The pros and cons of using accelerated possession to evict a tenant

It is wise to look at the pros and cons of choosing the accelerated possession procedure when evicting tenants. It  can be a faster option but unfortunately cannot be used in all circumstances.

scales of justice
scales of justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landlords will need to serve notice correctly and then obtain a possession order from the court before they can proceed.

To use the accelerated possession procedure, the following must apply:

  • The tenant is on an assured shorthold tenancy
  • You have given the tenants at least 2 months written notice to quit under section 21 and they have not vacated by the date specified
  • The tenant moved into the property after 15th January 1989
  • If you took a deposit, it must have been put in one of the government deposit protection schemes
  • You are not claiming rent arrears

When you apply to court for accelerated possession, the court will send your tenants a copy of the application and they will have 14 days from the date of receipt to contest it.

A judge will review the application and decide whether or not to grant the possession order without it going to a hearing. Should the tenant challenge the application, the judge may well decide that a court hearing is needed. Once that has taken place, the judge will decide on the possession order.

Should a possession order be awarded, the judge will normally give the tenants up to  28 days to leave the property.

The pros

Accelerated possession  can be a faster way of recovering your property.

The court fee for standard possession and accelerated possession is currently £355.00.

The cons

As you cannot claim for rent arrears and  should you wish to try to recover any,  you will need to either use the standard possession procedure or make a separate court claim for the arrears. If your tenants are having financial difficulties you may find there is no chance of recouping any of the monies owed!

If your tenants are on a fixed term tenancy, you cannot evict them until the fixed term has ended.  On a periodic tenancy, the procedure can only be used after the first six months have passed. So the whole notice period could be longer than two months.

If you make any mistakes with either the section 21 notice or the application to the court, your application will probably be thrown out and you would either have to ask for a hearing or start the process all over again.

It has been known for judges to give tenants up to 6 weeks to leave a property in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Enforcement

If tenants do not leave after the date provided on the possession order, you will then need to decide what action to  take to evict the tenants. You can either use the County Court bailiffs or request leave to use a High Court Enforcement Officer.

You can apply under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 for permission to transfer the possession order to the High Court for enforcement by an High Court Enforcement Officer. The best time to apply for permission is when making the initial application for the possession order.

County Court bailiffs will be cheaper however as the courts are very busy, you may find that you wait up to 6 weeks for an appointment for the eviction.

High Court Enforcement Officer’s are usually able to obtain a writ within a few days and carry out the eviction shortly after.

It is always unpleasant to evict tenants however you are running a business and not a charity. So whichever route of possession you decide upon, if you are unsure I would recommend seeking professional advice.

Until next time

 

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Bad Tamworth tenants and the law

What would happen if you wandered in Marks and Spencers  helped yourself to some lunch and walked out without paying?

Do you think you would get away scot free without paying or would one of those beefy security guards feel your collar?

You may even end up in court with a criminal record, at the very least you would be made to pay for the goods!

Even rogue landlords face hefty fines and penalties and are put on the “rogues board”.

Well did you know that tenants who decide not to pay their rent often walk away without even so much as a slap on the wrist.

Take my friend Alice, a pleasant lady who always sees the good in people. Alice has a tenant – Miss X who decided she no longer wanted to pay her rent even though she’s on a very generous salary. Miss X even thought it was all perfectly civilised to carry on living in Alice’s apartment.

So Alice couldn’t report Miss X to the police unlike M & S, instead she had a long drawn out and expensive eviction process she had to go through. To make matters worse the beloved sofa and dining suite that were part of Alice’s mothers estate disappeared with Miss X.  Alice reported her complaint to the police, missing furniture and nearly nine months rent unpaid. The response from the police “sorry, nothing we can do, this is a civil matter and not a criminal offence”,

So if you steal even as much as a bag of crisps from M & S it’s a criminal offence whereas stealing thousands from a landlord it is only a civil matter.

Landlords have no option if they want to try and get the money owed to them, they have to take their ex-tenants to Small Claims Court. Even if they succeed in getting a County Court Judgment  against the tenant, there’s no guarantee the landlord will receive any money.

According to the National Landlords Association, the past year saw 35 per cent of landlords experience rent arrears – 29 per cent had their property damaged by tenants and 13 per cent experienced anti-social behaviour.

While all this is going on, landlords still have to carry on paying the mortgage and maintaining the property while the tenant lives rent free.

Organisations, renters and their sympathisers have little or no sympathy for the supposedly   “fat cat” landlord in this position,  but let’s look at the bigger picture.

For every non-paying tenant waiting for the bailiff to arrive before they vacate, there’s a good tenant complaining about the lack of rental properties or the cost of renting has risen. Many a wronged landlord finding themselves thousands out of pocket will look to recoup any losses once they have possession of the property. So the rent is increased for the next tenant.

If the Government is keen on protecting tenants from rogue landlords, why not protect landlords from bad tenants too?

To my mind, it’s only the same as shoplifting and should be the same crime – NOT A CIVIL MATTER.

Until next week

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Houses in Multiple Occupation -Legislation Day 8

We thought it would be useful to provide a quick summary of upcoming Government legislation  for HMO’s in 2018 which will affect landlords.

Houses in Multiple Occupation and Residential Property Licensing Reforms – date to be announced

It is proposed that any property with 5 or more occupiers and all those occupiers who are not related to one another will require a HMO licence.

 

 

 

 

 

Current legislation states – there would need to be 3 storeys in addition to the 5 or more occupiers to require a licence.

I think that a minimum room size will also be introduced, watch this space…..

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

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Government Legistlation on Tamworth Landlords – Day 7

The  Deregulation Act 2015 – 1 October 2018  which is being debated in parliament could hugely improve the lives of many renters in England.

Latest news on the Homes  (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19

The House of Commons voted for the Bill to be sent to a Public Bill Committee, they will scrutinise the Bill  – date to be announced.

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What laws are changing which will affect Tamworth landlords? – Day 6

With more and more people moving into rented accommodation, the government has put into law better protection for tenants. The law also provides landlords greater clarification on their responsibilities.

Deregulation Act 2015 – 1 October 2018 – Day 6 

The provisions as outlined below that came into effect for England on 1 October 2015 will apply to all tenancies from 1 October 2018 and not just new tenancies or renewals:

  • Requirement to have given an EPC in order to serve section 21 notice
  • Requirement to have given a gas safety record in order to serve Section 21 notice (no fault)
  • Government introduced a new standard form that landlords must use when evicting a tenant under the ‘no fault’ (section 21) procedure (form 6A)
  • No longer need to expire section 21 “after last day of a period”
  • Section 21 cannot be served for first four months and can no longer be used from six months after service
  • Apportioned rent rules after service of section 21 notice
  • Retaliatory eviction provisions

Note that the providing of the How to Rent Guide is excluded from the list and is not required for tenancies before 1 October 2015 unless renewed after.

 

Confused ?

confused
confused

 

Call us at Hall and Thompson (01827 425195) – Tamworth  if you’d like some extra  information on letting your property. Thanks

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Government Legislation for Tamworth Landlords – Day 5

In December 2015 the process of agreeing a new set of legislation ensuring the rights of EU residents  was completed. This was approved in 2016 and becomes enforceable on the 25th May 2018.

So to make it clear, significant changes are being made to the Data Protection rules.

GDPR

Day 5 – General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

This new legislation is designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data.

The changes will require you to audit what information about people you hold, what you do with it and how long it is retained.

Any processing of data based upon consent will significantly change and any consents obtained will need to be granular and opt-in.

What is “Personal Data”?

“Personal data” is defined in both the Directive and the GDPR as any information relating to an person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, economic, cultural or social identity of that person.

So in many cases online identifiers including IP address, cookies and so forth will now be regarded as personal data if they can be (or are capable of being) without undue effort linked back to the data subject.

To be clear there is no distinction between personal data about individuals in their private, public or work roles – the person is the person.

This new legislation is a minefield so I would recommend Landlords start to look at the data they hold.

More information can can be found on the Information Commissioners Office website

 https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

 

Take a look at our other online resources, below.

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Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Tamworth Property News.  https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

 

Amendment to Tamworth Landlords Regulations – Day 4

From 1st  or 6th April 2018 (conflicting dates  information) there is some good news for landlords.

gas man

Day 4 –  Gas Safety (installation and use)

A landlord will be able to have a gas safety record completed up to 2 months before the gas certificate date expires. Once completed the following record will not need to be from 12 months of the last check but instead the deadline date will remain for the following year. This allows landlords to get gas safety records completed up to two months earlier and not be penalised.

More information about this and the other changes being made can also be found on the HSE website.

Don’t Forget you can keep up to date with all our articles on the Tamworth property Market here. https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Tamworth Landlords Legislation for 2018 – Day 3

The news is currently full of government legislation for renting out residential properties and raising standards.

Day 3  – Energy Performance Certificates 

From 1st April 2018 there are minimum energy level regulations (MEES), any building which is to be rented on a new tenancy or a renewal, must have a minimum energy rating of “E”.

Energy performance certificate
EPC

Furthermore from 1 April 2020, the minimum level “E” applies to all tenancies, including existing.

There are a number of exemptions available and if one of those exemptions apply, the property must be registered on the National PRS Exemptions Register.

All residential properties require an EPC certificate if they are being sold or let, if you need one completed, please get in touch.

Hall and Thompson are still conducting viewings and letting properties. Please phone 01827 425195 if you are looking for a property. Almost fully booked for today but still have availability for tomorrow.

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Legislation the Government has planned for 2018 with Tamworth Landlords – day 2

You can make property management a lot easier if you know the legislation and adhere to it.  Today’s will ensure that if you need to serve a section 21 and have provided the “Right to Rent Guide” you have a better chance of having the S21 validated.

paperwork

Day 2  – How to Rent Guide

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a new “How to Rent guide”.

This booklet must be provided to assured shorthold tenants whose tenancy started or was renewed from 17 January 2018 onwards.

Thinking of Selling your property now or in the near future? Maybe you’re a landlord with property to Rent?

Contact us NOW for a FREE Valuation and find out what Hall and Thompson Estate Agents can do for you.

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Landlord Legislation the Government has planned for 2018

This year  2018 will be a busy year for legislation if you are a landlord.

So over the 12 days we will be giving you a daily outline of the upcoming legislation. Some of the legislation is in the pipeline and  may not come into force until next year, however it’s good to be aware.

no surcharge

Day 1 – Electronic payment charges

From 13 January 2018 a landlord or agent for that matter, can no longer add a surcharge when taking electronic payments  from your tenants i.e Paypal, credit, debit card or mobile phone payments.

 

Can’t find a Tamworth buy to let deal? Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk where I am finding some gems.

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