Residential Tenant Eviction. Section-21 court process timeline

The Section-21 court process timeline

If the tenant hasn’t left after the two month notice period we can apply to the court.

The court process is typically NINE WEEKS. Outside London it can be quicker. In London, where courts are busy, it can be slower.

The claim is for possession only and we can use the Court Accelerated Procedure. Just because it’s called ‘accelerated’ doesn’t means it’s fast.

It’s called the Accelerated Procedure because it’s a paper process and there’s no hearing. The judge makes a decision purely on the papers alone. So it’s very important to make sure that the paperwork, including the original notice, are in good order.

Landlord papers in order.
Landlord Action drafts and sends claim form,
appropriate papers and court fee to Court.
Court begins processing.
Landlord Action constantly checks with the Court
to make sure the case is moving along.
Court serves a copy of the claim on tenant.
This allows tenant 14 days to reply to the claim
and file a defence (rare).
While the tenant decides on a response
there’s nothing that can be done.
Most tenants do nothing.
Landlord Action applies to the Court
for an Order for Possession.
Papers wait to be seen by Judge.
This period depends on how busy the court is.
Outside London it can be shorter.
Landlord Action constantly checks with the Court
to make sure the case is moving along.
Judge makes Order of Possession of 14 days.
Court Admin begin to process the file.
The 14 day Possession Order is 14 days from
when the Judge sees the case.
By the time the tenant receives
notice from the court,
the Possession Date might have passed.
So as soon as we know,
we tell the landlord who can tell the tenant.
While the tenant decides on a response
there’s nothing that can be done.
Most tenants leave.

That’s the typical nine week timeline of the court. If the tenant doesn’t leave, we need the bailiff which can add a further 4 to 6 weeks.

The most frustrating thing about the whole eviction process can be the waiting. Like the notice period, some court timings are statutory. Others aren’t fixed. They depend on how busy the court is, how organised the court is, and sometimes on what the tenant does to cause delay.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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