Accelerated Possession Procedure

S21 Notice

Unfortunately, for what may seem like a straight forward matter can become quite complex as there are a number of potential pitfalls that may invalidate a Section 21 Notice, which include:

  1. A failure to provide the tenants with:
    • A valid Energy Performance Certificate
    • Gas Safety Certificates
    • The Government “How to Rent” Checklist
  2. Mishandling of any Deposit by:
    • Failing to register it with an authorised scheme
    • Failing to provide the tenant with prescribed information about the deposit and the scheme it is held with
  3. The service of a S21 Notice may be deemed to be a retaliatory eviction of the tenant has complained about disrepair at the property and in response the Landlord serves notice rather than remedy any defect
  4. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 prohibits all payments in connection with a tenancy except payments that are expressly permitted, such are rent. If the tenant is required to make a payment that is prohibited, the landlord cannot serve a valid S21 Notice unless the breach is remedied. 

An invalid Notice will make any Court claim defective and it may be struck out possibly with costs against the landlord. It is therefore important that any notice that has been you have served is valid at an early stage.

Accelerated Possession Procedure

If a tenant has not left the property after then expiry of a Section 21 Notice, the next step to lawfully evict the tenant is to issue a possession claim. 

If there is a written tenancy agreement and there is no claim for rent arrears, the landlord may wish to issue Accelerated Possession Proceedings.  The key difference between the Accelerated Possession Procedure and the Standard Possession Procedure is that there is often no need to attend a Court hearing using the Accelerated Possession Procedure, whereas the Standard Possession Procedure will almost certainly require at least one Court hearing.

Once the possession claim is received by the Court, more often than not, the Court will then send the claim to the tenants.  The tenants will usually have 14 days to respond to the claim. 

As long as the Section 21 Notice is valid, there is generally no defence to the claim.  Nevertheless, the Defendant may try to defend the claim by saying the notice is invalid for some reason. 

If the Judge is minded to grant a possession order, the normal order is for the tenant to give back possession within 14 days. However, the tenant may seek to argue that they will suffer exceptional hardship by being ordered to leave the property within that timeframe.  If the tenant is successful, the Court has discretion to extend the timeframe to vacate the property to up to 6 weeks.