Eviction in England & Wales - Problem tenant specialists What is the first step? The first step is to serve the appropriate form of notice on the tenant. There are 2 types of notice:- Section 8 notice - this notice is usually used when the tenant is in at least 2 months’ rent arrears, has breached a term of the tenancy or is causing a nuisance. At least 14 days notice is given to the tenant. Section 21 notice - this notice gives the tenant 2 months’ notice of your intention to end the tenancy. The expiry date must not be any earlier than the end of the fixed term of the tenancy agreement. What happens if the tenant has not vacated the property or recified the breach? A claim for possession will be issued at the nearest County Court to the property. If the claim is not defended it usually takes between 8-10 weeks to get a possession order. Will I need to attend a court hearing? If possession is being claimed on the basis of a section 8 notice you will need to attend a hearing. We will advise you of the date and time of the hearing and what you need to bring with you. You will meet an advocate at court who will represent you. Does the tenant need to attend the court hearing? The tenant should attend but if s/he does not turn up the judge is still able to make an order for possession. If the tenant does attend s/he may raise some form of defence. If this is the case the claim will usually be suspended for a month to allow the tenant to properly plead the defence. A further hearing will be required. Defended claim are complicated and involve much more work. At this stage we will advise you further about costs. What will the Court Order say? A court order usually states that the tenant should leave by the date set by the court (normally 14 days). What happens if the tenant does not vacate by the date set out in the court order? You will have to instruct the county court bailiff to attend the property and remove the tenants. A locksmith should also attend to change the locks. It normally takes 6-8 weeks to get a bailiff’s appointment. Can I pursue the tenant for the rent arrears? You should consider whether the tenant has the means to pay you the arrears. If the tenant works or has any assets it may be worth while pursuing the tenant for the arrears. For more information please see the rent recovery section.