In today’s housing market where more people than ever are renting, it is important to know your rights as a tenant, particularly when it comes to your rights against being evicted. Richard Lyne, solicitor, takes a look at when and how a landlord can evict a tenant.
A landlord may not forcibly evict you without an order from the Court authorising them to do so. The landlord will first need to obtain a Possession Order, which will provide a date by which the tenant is to provide possession of the property to the landlord. If the tenant fails to provide possession of the property by this date, the landlord will need to apply to the Court for a Warrant of Possession. The Court will then set a date upon which the Court appointed bailiffs and the police if necessary, will attend the property to forcibly evict the tenant.
The right of the landlord to evict a tenant will be dependent upon the type of tenancy the tenant holds. The most common form of tenancy is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”). In an AST the landlord may not evict a tenant until the term of the tenancy has expired, unless there is a break clause in the tenancy agreement allowing either party to terminate the tenancy prior to the end of the term. If a tenant remains in occupation of a property after the term has expired and the landlord has served a valid Section 21 Notice on the tenant in addition to providing all the requisite documentation to the tenants at the start of the tenancy, the landlord may then apply for a Possession Order.
A landlord may apply for a Possession Order prior to the end of the term if the conduct of the tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement and sufficiently serious. If the tenant for example fails to pay the rent to the landlord for two months’, the landlord may seek a Possession Order and may also seek an order to recover the rent arrears. The landlord will need to prove to the Court at a hearing that the tenant has been in breach of the tenancy agreement and that the landlord is entitled to possession of the property as a result of the same.
If you are having difficulties with your landlord or are subject to possession proceedings when renting a property, we can help. Call Richard Lyne on 0208 549 5186.