Residential Tenant Eviction. Section-8 court process timeline

The Section-8 court process timeline

If the tenant hasn’t left after the notice period (generally two weeks) we can apply to the court.

Generally claims under Section-8 can be issued online. Where a claim is for possession and rent arrears there will be a Court hearing before a Judge. The court will issue a hearing date and send the papers to the tenant. Many tenants do not attend the hearing.

If the landlord or agent is unable to attend the hearing, the Court may accept a witness statement. This can be drafted by Landlord Action, and these cases fall outside the Standard Fixed Fees.

Landlord papers in order.
Landlord Action makes a claim online.
This is not a mandatory period.
It can sometimes be just a few hours.
Court tells us the hearing date
and writes to inform the tenant.
We wait for the hearing date to come round.
This is not a mandatory period.
Outside London it can be shorter.
The Hearing.
If no defence, Judge makes an
Order of Possession of 14 days.
Court Admin begin to process the file.
The 14 day Possession Order is
14 days from the court hearing.
By the time the tenant receives
notice from the court,
the Possession Date might have passed.
We hear the result at court, so the landlord
can tell the tenant straight away.
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.

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.

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.

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