Types of eviction notices
The eviction notice timeline depends on the type of eviction notice served. The two primary notices in the UK are:
Section 21 Notice: This notice is applicable for ‘no-fault’ evictions, where landlords wish to reclaim their property after a fixed-term tenancy ends or during a periodic tenancy. The required notice period is typically two months, but this can vary based on the terms of the tenancy agreement and the tenancy’s duration.
Section 8 Notice: This notice is relevant when tenants breach the terms of the tenancy agreement. The notice periods vary from two weeks to two months, depending on the grounds for eviction cited. There are 17 grounds in total, encompassing rent arrears, breach of tenancy conditions, and anti-social behaviour.
Serving the eviction notice
Properly serving the eviction notice is a critical step in the eviction process, and it plays a significant role in determining the timeline.
Landlords can serve notices in person, by post, or via a process server. The chosen method impacts the timeline, with personal service often being the quickest option.
Ensuring there is proof of service is vital, as it provides a clear start date for the notice period. Landlords should consider obtaining a witness or using recorded delivery when serving notices.
Tenants may dispute the validity of the notice, potentially prolonging the eviction process. Ensuring the notice is correctly served helps mitigate the risk of such disputes.
Understanding notice periods
The notice period demands strict adherence from landlords to maintain legal validity. In a typical Section 21 eviction scenario, landlords are required to provide a minimum of two months’ notice to the tenant. However, this can vary if the tenancy agreement specifies a longer notice period. Landlords must note that for tenancies initiated after October 2015, serving a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the tenancy is not permissible.
When it comes to Section 8 evictions, the notice period is contingent upon the grounds for eviction cited by the landlord. Serious breaches such as rent arrears exceeding two months may necessitate as little as two weeks’ notice, whereas less severe breaches might require up to two months’ notice.
Post-notice period proceedings
Following the expiration of the notice period, landlords may find themselves needing to progress to the next legal stage to reclaim possession of their property. This involves applying to the court for a possession order, a process whose timeline can vary significantly based on the court’s workload and the case’s complexity.
Tenants have the right to challenge the eviction, potentially extending the timeline further. Landlords must ensure they have a solid legal foundation for the eviction, minimising the risk of a protracted legal battle. In instances where the tenant refuses to vacate even after the possession order is granted, landlords may need to enlist the services of bailiffs to enforce the eviction, introducing an additional layer to the timeline dependent on the bailiffs’ availability and schedule.
Factors influencing the eviction timeline
Tenant cooperation also affects the timescale of an eviction; a tenant willing to vacate voluntarily can reduce the eviction timeline. Maintaining open lines of communication and a positive relationship with tenants can foster this cooperation.
The efficiency of the local court system is another determining factor, particularly when applying for a possession order or involving bailiffs. Delays in court processing times can extend the eviction timeline.
Landlords must also ensure strict legal compliance throughout the eviction process, from serving the notice to applying for a possession order. Adherence to legal procedures helps prevent delays arising from potential legal challenges, ensuring a smoother eviction process. In order to remain compliant throughout, landlords should enlist the advice and help of eviction specialists, such as AST Assistance.
Seek advice from eviction specialists Landlords must understand the types of evictions relevant to their situation and how to follow correct procedures.
If you are a landlord wanting to begin the eviction process, contact the specialists at AST Assistance to make sure you do this correctly. Call 01706 619954 or fill out our contact form today.