If you are looking to move into a property it helps to have a knowledge of the eviction process. Before moving in to a property you should do your research and find out if previous tenants were satisfied with their time there. In some cases if you have been evicted you may feel it was unfair. Before going to court, however, it is worth knowing a bit more about the eviction process so that you know your rights.
Often if you move into a property you may sign an agreement without looking over the terms. For example, it is important to check whether it is a short term or a fixed term agreement as this will affect the nature of the eviction process.
A short term tenancy will often be week to week or month to month. If a landlord wants to evict you they should give a period of notice. After that period if you don’t leave, the landlord can apply for a possession order and ask you to leave (this means you must leave after a certain period of time eg 14-21 days or longer if you can prove hardship). If you don’t leave after the possession order has been served you may be evicted.
With a fixed term agreement a landlord can only evict you before the expired agreement if you haven’t paid the rent or if they can prove you have acted in an anti-social manner. The exception to this is if they have a break clause – which means that at a certain point during your tenancy they could serve you notice, without having to prove you haven’t paid rent or have acted in an anti-social manner.
If you are asked to attend a court hearing make sure you attend and have all the necessary documentation (copies of the possession order forms, defence form detailing why you feel the eviction is wrong and the date of the hearing). Not attending usually results in the court finding in favour of your landlord so it is important to attend if you can!
During the case, a judge could either find your eviction illegal (for example if it can be proven your landlord acted in an intimidating manner or did not follow the correct procedure) or they may order you to repay what you owe (either through your bank account or items seized by bailiffs).
Ideally you should discuss any issues with your landlord before the eviction process begins. For example if you are having financial problems you should talk to them before any problems get worse to see if you can arrange for an alternative payment scheme.
However, if the landlord is not willing to discuss this with you or you feel that they are acting in an appropriate manner (for example they changed the locks before issuing a possession order) then you may be able to challenge your eviction.
If you have any concerns or want to know more, then contact us today so we can consult you and guide you through the eviction process so you are more aware of your rights.