As a landlord, there is unfortunately the chance that at some stage you may have to evict a tenant. It is therefore crucial that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities regarding the eviction process.
The type of notice that you are allowed to serve will vary, depending on the type of tenancy agreement that you have. The most common type of tenancy agreement is a Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), so for these types of agreements, the typical form to serve is a Section 21 notice. A Section 21 notice is used when a landlord needs a tenant to vacate their rented property
by a certain date. It is part of the Housing Act 1988, as amended by the Housing Act 1996.
You can use a Section 21 notice if your tenant has an AST and you have placed any deposit received in one of the three Government-approved protection schemes.
A Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least two months’ notice and has to be delivered in writing. If the AST started before 1st October 2015, you can legally serve a Section 21 at any period during the tenancy. This notice, however, must expire on or after the conclusion of the fixed term. For tenancies starting after 1st October 2015, you must wait for four months until you can legally serve a Section 21 notice. Should your tenant sign a new contract to renew their tenancy, you are able to serve a Section 21 at any time.
If your tenant refuses to leave your property after the two-month notice period, you can then apply to the court for a possession order. Providing that you have followed the right processes throughout, this usually takes up to six months. If the court rules that you have grounds for possession, it will give you a date that the tenant must vacate your property by. If this deadline isn’t met, you can then employ a bailiff to evict them.
As with any legal process, is it important that you get expert advice before starting the Section 21 process.