Evicting a Tenant under an AST for Rent Arrears
Once the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) has expired a landlord can relatively easily obtain possession using “no fault” or “accelerated” possession procedure under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
However, during the fixed term of a tenancy it is more difficult for a landlord to remove a tenant from the property. The landlord must use the “standard” possession procedure which requires the landlord to prove one of the “grounds for possession” set out in the Housing Act. A common reason to seek possession is because there are arrears of rent.
We have added a new suite of documents to our Property portfolio to help landlords use the standard procedure to evict tenants who have rent arrears.
Overview of Standard Possession Procedure
The landlord must first serve a Notice Seeking Possession (known as a Section 8 Notice), giving the tenant notice to leave the property and setting out the grounds on which possession is sought.
If the tenant does not leave the property, the next step is for the landlord to seek a Possession Order from the court.
If there is a prospect of the tenant being able to pay off the arrears, the court may make a Suspended or Postponed Possession Order, rather than an Outright Order that requires the tenant to leave immediately.
If a Possession Order is made and the tenant still refuses to leave the property, the landlord can ask the court to authorise bailiffs to evict the tenant. The landlord can also take enforcement action to obtain payment of the arrears.
New Guidance Notes and Template Documents
Our new Standard Possession Proceedings subfolder contains Guidance Notes and template Forms, Notices and Letters to help landlords recover possession of property. The Guidance Notes take landlords through each stage of the procedure, signposting the documents the landlord will need for each step.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.