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The Tenant Wont Move Out

What should a landlord do if a tenant won’t move out?

This is a common problem for a landlord. The refusal to move out often comes with a tenant not paying the rent. It can be infuriating but whatever happens a landlord needs to resist the temptation of taking the law into their own hands.  If a landlord does, they will almost certainly face charges of harassment.

If a tenant refuses to leave the rental property then a landlord must always follow correct procedures to evict a tenant legally, otherwise the situation could become increasingly drawn out and costly.

Serving notice on a tenant

To start the process of removing a tenant the correct notice needs to be served. This will officially record that a landlord wishes the tenant to move out.

There are two types of notices a landlord can use. One is for fault based possession using a Section 8 Notice,  the other is for non–fault based possession using a Section 21 Notice – a so called accelerated possession procedure.  Be advised that accelerated doesn’t mean quick, but it does give the landlord the certainty that the court will ultimately grant a possession order without having to prove a fault with the tenancy.

Going to court to get your tenants out

Once your notice period has expired the next stage is for the landlord to apply to the courts for possession.  The form needed is a N5B Claim For Possession of Property.

We have written a guide about filling in a N5B form.  There is a fee of a £280 to apply to the court for the possession order so if a landlord can get the tenant to leave voluntarily at this point it will save this cost and work, however the fee is reclaimable from the tenant if a landlord is successful in obtaining the order.

Once a landlord has been granted an order for possession by the court it may be enough to persuade the tenant to get out.  The likelihood is that a tenant won’t move out, figuring instead that they may as well sit it out until they are evicted.

The final stage of getting your tenant out

The final act to get your tenant out requires the landlord to complete a N325 form requesting the court for a warrant for possession of land – more specifically the ‘rental property’.  This will get the court to instruct a baliff who will then legally get the tenant out.

How long does it take to get a tenant out?

The process can feel drawn out. The typical timetable for getting a tenant out using a Section 21 Notice is 3 – 5 months, from first issuing the Section 21 Notice to the likely date when the baliff finally removes the tenant from the rental property.

More help with getting a tenant out?

If you do have question about getting your tenant out of your rental property legally then sign up for our landlord legal forum and post your question to get free advice.

One Comment

My tenants have defended a section 21 accelerated possesion claim. No ground of a valid defence was given according to my solicitor. The section 21 has all the relavant paperwork required, and has been checked. Judge has ordered a directional hearing !!!.
Anyone have any ideas as to why that could be?

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