Skip to main content Make an enquiry

Obtaining possession of residential or commercial property

How can I obtain possession of my property?

There may be a number of reasons why a landlord may require possession, such as rent arrears, breach of tenancy or simply because they wish to have vacant possession of the property.

Our specialist solicitors have extensive experience in providing legal advice to landlords in relation to residential and commercial tenancies.

Landlord seeking to recover possession from a residential tenant

We can assist landlords in possession proceedings under both sections 8 and s21 of the Housing Act 1988.

What is the section 8 procedure?

There are various grounds, both mandatory and discretionary, that landlord can rely on in order to obtain possession of their property.

If a landlord is able to establish a breach of tenancy under a mandatory ground, then the court must grant an order for possession. An example of a mandatory ground is serious rent arrears.

If a landlord is able to establish a breach of tenancy under a discretionary ground, then the court may order possession of the property. An example of a discretionary ground is a tenant allowing the property to deteriorate.

Notice must be served on the tenant before court proceedings are commenced and typically the court will list a hearing within eight weeks of issue of the claim. Once a possession order is obtained, if the tenant does not vacate, it may be necessary to instruct bailiffs to attend the property to evict the tenant.

What is the section 21 procedure?

This is usually known as “no fault” eviction where the tenant does not have to have breached any tenancy term for the landlord to seek possession.

There are various time limits that need to be adhered to, which also limits when in the tenancy the landlord can serve a section 21 notice, and these are dependent on whether the tenancy is still in its fixed term or whether it has become a periodic tenancy.

Notice must be served on the tenant before court proceedings are commenced and the landlord can choose between the accelerated procedure route or the standard possession route.

The accelerated procedure is where the landlord is simply seeking possession of the property and all the necessary paperwork is in order (such as the tenancy agreement, deposit protection certificate etc). The court will issue the claim and, unless a Defence is filed, possession can be requested and dealt with without a court hearing.

The standard possession route can be used if you are seeking recovery of rent arrears in addition or if the paperwork relating to the tenancy is incomplete or missing. The court will usually list a hearing within eight weeks of issue of the claim.

One option with a defaulting tenant is to use the accelerated procedure to obtain possession (to allow the property to be rented to a new tenant as quickly as possible) and then issue a separate debt claim for rent arrears.

As with the section 8 procedure, once a possession order is obtained, if the tenant does not vacate, you will need to instruct bailiffs to attend the property to evict the tenant.

Landlord seeking to recover possession from a commercial tenant

Any landlord that wishes to recover possession of their commercial premises from their tenant will need to take certain steps to ensure that the tenancy has been validly terminated.

The landlord can then apply for possession of the premises under section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (possession) or section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (forfeiture).

The procedure used will depend on a number of factors including whether the tenant has an automatic right to renewal of the tenancy under the landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

How can we help?

Our specialist solicitors are able to advise and assist you with the following:

  • Preparation and service of section 8 and section 21 notices
  • Accelerated procedure possession claims
  • Standard procedure possession claims
  • Possession of commercial premises
  • Preparation and service of section 146 notices and forfeiture claims

How do I instruct Brett Wilson LLP?

If you require assistance with a possession claim please send us an emailcomplete our online enquiry form or call us on 020 3944 6225.  If emailing or using the online form, please provide a short outline of your situation.

Costs information will be provided following your enquiry.

Contact us to request a consultation

Call 020 7183 8950
or send us a message.