Landlord Possession Claims in Stratford, London
If a landlord wishes to take possession of their property it is essential that they follow the correct procedure. We can assist with the initial notice right through to the instruction of bailiffs.
We act for landlords, property investors, and property management companies in eviction or possession actions against tenants of residential property in Stratford, London and beyond.
A landlord must obtain a court order before he can enforce a right to possession or re-entry of a residential property and so it is wise to instruct expert landlord and tenant solicitors at the earliest opportunity.
How to get possession?
It is crucial that the landlord and his legal advisers consider early on whether the landlord can get possession. A simple failure to pay a month’s rent or a breach of covenant will not of itself enable the landlord to obtain possession. If there are grounds for possession, then the landlord should consider which is the best way of getting possession quickly and cost effectively. The normal residential tenancy is an assured or assured shorthold tenancy and there are generally two main options for landlords seeking possession of property let under an assured or assured shorthold tenancy.
The section 21 route
When the tenancy has expired, the landlord may serve a notice in accordance with section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (known as a section 21 notice) upon the tenant requiring him to vacate the property on or before a specified date. Should the tenant fail to vacate the property by the date specified in the notice, then the landlord may issue legal proceedings for possession and will normally chose to do so under the Accelerated Possession Procedure. Whilst this procedure is designed to enable the landlord to obtain possession quickly upon termination of a tenancy, the landlord cannot claim any rent arrears.
The section 8 route
When a landlord seeks to obtain possession of a residential property let under an assured or assured shorthold tenancy before the end of the tenancy, then he can do so by serving upon the tenant a notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (known as a section 8 notice), setting out the grounds upon which he relies to obtain possession. The Housing Act 1988 gives 17 grounds for possession which include that the landlord is seeking to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the property, that the tenant has been a nuisance to neighbours, that the property condition has deteriorated through the tenant’s default and that there are rent arrears. The grounds are very specific and must be considered carefully.
There are risks and problems with both routes. Under the section 8 route, for instance, the court may not order possession if the tenant has settled all or most of the arrears by the time of the court hearing. The section 21 route is not as quick as the accelerated procedure might suggest and rent cannot be recovered. Therefore, it is very important to consider the options carefully.
The law relating to landlord and tenant is not straightforward and failure to comply with the law and procedure is likely to prevent the landlord from obtaining possession. For instance, possession claims often fail because the landlord has served on the tenant a defective notice. The law is very clear about what notices must say, the length of notice to be given to the tenant and the date after which legal proceedings for possession can be issued following the notice. If the landlord gets the notice wrong, the court is likely to dismiss the claim for possession and the landlord will have wasted both time and money and will need to start again.
It is vital that expert legal advice is sought at the earliest stage.
How we can help
We understand the importance of protecting a landlord’s assets and maintaining revenue streams through rent. We also understand the landlord will want possession of his property quickly and at minimal cost. We know the importance of swift and robust action. Our Landlord and Tenant team will give clear legal advice on the merits of bringing possession proceedings, which type to bring, as well as providing information about timescales and costs. They will prepare the relevant paperwork (notices and court papers, for instance) and represent the landlord in the court proceedings, to get possession of the property for the landlord as soon as possible.
Contact us to arrange an appointment to talk over your situation with an experienced solicitor in London.