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I’ve served an eviction notice on my tenants – so why haven’t they gone?

People Entering HouseThis is a common cry from landlords. The eviction notice has been served. Why HAVEN’T they gone?

Well there could be a number of reasons. Here are three:

1. They may want to be re-housed by their local authority.

Here the LA will tell them that they MUST remain where they are otherwise they will lose their right to be re-housed. This is probably the most common reason and the one which causes the most angst.

Assuming they qualify for it, the LA will rehouse them eventually but only after the Court Order has been obtained, and sometimes only after a bailiffs appointment has been arranged.

2. They have been advised that your notice is invalid.

You need to take care when drafting your possession notices. In most cases a Judge will not make a possession order if the paperwork is wrong.

3. They have been advised that they don’t need to leave.

Legally, a tenant is entitled to stay in the property until the bailiffs come and physically evict him after a possession order has been made by the court.

A possession notice is just the first stage in the procedure. If they go, well and good. But they don’t have to. And if you put pressure on them to do so, that is harassment which is a criminal offence.

What do you need to do to make them go?

You need to get a Court order for possession from the local County Court.

If it looks as if your tenant is not going to move out voluntarily you also need to get started on this as soon as you can, as it may take up to six months or more to complete the procedure.

The procedure is reasonably straightforward but you need to be careful. If you can’t afford to instruct solicitors, your best best option will be to sign up to our DIY Eviction Guide.

You can read about this >> here.

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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One Response to I’ve served an eviction notice on my tenants – so why haven’t they gone?

  1. What amazes me is the despicable practice of local Councils to tell tenants they will not be rehomed until things have gone to Court.

    The tenant then has to pay legal fees of the Landlord or if the Landlord does not get the legal paperwork right they risk huge legal costs.

    It would be better if they started the rehoming process on presentation of a recently dated Section 21 notice and perhaps a confirmation with the Landlord.

    Of course it would help if they also opened up the arcane bidding process for social housing so that tenants did not have to wait weeks.

    A well designed computer system could easily allocate properties they have indicated acceptable (usually limited to a few every couple of weeks), right now in the period of a section 21 they have 4 shots.

    Like many things public sector, if you ran a business like this, it would go bust.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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