TENANT NOTICES AND POSSESSION
Possession Orders are required in 2 specific circumstances – in the instance that you have a residential tenant you wish to have evicted OR in the case of squatters/trespassers who have entered your commercial property. Should you wish to evict a tenant from a commercial property you are able to undertake a Forfeiture of the Lease using our enforcement agents (Go to our ‘Lease Forfeitures’ Page for more information).
Should you have squatters/trespassers who have entered your residential property, this has now been criminalised and you can contact the police to have them immediately evicted).
In either instance, our legal team can assist you in dealing with the courts and drafting the appropriate documentation in an effort to obtain an Interim Possession Order or a Possession Order on your behalf. We act in an efficient and immediate manner to obtain a Possession Order whilst dealing with all court and tenant/trespasser contact, as a matter of urgency. We understand how important your property is to you and the longer you have an unwanted tenant or trespasser in your property, the greater the costs that are mounting and the damage that is occurring.
Possession of your Property – Residential Tenants
Should you wish to obtain possession of your property, the procedure required will depend on the type of tenancy that has been granted to your tenant.
The general rule is that you cannot obtain possession of a property without a court order. In the event that you attempt to illegally evict a tenant this could lead to criminal proceedings against you and also a claim for damages.
– Possession Based on Rent Arrears (or other breach of tenancy):
This procedure is based on one of the 17 grounds of the Housing Act. If you are within a fixed term or you have granted an assured tenancy then you can apply for possession based on a number of grounds. For more information on how this procedure can be used to obtain possession of your property, please feel free to contact our legal team who will be happy to explain the procedure, the costs and time periods involved in obtaining a Possession Order using this method.
– The “Accelerated” two month notice procedure:
This procedure is based on Section 21. If your tenant occupies the property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement then you can obtain possession of the property on the basis that you have served 2 months notice to your tenant. If your tenant fails to vacate the property following the expiry date of the notice, then you can issue a claim for possession in the County Court under the “accelerated possession procedure”.
For more information on how this procedure can be used to obtain possession of your property, please feel free to contact our legal team who will be happy to explain the procedure, the costs and time periods involved in obtaining a Possession Order using this method.
On obtaining a Possession Order, it is then possible to request that a Judge transfer the Possession Order to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Enforcement Officer under Section 42 of the County Court Act (1984) by obtaining a Writ of Possession.
Possession of Your Property – Trespassers/Squatters
In the alternative, if your commercial premises or land has been entered or broken into by squatters (trespassers), our legal team can assist you in obtaining a Possession Order using Court action.
From 1 September 2012, a new criminal offence of squatting in a residential building was introduced. The new offence does not apply to occupation of commercial premises, so it will be necessary for owners of commercial property to continue to rely on the existing civil remedies.
Under section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, it is an offence for a property owner, without lawful authority, to use force or violence to recover possession of the property. Therefore, it will generally be necessary for a property owner to issue civil proceedings against the squatters.
Our legal team can assist a commercial landlord in issuing proceedings against the squatters in the County Court. Once the claim is issued, the Court will list it for an early hearing date.
A Possession Order will be granted at the hearing, unless the squatters defend the claim and prove to the Court that they have a legal interest in the land. The possession order will usually provide for immediate possession of the property.
If the squatters fail to vacate the property of their own accord, our enforcement team can transfer the matter to the High Court for enforcement, which is a quicker process than using the County Court Bailiffs. Additional permission is not required from the court to allow a High Court Enforcement Officer to undertake the eviction.
The entire process usually takes approximately 14 days (dependent on the speed of the court). Alternatively, it is possible to apply for an Interim Possession Order against the squatters, subject to compliance with certain conditions. This can be applied for at the same time as the Possession Order.
For more information on how this procedure can be used to obtain possession of your property, please feel free to contact our legal enforcement team who will be happy to go through the procedure, the costs and time periods involved in obtaining a Possession Order using this method.
Call us now on 0800 689 0680 to speak to one of our experienced members of staff to find out how the 24 Hour Group can help you. Alternatively, please feel free to complete our enquiry form and one of our dedicated enforcement or legal agents will contact you to discuss your matter further.