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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a landlord of residential property and have a tenant who

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I am a landlord of residential property and have a tenant who stopped paying rent seven weeks ago. I wish to evict her as soon as possible, how can I do it? We both signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement on 23rd September 2011. The agreement says that I can take possession of the flat after three weeks of non payment, with a court order. How long should that take and what might happen if I take back possession without a court order?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your question.

Under the housing act legislation a landlord can only evict a tenant earlier than the expiry of the fixed term of the tenancy in certain ways

IN the case of rent arrears a landlord may only serve a notice under this ground once the tenant is in two months arrears with their rent (if they pay their rent monthly). If you tenant is two months in arrears already then you must serve a s8 notice citing ground 8. If the tenant is not yet two months in arrears then you must wait until they are. The notice period for this is two weeks.

You would then have to apply to Court for a court order for possession after the notice has expired. If you change the locks and take back possession without a court order you will be illegally evicting the tenant and she will sue you and be successful

There are notes on the above available here:-

There are lots of online providers for the standard form of s8 notice for rent arrears. A simple google search will reveal them and they have notes on how you should serving them (as does the above link) - this is very important because you must be able to prove to the Court that the tenant received it.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How can you be sure she will sue? She can't pay the rent so I doubt she can pay for a court case. She agreed to pay weekly and the tenancy contract is a standard agreement and states a three week arrears is sufficient for me to regain possession. The agreement was published by "Law Pack Publishing". Can you explain the difference?
The last time I used this site I understood I should press "Accept Answer" when I was satisfied with it. Has this changed so that I now pay for your time? Do I now pay per question?
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



Unless you served a notice stating it was not to be one, the tenancy will be an assured shorthold tenancy.

This means you can only regain possession under the HOusing Act legislation. To do this you must serve notice in the way I described above.

Any provisions in a tenancy agreement that conflict with the housing act are automatically invlaid.

I was not stating that she would sue, only that she could. If she took advice from a solicitor they would probably be willing to act on a no win no fee basis and therefore the chances of her issuing are higher. You should not take possession without a court order. It's illegal.


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Kind regards,


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