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Residential property repossessions

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Expert legal advice for landlords

Residential landlords can face many challenges with tenants that often lead to them feeling like there is no other option but eviction and repossession of their property. Often landlords will face disputes with tenants over issues such as non-payments of rent, breach of contracts or arguments over repairs and condition.

While some problems can be solved amicably others can escalate and legal help is then needed. However, it is vital that landlords ensure they follow the correct procedure for eviction, as the courts tend not to look favourably on landlords who don’t follow the rules and they could find themselves in trouble.

The rules regarding repossession and eviction are complex but our experienced dispute resolution solicitors can assist and can advise you on the best actions to take.

Call one of our expert solicitors today for advice on starting possession proceedings

The steps of repossession

It is a criminal offence for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order or harass them until they leave. To make an eviction lawful, there are several steps that must be followed.

  • Serve the tenant with the appropriate Notice – A court order called a Section 8 Notice will need to be obtained under the Housing Act 1988. This notice must be correctly drafted and served, otherwise it is likely to be invalid, therefore the advice of an experienced solicitor is vital. The Section 8 notice provides the tenant with 14 days to respond. If no response is received the landlord may apply for a hearing at a County Court.
  • Court hearing – In court, the tenant will have an opportunity to put in a defence to the claim as to why they aren’t vacating prior to the possession hearing. However, If the paperwork is in order, and depending on the grounds for possession, it’s unlikely the tenant will be able to defend the possession proceedings. It usually takes around 14 days for the court to grant possession of a property.
  • The tenant is required to leave – Following court, a repossession order will likely have been granted meaning that the tenant will be required to vacate the premises. If they do not, then the landlord should seek further legal advice and may need to instruct bailiffs to carry out an eviction .

What can Myers & Co help with?

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, our specialist solicitors have helped resolve a wide range of disputes. Some main issues that we deal with are:

  • The grounds on which you can seek a possession order entitling you to carry out an eviction
  • The notice period you need to provide to the tenant in order to comply with the current rules
  • The form of notice you must give, which will depend on the grounds for possession and the type of tenancy
  • The information to gather in support of your application, which will include an up-to-date rent account for the last two years where possession is sought due to rent arrears
  • The process you will need to go through to achieve eviction in the event the tenant refuses to leave on a voluntary basis
  • Whether it might be helpful for you and your tenant to attend an independent mediation which, if successful, could negate the need for a possession order to be made
  • How long you are likely to have to wait for the court to make a possession order, where required
  • Whether there is anything you can do to speed up the eviction process once an order for possession has been made, including transferring the case from the County Court to the High Court to avoid having to wait for a bailiff to become available to assist.

For further advice call us on 01782 577000 or email one of our dispute resolution team members directly.

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Sarah Everton from Employment Law team

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