How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant?

by | Jun 16 2021 | Landlord & Tenant

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By Alex Ashcroft
Alex heads up LGBT Lawyers' web design and writes about LGBT legal issues in his spare time. While not part of the LGBT community himself, Alex is an avid supporter of LGBT rights. With interests in politics and connections in Brighton's LGBT music scene, Alex brings another valuable perspective to LGBT life.

How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant? | Read Time 2-4 Minutes.

How long does it take to evict a tenant - LGBT Lawyers

What happens after an eviction notice has been served on tenants?

Suppose everything goes swimmingly. You serve your section 8/21 notice, giving the tenants sufficient time to leave the property. The tenants voluntarily leave by the date specified in the notice without making a fuss. If this is the case, you can expect the eviction process to take between 14 days and 2 months. 

If you have grounds to evict your tenant under a section 8 notice, the notice periods can vary. This is because each ground under the section 8 notice has different required notice periods. For example, if your tenant is in serious rent arrears (4 months without payment), the notice period is 4 weeks. If you serve a section 21 notice during a fixed term, the required notice period is 2 months. 

For more information on eviction notices, please see our section 8 and section 21 blogs. 

What happens if a tenant ignores the notice? 

Be aware that it is not common for a tenant to leave after serving a section 8 notice based on severe rent arrears. Typically, this is because the tenant does not have sufficient funds to move out and pay a deposit on a new property. 

If your tenant is to ignore the notice served (whether it be section 21 or 8), then you will need to make an application to the court for a possession order. 

It is vital to use a lawyer when making a possession order to help with drafting and issuing proceedings at court. Generally, after applying to the court, it will take between 6-8 weeks for the judge to grant a possession order under either a section 8 or section 21. 

What happens if the tenant ignored the possession order? 

In most cases, if the tenant has refused to leave the property after the first notice, they will ignore the 14-day possession order. Unfortunately, if this happens, it will mean that you will have to go to the final step of eviction. 

The final step of evicting a tenant, if you have exhausted all other avenues, is to make an application for an eviction date with the County Court Bailiff. This can take between 5-10 weeks. However, the waiting time for court dates regarding eviction has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, if your court application is based on either section 8 or 21, and you have followed the previous steps, you can expect it to take anywhere between 5-7 months to evict a tenant.

What causes delays in the eviction process? 

Executing procedures within the eviction process correctly is vital to minimise the time it takes to evict a tenant. Most commonly, mistakes landlords make when attempting an eviction without a lawyer include: 

  1. Incorrectly serving the notice (not recording proof of delivery).
  2. Spelling mistakes. 
  3. Not securing a tenant deposit. 
  4. Issuing possession proceedings prematurely. 
  5. Using the incorrect form.
If you seek legal assistance, stay legally compliant and follow the process correctly, you will have the best chance of a speedy eviction.

Why you should never try and persuade tenants to leave through incentives. 

Despite there being no way to speed up the eviction process, you can trust that it will work. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for attempting to persuade your tenant to leave through financial incentives. 

A small minority of landlords attempt to persuade their tenant to leave with a financial incentive. For example, suppose you have a tenant who has accumulated 1-month rent arrears. You offer to revoke the 1-month rent arrears on the condition that the tenant will leave the property. After the agreement, you refund the tenant their deposit, and they remain in the property. If this is the case, not only have you lost the deposit, you have delayed the eviction process and now have to start from scratch. 

You must always seek legal assistance when evicting a tenant to ensure the procedures involved in the process are completed correctly. This will prevent you from wasting time, money and stress. 

Want to evict a tenant and need advice? 

If you do not follow the correct eviction procedure and are to unlawfully remove a tenant from a property without a court order, you can face legal consequences. To ensure a safe and fast eviction, it is best practice to use a lawyer. If you need help evicting a tenant, we can help, simply give us a quick call on 020 3795 9020. We will connect you with an expert landlord lawyer. 

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