Tenancy disputes can be difficult to deal with, so getting the right legal advice is essential for any landlord considering taking legal action against their tenants.
Jarmans Solicitors have the specialist knowledge that you need to help you navigate tenancy disputes, landlord responsibilities, and tenancies.
Drawing up a lease
Ensuring that you have a well drafted lease in place can help to protect against potential tenancy disputes. We always recommend that you get legal advice when creating any legally binding documents, particularly if they relate to a significant investment like property. The majority of residential leases in the UK are known as Assured Shorthold Tenancies, which require a minimum lease term of 6 months.
Assistance in recovering possession of your property
Tenants are covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This means that landlords are unable to enter a property that they have leased and carry out an eviction without first obtaining an Order for Possession from a court. However, Landlords cannot force entry based on the Order of Possession without an appointment with either the County Court Bailiff under a warrant of possession or a High Court Enforcement Officer under a writ.
If a lease term has expired a landlord can first request possession through a Notice Requiring Possession and the tenant should be given two months’ notice.
If the tenancy began on or after 1st October 2015, notice of possession cannot be given until the tenant has been provided with certain information which includes a Gas Safety Certificate, an Energy Performance Certificate, the Government How to Rent Booklet, and details of the rent deposit scheme where their deposit is retained/and or protected. This is why it’s important to obtain legal advice when drawing up a lease.
If you have given a Notice Requiring Possession and your tenant hasn’t responded, you will need to ask a county court local to the property to issue an Order for Possession. This can be a lengthy process as you are required to submit an application to the court and then await a date for a Possession Hearing. You will also be required to attend the hearing. A standard Order for Possession is 14 days, but be aware that the Court can postpone the date for possession by up to 42 days if it believes that vacating your property within 14 days will cause “excessive hardship”.
At this stage we also recommend that you consider enforcement of the order and that a request is made for permission to transfer your claim to the High Court to ensure that you are able to pursue an effective method of enforcing your Order.
If your tenant still fails to vacate your property, the Order for Possession then becomes enforceable through a Warrant of Possession in the County Court or by a Writ of Possession in the High Court. Landlords must apply for these before they can regain possession of their property.
Leasing out a property and regaining possession of it can be a complex, and sometimes bewildering, process which is why Jarmans always recommend obtaining good, experienced legal advice.
If you are considering leasing out a property or are in a dispute with your tenants, contact our litigation team today.
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