Eviction is the removal of a tenant or any other person in occupation from the property.
What leads to eviction?
If a tenant breaches any of the tenancy terms and conditions, action can be taken by us for that breach, and the ultimate sanction would be eviction.
On average we evict 70 tenants per year. The main causes of evictions are:
Before we can evict someone from a property we must obtain a possession order from the county court. The courts could order:
Recent case law has resulted in less use of the suspended possession order (SPO) and the majority of orders given, especially in rent arrears cases are postponed possession orders (PPOs).
The difference between the SPO and the PPO is that with the SPO tenants lose all rights as a secure tenant 28 days after the order has been granted, and once they have failed to comply with the terms of the order we can apply to the court to obtain a warrant for eviction.
With the PPO the tenant retains all their rights until they breach the order. However, once they breach, we first have to apply to the court to set a date for possession and it is only then that we can apply for the warrant for eviction.
The Bailiffs' Office which is located within the local County Court will give us an appointment for an eviction, and on the day a housing officer will attend with a locksmith and the bailiff to carry out the eviction (execute the warrant).
It is the bailiff who has the legal authority to execute the warrant, and although they will not proceed without the housing officer being present, to a large extent the housing officer is only an observer.
The warrant is for possession of the land, and will apply to everyone found on the premises. Once the bailiff has executed the warrant the housing officer can enter the property to take photographs of any possessions left behind.
If there is no one at the property when the officers attend for the eviction, the locksmith will force entry and change locks on the instruction of the bailiff, to allow them to gain entry to the property.
The tenant is normally notified of the eviction as soon as we are aware of the date. The court also writes to the tenant, and a few days before the eviction the bailiff will do a visit to the property.
Tenants are advised to remove all their possessions by the eviction date. In cases where items are left in the property they may be stored by us for a up to a period of 28 days.