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Forfeiture and Possession Proceedings

Forfeiture is the ultimate remedy available to a landlord when there are unresolved breaches of lease. If a leaseholder fails to pay rent or service charges the landlord may be able to bring the lease to an end. We have extensive experience of forfeiture proceedings, if you are a landlord contemplating whether to forfeit a lease, or a tenant who has received a Section 146 Notice, contact Kerry Coleman today for an initial fixed fee consultation.

Landlords of residential tenancies must obtain an order for possession before they can evict a tenant. Before possession proceedings are issued, the relevant notice must be served upon the tenant.  In most cases, a residential tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy, governed by the Housing Act 1988 and possession can be recovered in two ways, the section 8 procedure or the section 21 procedure.

 

Section 8 Notices

A section 8 notice is served by a landlord where there has been an element of fault by the tenant, and can be served during the fixed term of the tenancy. Ordinarily this relates to non-payment or late payment of rent but it can also involve unreasonable behaviour. Only 7 or 14 days notice needs to be given.

 

Section 21 Notices

A landlord is entitled to serve a 2 month notice upon a tenant after the fixed term of the tenancy has expired, with no element of fault by the tenant. New rules came into force on 1st October 2015 concerning when a section 21 notice can be served.

If a tenant has not vacated by the expiry of the notice, possession proceedings will need to be sent to Court to be issued and served. If the Court grants the landlord a possession order, this usually requires the tenant to vacate within 14 days of the court hearing (although if accelerated possession proceedings are issued, no hearing is usually required).  In some circumstances the date of possession can be extended by the Court to six weeks if exceptional hardship would be caused to the tenant.

If the tenant has still not vacated by the date that possession is ordered by the Court a warrant of eviction will be required, a warrant will result in the bailiff attending and lawfully removing the tenant from the premises. Attached herewith is a breakdown of the steps required in order to obtain a warrant of possession. 

Review out accelerated possession proceedings flowchart here.

For an initial no obligation discussion with a service dispute specialist please contact Tony Wilson.