What is Accelerated possession, and how does it work?
Accelerated possession is a court application which rarely requires court hearing, due to this, applications can be quicker than standard applications, however time scales vary depending on your local authority
We can only use this process when a correctly served section 21 notice has been issued and the notice period expired. A paper application is submitted to the court and the defendant (Tenant). The defendant then has 14 days from the date this deemed served to file a defence. In most cases a defence is not filed. If no defence is filed, the courts will review the documentation provided and an accelerated possession order is granted. Once this order has been served on the defendant, they usually have 14 days to vacate the property. If the defendant remains in the property after this date you can apply to the courts for a bailiff to carry out the eviction.
Who is it for?
Accelerated Possession is for private landlords only however this possession order can be used when the following applies:
- A written Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement which commenced after 27th February 1997
- The tenant’s deposit must have been protected in line with the deposit protection scheme or returned to the tenant
- A section 21 notice must have been correctly served and the notice period expired
- The tenant is not in rental arrears or a claim for the arrears is not required
How long does it take?
The length of time taken to issue the possession order depends on how busy your local county court is. On average once all documentation is prepared and sent to the courts, it can take on average 4 weeks before a notice is issued to the tenant. The tenant then has 14 days to respond. If no defence is filed and the courts are happy with the documentation provided the order is drafted and tenants are typically given 14 days to vacate the property.
What if the tenant defends the case?
If the tenant files a defence, a copy of this will be sent to you, these defences tend to involve a claim of exceptional hardship and a request is made for them to stay in the property longer. If the judge feels a longer period is required for the tenant to leave the property they may allow the tenant up to 42 days before have to leave, however this is only usually granted in exceptional hardship
If a defence is filed, then there is a greater chance of a court hearing being set. You may wish to attend court to ensure your circumstances are heard and taken into consideration. We would recommend taking an advocate along with you to ensure you completely understand what is happening. There are extra costs involved with this, however we would keep you fully up to date with this and our cost would be agreed with you prior to us attending court.