Serving Eviction Notices
Eviction notices must always be handled with care and must follow strict procedures, which is why it’s usually best practice to have them served by licensed UK process servers like Vilcol. If proper procedures are not followed, you may be found guilty of harassing or illegally evicting your tenants, which will result in repercussions for you. There are strict steps which must be followed, and regulations to abide by in order for eviction notices to be served legally, and for the eviction to proceed smoothly. If you breach the rules, your notice will be invalidated, and you may be required to start again.
At Vilcol, we are happy to take care of serving your eviction papers, so that you can rest assured your papers are being served in legally and efficiently. We have outlined some brief points regarding eviction notices below, but if you have any questions and would like to discuss serving your eviction notices with us, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Procedures for eviciton with different types of tenancies
There are two types of assured shorthold tenancies where you can serve an eviction notice as a landlord or property owner:
- ‘periodic’ tenancies, which run week by week or month by month with no fixed end date
- Fixed-term tenancies – these run for a set amount of time (such as a year).
You must follow a set process if your tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy:
- Give your tenants a Section 21 notice if you want the property back on a fixed term ends. Give them a Section 8 notice if they’ve broken the terms of your tenancy and that is why you wish them to vacate your property.
- Apply to the court for a standard procession order if your tenants do not leave by the date specified on the notice and they owe you rent. You can apply for an accelerated possession order if you are not claiming any unpaid rent.
- Apply for a warrant of possession if your tenants will still not leave. This allows bailiffs to remove the tenants from your property.
You can download both the Section 21 notice and the Section 8 notice on the GOV.UK site.
Some notes on serving a valid Section 21 notice
To serve a Section 21 notice, you must complete form 6a and then serve it according to the following rules. Before serving, you must have:
- Given the tenant a copy of an EPC (with a rating of E or higher if tenancy started or was renewed after 1st April 2018).
- A valid gas safety certificate
- The How to Rent booklet at the start of the tenancy
- Protected any tenancy deposit within 30 days of receiving the money
- Served the prescribed information on how you protected the deposit within 30 days of receiving the money
- All local and national licensing: e.g. an HMO licence or local Selective Licensing
- You must also be the landlord/ their agent
There is also the possibility that a Section 21 notice is served shortly after the tenant has reported a repair notice to the local council, and the eviction notice will be perceived as a retaliatory eviction. In this case, it is wise to follow any repair order the council gives and wait a period before serving a Section 21 eviction notice.
Furthermore, it is important to note that you can’t serve a Section 21 notice:
- If it will expire before the tenancy’s fixed term ends
- if it will expire before the break clause
- in the first 4 months of the tenancy
The Section 21 notice expires after 2 months.
Excluded tenancies or licences
You do not have to go to court to evict your tenants if they have an excluded tenancy or licence, for example if they live with you. You only need to give them ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. Reasonable notice means the length of the rental payment period, so if your tenants pay rent weekly, you give them one week’s notice. The notice does not have to be in writing.
After that time period is up, and if they have not vacated your premises, you are able to lock them out of their rooms even if they still have possessions in there.
Assured and regulated tenancies
If your tenant started their tenancy before the 27th of February 1997, they might have an assured or regulated tenancy. This means they have increased protection from eviction, and you must follow different rules to evict them. You can read more about assured tenancies and regulated tenancies in England, as well as assured tenancies and regulated tenancies in Wales, or discuss your situation with one of our operatives.
How to serve an eviction notice
It is recommended practice to use a licensed process server to serve your eviction notices. At Vilcol, we ensure that all eviction notices are served legally and efficiently. Usually, we serve the eviction notice in two ways; either in person or through the letterbox of the property, and by taping the eviction notice onto the door of the property and taking a picture of the notice taped to the door as evidence of our service.
It is always wise to go through a licensed process server, such as Vilcol, as we provide certified proof of service that can be used in court if the serving of the eviction notice is called into question.
You can also choose to have your eviction notice to be served by post or recorded delivery, however these options come with some uncertainty that you might not wish to face. If the notice doesn’t get delivered as the tenant is out, it will not be served. Only if the tenant accepts the eviction notice will the notice count as properly served. By hiring a process server, you are ensuring that your eviction notice is being served within the deadline at a time specified by you, and that you have proof of service should you need it further down the line.
Get in touch with us about serving your eviction notice
No matter the circumstances surrounding your serving of an eviction notice, we have the skills and experience to get the papers served quickly and efficiently. We take pride in our work and guarantee high success rates. For more information, or to get started with your eviction notice, please get in touch with us.