pre-action protocol for private landlords by landlord advice

Thorough review

For this vital step we complete a thorough review of the information provided to us.

Advise if necessary

Based on the information provided to us, we will advise on any issues that need to be resolved to minimise risk and  ensure a valid notice is served.

Draft and serve notice

Once we have obtained the requested information, provided any necessary advice, we will proceed to draft and serve the notice. We serve notices by two separate methods at the same time which reduces the chances of the recipient denying receipt of the notice.

Issuing a claim

Issuing a possession claim is the next step for a landlord after the tenant or contract-holder has been served with a valid notice. If the tenant failed to give up possession of the property by the date required in the notice, a possession order from a Court would usually be required to lawfully evict the tenant.

The majority of possession claims are straightforward and an order for possession is granted by the Court where the landlord is relying on a mandatory ground for possession.

Fixed fees

Our fixed fees for possession claims includes the preparation of your claim, and advocate regulated by the SRA to represent you and VAT. However, in certain cases where a tenant raises a defence for instance, the Court may adjourn matter and list the case for another hearing in which case the claim is no longer subject to our fixed fee service.

Comprehensive checks

To minimise the probability of a defence being made against a possession claim, we will carry out a comprehensive check of the notice being relied on, grounds and case papers before the landlord takes Court action. This allows us to identify any issues which increase the chances of a defence being raised and to ensure that the landlord follows the correct procedure.

Possession claim procedure for eviction

When is a Bailiff Required?

An enforcement agent (also known as a bailiff) is required when there is a possession order which has ordered the tenant to give possession of a property and the deadline for doing so has passed. It is unlawful for any unauthorised person to enforce a possession order, it must be enforced by a certified enforcement agent acting under the warrant or write of the Court.

County Court Bailiff

It usually takes 3-4 weeks in most Courts for the County Court Bailiff to carry out the eviction. In some Courts, such as those in London, it can take longer. A High Court Enforcement Officer (“HCEO”) can often carry out evictions within 7 days, and in some cases, within 24 hours.

High Court Enforcement Officer

A landlord can only use a High Court Enforcement Officer (“HCEO”) to enforce a possession order if permission to do so has been granted by the County Court that made the possession order. If the possession order has been made against trespassers, then the permission to use a HCEO is an automatic right.

County Court Bailiff or HCEO

In broad sense, a HCEO has more powers than that of a County Court Bailiff such as how they may gain entry to a property. The fundamental difference however, which makes HCEO’s appealing to landlords is that they carry out eviction in most cases substantially quicker than a County Court Bailiff.

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