Is accelerated the same as fast?
Many people on learning that there is a procedure for possession which is called acclerated just think that it is a possession procedure which is really, really quick. Perhaps one which can get the tenant out in a few days.
Sadly (for landlords) this is not the case.
You can only get the tenant out really quickly in extreme circumstances and if you are able to afford a solicitor and barrister to apply to court for an injunction. If the Judge thinks the circumstances of your case warrants an injunction (which he may not).
So what is it then?
It is a special procedure for evicting tenants under the ‘no fault’ ground in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which can be used by landlords of assured shorthold tenancies.
It is, in most cases, slightly faster than the ‘normal’ procedure, as there is normally no court hearing.
Essential elements of an accelerated possession procedure claim:
- The tenancy must be an assured shorthold tenancy
- You must have served a section 21 notice (minimum notice period is two months)
- If your tenant paid a deposit, this must be protected with a government authorised scheme before the section 21 notice is served or the notice will be invalid
- The notice period must have expired before you can issue proceedings
- The notice period cannot expire before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy, so this means that the earliest day you can start the claim is the first day after the fixed term ends
- You cannot use the procedure unless you have a tenancy agreement (if you don’t have a tenancy agreement you can still use section 21 as a ground for possession, you just can’t use this special procedure)
- You have to use a special court form (N5b) and all supporting paperwork must be submitted to the court at the time you make your application
- This means that you cannot use the possession claims online procedure
- You can ONLY apply for possession using this procedure. If you want to get a CCJ for rent arrears you will have to start a separate claim
- If your paperwork is correct, then the tenant will have no defence and the Judge will make possession order without a court hearing
If at all possible I recommend this procedure for landlords, as it is more straightforwardd and there is less to go wrong. But if you are inexperienced in possession claims you should get some advice first as it is easy to go wrong without realising.
You will find more information about section 21 elsewhere on this blog. Landlords wanting to act in person should check out my do it yourself eviction kit.