There are different types of notices that can be served on your tenant. The most common are:
1. Section 8 notice – a notice that tells the tenant he/she has 14 days to pay his rent.
2. Section 21 notice – this is a two month notice that tells the tenant you are ending the tenancy agreement. It is a "No fault" notice.
It is advisable to serve all Notices by hand. If this isn’t possible then they can be served by first class post.
Normally it will take 4 – 6 weeks to get to Court. However this can vary from court to court.
This depends on what type of notice was served and what action the tenant has taken.
1. If a Section 21 Notice is served and the tenant remains in the property when the notice expires, then we would need to take legal action through the court. This usually doesn’t require attendance at court, although occasionally a hearing date may be set, especially if the tenant has submitted a defence or the Judge is not satisfied that the paperwork is in order.
2. If a Section 8 Notice is served and the tenant remains in the property when the notice expires then we would need to take legal action through the court. This will require a hearing in the court and either you or your representative will need to attend.
The tenant should leave by the date set by the court (usually 14 days). If they do not leave you will need to apply for a bailiffs warrant.
It can take up to 4 – 6 weeks to get a bailiff to the property.
The bailiff will attend at the time and date that is on the Notice of Appointment with the Bailiff. You will need to arrange for a locksmith to attend and either you or your representative needs to be there. The bailiff will ascertain if anyone is home and ensure that they leave the property.
If the tenant is not at home then the bailiff with instruct the locksmith to change the locks. Once entry has been gained the bailiff will enter the property and once he is assured that there is no one in the property, he will give the possession of the property back to the landlord or his representative.
It is very rare that the tenants refuse to leave when the bailiff turns up. However if that happens then the bailiff will call the police who will enforce the terms of the warrant.
Since 1st October 2015 a written tenancy agreement is required.
If the tenancy began prior to October 2015, it was not a legal requirement to have a written tenancy, however the fact that there isn't a written tenancy agreement does not affect a tenant’s statutory legal rights, in fact, nor does it lesson the landlords legal rights. Both parties are still protected by statutory/common law.
You should not assume that the tenant has left the property. The law is quite liberal in its interpretation of whether people have or have not moved out where belongings are left in the property. To be safe, if you have any doubts that the tenant has not moved out you should obtain a court order before entering the property and taking possession. There is a risk that the tenant may make a claim against you for (alleged) missing items which were (allegedly) removed by you and may claim unrealistic value of the items.