Hello my name is Alex and I will try to help you with this matter.
You say that you have served a notice requiring possession, was this notice the type of notice that just gives a tenant 2 months to leave the property?
Assuming that you used one of this type of notice also known as a section 21 notice, and it is valid, then you can use what is know as the accelerated possession procedure.
I can not emphasise to much the importance of getting the section 21 notice correct, if it is not correct then your claim will probably be struck out and you will lose you court fee and may also have to pay your tenant's costs.
To make a claim using the accelerated possession process, you make an application to the Court on form N5b. You need to exhibit the tenancy agreement, section 21 notice and evidence that any deposit was protected (if the tenancy was made after April 2007 and a deposit was paid). There is a fee of £175 payable to the Court when you make this application.
The Court will serve the documents on your tenant. The tenant will then have the opportunity to file a defence within 14 days of the date the claim form was served.
If no defence is filed then a Judge will consider the matter on the papers (i.e without a hearing). Provided s/he is satisfied that the claim has been issued correctly then s/he has to order possession to be given up in 14 days.
If a defence is served then the matter will be listed for a hearing. The most common reason for a defence to be served is that the tenant is asking for more time to find alternative accommodation.
If a Judge is satisfied that you are entitled to possession then they only have the power to extend the period between the order and the date for possession if they are satisfied that it would cause exceptional hardship to award possession to be given up earlier. The period can only be extended to 42 days.
If your tenant wishes to defend on other grounds it is vital that you get further advice on this.
Once the date for possession has passed, if the tenant is still in the property, you will need to apply for a warrant of eviction, again there is a further fee to pay.
If you try to evict your tenants without getting the proper Court Order, even if they are nightmare tenants, you will most likely have committed criminal offence. Offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 can carry a maximum sentence of two yeas in prison and would also allow he tenants to claim compensation from you.
I hope this answers your question, if I can be of further assistance, or if you served a different type of notice on your tenant please don't hesitate to contact me.
If you are happy with my answer please remember to rate it, this is an important of the process.
What if I can't find the Tenancy Agreement, what can I do?
Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
I think you will struggle to use the accelerated possession procedure successfully. The Procedure rules say that claim 'must be accompanied by all the documents that are required by that form'. The form itself states that the tenancy agreement should be exhibited as 'A1'.
You may need to use the straight forward possession procedure on from N5. The difficulty that you ill have is proving the validity of the section 21 notice. To be valid it needs to end at the end of a tenancy period, without the tenancy agreement you will need to provide evidence of when the tenancy period ends.
Provided you are confident that you can do this. The Court form is completed and served by the Court in the same way as with the accelerated claim.
The matter will be listed for a hearing between 4 &6 weeks after the claim is issued. You need to attend this hearing, to convince he judge that you are entitled to possession. As long as you are able to do this you will get a possession order which can be enforced in the same way as with the accelerated claim.
If that answers your question then please take a few moments to rate my service as it is an important part of the process. If you need more information then please click reply. Alex