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The benefit of using specialists to handle tenant evictions

Posted 24/05/2024 by Reeds Rains
Categories: Landlords/Lettings
Meeting with a specialist

As it currently stands in England, if you want to legally require a tenant to leave your property and the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) you have two options:

  • Serving a section 21 notice, using the government’s Form 6a. This gives the tenant a minimum of two months’ notice to leave and can be served any time after the initial four months of the tenancy, as long as the notice period expires after any fixed term has ended. With a section 21, you don’t have to state a reason for the eviction. If they refuse to leave, you can put in an online accelerated possession claim, which is cheaper and quicker than going through the physical courts, and (assuming you didn’t make any mistakes – see below), the tenant has no recourse.
  • Serving a section 8 notice, using the government’s Form 3. This is where the tenant has breached the terms of their tenancy agreement, or you have another legally valid reason for wanting to regain possession of the property. You must state the ground(s) for the eviction and the minimum notice period will depend on the ground.

Note that the tenancy does not end simply because you serve a section 8 or section 21 notice; it ends either when the tenant vacates or a Court Order for possession is made. 

With both a section 21 and a section 8, there is a specific legal process that has to be followed, and you also need to understand what might prevent the eviction being legally valid.

For example, if you haven’t provided the tenant with a copy of the current gas safety certificate or have failed to make necessary repairs to the property, any section 21 notice served will not be enforceable. (These are just two of a number of prerequisites for using section 21.)

Making a mistake at any point in the process can mean it will take much longer to regain possession of your property or may result in a judge throwing out your case and making a costs order in your tenant’s favour!

During this time, you might have a tricky tenant living in your property and not paying any rent. So, while you can implement the eviction process yourself, there are many steps, so it is well worth using an specialist eviction company or having an experienced letting agent like Reeds Rains that can handle it on your behalf.

Although there will be a cost to using third-party services, it gives you peace of mind that the eviction is being handled by professionals.

Because they are experienced in evictions, you’re likely to regain possession and be able to re-let the property more quickly than if you undertake this unfamiliar legal process yourself.

Just make sure that any company you do use is properly regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are familiar with this type of work.

What changes are there likely to be now that an election has been announced? 

On Wednesday 26th May, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that there would be a general election on 4th July 2024. This was a real surprise, as most people had expected it wouldn’t be until November or even early December.

Once an election is announced, this triggers a 'wash up', which means that some bills are rushed through and some are abandoned.

So far, the big news for the property sector is that the Leasehold and Freehold Bill has been rushed through, but the much anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill has been abandoned.

Despite this, whoever gets into power is likely to resurrect it fairly quickly, as all the major parties have committed to getting rid of Section 21.

In addition, the Finance Bill has been passed, which is important as it implements new measures from March's budget, which you can find in our recent Spring Budget article.

Timing-wise, once a new government has been formed, it will take a month or two for ministers to be briefed fully, although items deemed urgent may be announced or actioned sooner.

Meanwhile, we are likely to learn a lot more about each political party's housing policies over the coming weeks and will cover everything we know in our next few newsletters. 

You might also be interested in our articles, ‘How to legally evict a tenant in the UK’ and ‘Notice periods and evictions around the UK’.


If you’d like to chat about any aspect of evicting a tenant, just contact our lettings experts. You can find the details for your local team here.

Are you achieving the best monthly yield on your rental property? To find out, book a free no-obligation lettings consultation.

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