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Landlord & Tenant Disputes - Evicting Tenants in England & Wales

03 July 2020

Adam Haffenden


The ideal scenario for a landlord who owns a buy-to-let property is to have long-term and reliable tenants who pay their rent when it falls due. Most tenants fit this description and are considerate of their landlord and neighbours. Unfortunately, sometimes the landlord and tenant relationship can break down and the landlord is left with no other choice but to evict the tenant(s) from the property. 

To remove troublesome tenants if they fail to leave of their own accord, the landlord must bring possession proceedings against them. In order to evict tenants who are troublesome or uncooperative, or those who have outstayed their welcome,  the correct notice needs to be served, depending on how the tenant occupies the property, and then the landlord will start  proceedings to recover possession of the property and any money due.

Once the tenant has been removed from the property, monies held under a Deposit Protection Scheme will be recovered. Also, where there is a shortfall in the monies owed to the landlord, the enforcement action that can be taken against the tenant to recover any shortfall.

Before any Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is entered into, the landlord needs to ensure that the contract is robust in respect of the tenant’s obligations. This will insist on the condition of the property being maintained and that, in the event of the tenant breaching their obligations, there are options available to quickly and efficiently remedy them.

All landlords must follow the correct legal process for gaining possession of their property. In most cases the landlord will need to serve a valid notice on the tenant before seeking an order for possession in the County Court. 

The Solicitors in our Dispute Resolution team have expertise in all aspects of possession claims, including:

• The giving of a S.21 or S.8 notice to the tenant pursuant to the Housing Act 1988 to pay any rent arrears and vacate the property

• The requirements for a valid notice, including (where applicable) the registration of tenants’ deposits

• Possession claims, including those brought under the accelerated possession procedure

• Possession proceedings that fall outside the accelerated possession procedure

• Defences and counterclaims which may be brought by tenants

• Bailiffs’ warrants and applications by tenants to stay an eviction.

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 provides that, in most circumstances, a tenant cannot be removed from residential premises unless they move out voluntarily or you obtain a possession order from the Court.

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Adam Haffenden

Senior Associate and Head of Dispute Resolution/Litigation