How To Evict A Tenant Without Going To Court
If you want to evict a tenant, and you don’t want to go to court to do it, then you have a couple of options.
I get asked by landlords all the time how they can get their tenants out without having to attend an eviction hearing at court.
There is a way that is:
- Quicker than applying for a court hearing;
- Cheaper than applying for a court hearing;
- Easier than applying for a court hearing; and
- Removes all of the adversity of attending a court hearing.
How you go about this depends on the stage that you’ve already reached in trying to remove your tenant.
***PLEASE NOTE*** Temporary legislation is in place during the COVID-19 pandemic which may affect the ability to use one or more of the options below and/or the notice periods that you are required to use.
Have you served notice already?
And if you have, which notice have you served?
If you’ve served a section 8 notice because the tenant hasn’t been paying the rent (or for some other reason), the bad news is that at this stage you can’t evict your tenant without going to court.
If your tenant hasn’t been paying the rent, then serving a section 8 notice might be a good option as the tenant may leave when it expires (to avoid being taken to court). They don’t have to though, and if they don’t go, and you don’t want to go to court (which presumably you don’t as you’ve found your way to this post) then you’re back to square one.
What about a section 21 notice? If the right to serve one has arisen, this might be the best option for you as it will give you two chances to get the tenant out.
Will They Leave Voluntarily
The first is voluntarily on expiry of the notice, two months later. Statistically, most tenants leave without a fuss on or before the expiry date in a landlord’s section 21 notice.
If you serve one, you’ve got a good chance of getting your tenant out without the need to go to court.
If you serve a section 21 notice and your tenant refuses to leave on expiry, the second chance to evict them arises straight away.
The Accelerated Procedure
Assuming that you satisfy a few prerequisites, following expiry of your section 21 notice, if your tenant doesn’t go you can then apply to court via the “accelerated procedure” to get a possession order to evict your tenant.
Now, I can hear you saying “but I want to know how to evict my tenant without going to court”.
Well the accelerated procedure allows you to do just that. You don’t have to go anywhere.
It’s an entirely paper-based exercise. There is no court hearing.
No Court Hearing
What that means is that, unless your application for possession is defended by the tenant (which is unlikely) your claim is dealt with entirely by the judge and the court staff behind closed doors.
If they’re happy with your paperwork they should rubber-stamp it and grant your possession order without you or your tenant having to step anywhere near a courtroom.
You can see how this can be cheaper and quicker, without the need to instruct an advocate, or to wait for a court hearing date to become available.
A further benefit is the greater certainty that the accelerated procedure provides over the section 8 route.
When you go to court to evict a tenant for not paying its rent, you can get all the way to the hearing to find that the tenant has paid off some of the arrears (usually just enough), in which case the court won’t grant an order to evict them and you’ll be stuck with a bad tenant.
Alternatively, they may turn up and deny being in arrears, or receiving your notice.
The accelerated procedure takes away all of this uncertainty.
That is because it’s essentially a box-ticking exercise.
You’ve Got To Get It Right
As I’ve said above, if the court is happy with your paperwork, you’ll get your order, and the tenant won’t get the chance to be a problem.
But the courts are reluctant to evict anyone unless the application is correct. So you’ve got to get it right.
Any errors and you might find that you have to start the process all over again.
Evicting A Tenant Without Going To Court When There Are Arrears
In many cases it’s preferable to wait a bit longer to use the accelerated procedure (and put chasing the arrears on hold) than to go to court to try to evict the tenant at a hearing.
If you’ve got a bad tenant you’re probably not going to recover the outstanding rent anyway, so getting a quick possession order to get your property back using the accelerated procedure, whilst avoiding the animosity, of the courtroom often makes sense.
Evict A Tenant Without Going To Court
I deal with these applications for landlords all the time, and I can help with serving section 21 notice if you haven’t done that already.
Give me a call if you’d like a hand with this. I’d be happy to have a chat about it with you.
Get In Touch
You can call me now on 020 7842 1452
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’ll then get in touch as soon as I can for a chat about your legal rights and options.
There’s no cost or obligation.