession Procedure
The accelerated possession procedure is a fast-track route available to landlords seeking to regain possession of their property in England under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement. This procedure is specifically designed for situations where the landlord quickly requires possession under the 21 section.
Eligibility for Accelerated Possession
To be eligible for the accelerated possession procedure, certain criteria must be met:
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST): The tenancy must fall under the AST framework, the most common type of tenancy in the private rental sector.
- Written Tenancy Agreement: A written tenancy agreement must outline the terms and conditions. You will require the accelerated route’s 1st and latest written tenancy agreements. If you do not have these or your agreement is an oral agreement, then you should not use the accelerated route.
- Compliance: You must ensure you are fully compliant with your obligations and have given your tenant things like EPC, a Gas safety certificate if the let property has gas, a Deposit certificate if you took a deposit, a How to rent guide booklet and a license if a license is required to let.
- Proper Notice: The landlord must have served the tenant with a valid Section 21 notice, providing a sufficient notice period as required by law.
- England: The property must be located in England.
Step-by-Step Process of Accelerated Possession
Submitting the Claim
Step: 1 Once the notice period specified in the Section 21 notice has expired, you can proceed with submitting a claim for possession to the county court. The following documents are typically required:
- Completed Form N5B: This form initiates the accelerated possession procedure.
- Supporting Documentation: Attach copies of the tenancy agreement, Section 21 notice, proof of service, tenancy agreements and all the relevant compliance documents to substantiate your claim.
Step 2: Court Review and Issuance of Possession Order
Upon receiving your claim, the court will review the documentation provided. If everything is in order, the court will issue an Accelerated Possession Order outlining the date the tenant must vacate the premises.
Step 3: Enforcement of Possession Order
If the tenant fails to vacate the property by the specified date, the landlord can seek assistance from court bailiffs to enforce the possession order. The bailiffs will ensure that the property is legally reclaimed and returned to the landlord’s possession.
Benefits of the Accelerated Possession Procedure
The accelerated possession procedure offers several benefits to landlords, making it an attractive option for regaining possession of their property swiftly and efficiently. These benefits include:
- Speedy Resolution: As the name suggests, the accelerated possession procedure expedites the process, ensuring a quicker resolution than other possession routes.
- Minimal Court Hearings: In most cases, the accelerated possession procedure does not require a court hearing, streamlining the process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Accelerated Possession Claims
What is an accelerated possession claim?
An accelerated possession claim is a legal process that allows landlords in England to quickly and efficiently regain possession of their property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement.
How is an accelerated possession claim different from other possession routes?
The accelerated possession procedure is faster than other routes, such as the standard possession procedure. In addition, it usually involves a court hearing only if there are exceptional circumstances, resulting in a quicker resolution for landlords.
What are the eligibility criteria for an accelerated possession claim?
Certain criteria must be met to be eligible for an accelerated possession claim. These include having a written copy of an AST agreement, serving the tenant with a valid Section 21 notice, and the property being located in England. The accelerated possession process does not apply to Properties in Wales.
How long does the accelerated possession procedure take?
The timeframe for an accelerated possession procedure can vary depending on the case’s specific circumstances and the court’s workload. However, generally, it can take between 8 to 12 weeks from submitting the claim to obtaining a possession order.
Can I use the accelerated possession procedure if I have yet to serve a Section 21 notice?
No, serving a valid Section 21 notice is crucial for initiating an accelerated possession claim. Following the correct legal procedures and giving the tenant appropriate notice before proceeding with the claim is essential.
What documents do I need for an accelerated possession claim?
To initiate an accelerated possession claim, you must prepare several documents, including a completed Form N5B, a copy of the tenancy agreement, proof of serving the Section 21 notice, and other supporting evidence relevant to your case like compliance documents, EPC, gas safety certificate, how to rent guide booklet, deposit certificate and deposit prescribed information.
Other documents may also be required.
We strongly recommend you use solicitors who specialise in housing law and do not attempt to issue a claim yourself if you are not qualified.
What happens after I submit the accelerated possession claim?
Once you submit the claim to the county court, the court will review the documents. If everything is in order, they will issue an Accelerated Possession Order, specifying the date the tenant must vacate the property.
What if the tenant doesn’t vacate the property after issuing the possession order?
If the tenant fails to vacate the property by the specified date in the possession order, you can seek assistance from court bailiffs to enforce the order. The bailiffs will ensure that the property is legally reclaimed and returned to your possession.
Can I use the accelerated possession procedure for all types of tenancies?
The accelerated possession procedure is specifically designed for properties under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement, the most common type of tenancy in the private rental sector. Therefore, it may not apply to other types of tenancies.
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While seeking legal advice for an accelerated possession claim is not mandatory, it can be beneficial, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal process or facing complex circumstances.
This article does not apply to Wales.
Consulting with a legal professional can ensure you follow the correct procedures and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
**Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general guidance and should not be considered legal advice. For specific advice regarding your situation, consulting with a qualified legal professional is recommended.
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