How to accelerate a Section 21 possession
In this final part of three, I’m going to look at how you can speed up the process of eviction by a Section 21 Notice. You might already have been waiting for a couple of months for your nightmare tenants to leave, and still they simply won’t budge. If you’re using a Section 21 Notice, you might decide to put in action an accelerated possession that could reduce the time it takes to claim back your property to as little as 14 days.
When can you use accelerated possession under Section 21?
Accelerated possession can be used in the eviction process provided that you, as a buy-to-let landlord, have:
- a written tenancy agreement (make sure you’ve covered all the bases in the terms and conditions) that is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)
- issued a written notice to leave (I covered this in part 1 of this eviction series)
Unfortunately, if you are also claiming rent arrears you won’t be able to use the accelerated possession.
Cheap and easy accelerated possession
The beautiful thing about accelerated possession is that it is cheap and easy, and, in the majority of cases, will avoid the need for expensive court hearings. All you have to do is a little bit of paperwork to get the ball rolling and take a massive stride toward the eviction of your nightmare tenants.
There’s a claim form to fill in (You can download this here, or you might decide to complete online), and once you have done this and sent to the court (with the appropriate fee), the judge will decide whether to issue a possession order or hold a court hearing.
By awarding a possession order, the judge is permitting the buy-to-let landlord to carry out the eviction of those nightmare tenants.
The judge will only request a court hearing if you haven’t completed the paperwork properly, or there’s an important issue that has been raised. I’d always recommend that you have a professional (with experience of the buy-to-let landlord market and eviction of nightmare tenants) look over the paperwork before you submit it – it’s the only way to ensure no mistake is made.
If a possession order is granted, it will be for you to take possession of the property in either 14 or 28 days: a considerable cut to the months it could take otherwise.
A final word
This brings me to the end of this series of posts detailing the eviction process. If you’re lucky, you won’t ever have to issue a notice to leave or a Section 21 or Section 8. But if you do find you have nightmare tenants and the cause for an eviction, make sure you go through the process step-by-step and stay within the law.
Your focus should always be on getting the best tenants and developing a good relationship through good property management habits. But if things do go wrong, then that focus needs to shift to getting your property back on the market as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary disruption to your cash flow.
Yours in effortless property management,