Landlords: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Possession Proceedings

There can be several reasons why a landlord would want to recover possession of a property from a residential tenant. Commonly these are (a) Landlord wants to sell the property (b) Tenant is in arrears of rent (c) Tenant is in breach of other terms in the tenancy agreement, such as allowing the property to fall into disrepair, causing damage, or moving someone else into the property without permission. Frustratingly for landlords you can’t simply gain possession by re-entering the property and changing the locks without incurring civil and criminal liability. Typically a landlord must follow the following steps to secure possession of a property:

  1. Serving notice on the tenant that possession is required;
  2. Issuing a claim for possession in the county court;
  3. Obtain judgment for possession; and
  4. Recover possession after judgment.

The law in this area favours the tenant and it is worth bearing this in mind at every stage of the process of seeking possession: if you do not act in accordance with the law at each stage. You risk having possession proceedings struck out and potentially find yourself liable to pay compensation to the tenant and face a fine and/or imprisonment. It can be a costly and frustratingly long exercise if you get it wrong. Freedman Alexander LLP is a pro-active and modern forward thinking and firm of solicitors with a wealth of experience in eviction and other tenant- related problems.

We act for numerous landlords and several estate agents and letting agents. We believes in getting the job done and the importance of communication with the client through each stage of the process. We can swiftly identify the issues and the necessary and appropriate action.

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