Landlords - gaining possession of your property

To gain possession of their rented property, a landlord has to follow certain legal procedures: 

  • Serve a legally correct Notice Seeking Possession (either section 21 or section 8 Housing Act 1988)
  • Wait for the notice period to expire i.e. the date on the notice to pass
  • If the tenant has not vacated the property after this date, apply to the County Court to gain a Possession Order
  • If the tenant does not leave by the date required on the possession order, return to court and apply for a Warrant of Execution whereby bailiffs will be appointed to remove the tenant 

A landlord cannot make a tenant leave by intimidation, violence, withholding services such as gas or electricity or denying access by changing the locks. This is illegal.

The GOV.UK website has full information on the process of evicting tenants.

Retaliatory eviction

You cannot evict your tenants unfairly, if they have made a genuine complaint about you. This is known as retaliatory eviction. You cannot evict a tenant for six months if all the following conditions have been met:

  • Your tenant has made a genuine complaint about their property which you have not addressed
  • The complaint has been verified by us
  • We have served either an improvement notice or a notice of emergency remedial action