There are many reasons why you may need to gain possession of a residential property, for example you may need to evict a tenant who is no longer paying the rent or you are an executor of an estate who needs a beneficiary to leave the property so that it can be sold.
This process can be technical as a court order is almost always needed to evict someone who is using a property as their home.
Perhaps you need the property back because you now need to sell it, or to live there yourself. It could be that the tenant has stopped paying the rent.
Residential tenants enjoy a large amount of protection under the law, so it is important to make sure that you follow the correct procedure. This includes ensuring that you comply with the law during the tenancy, for example by properly protecting the tenant’s deposit.
We are able to advise you on all aspects of obtaining possession from a residential tenant, including by issuing court proceedings if necessary. It is important to take early advice as it is often easier to correct problems before you start proceedings. For a more detailed look at this subject, please see our article ‘How to Evict a Residential Tenant’.
2. Other Occupiers with permission
It may be that whilst the person in possession was never a tenant, they did go into possession with the permission of the owner. This often arises from family arrangements, for example in an estate where the deceased originally allowed a family member to live with them but the executors now need to sell the property
These occupiers will usually be what is known as a ‘licensee’. You will still require a court order to evict them and they will need to be given reasonable notice to leave. The requirements for this notice depend on the type of permission that they were given to stay in the property. We are able to advise you on the correct notices to serve and to prepare court proceedings if the occupier will not leave.
Trespassers are people who have entered or remained on the land without the permission of the owner. This may affect owners of residential or commercial property
If trespassers have taken over your home, for example whilst you were on holiday, then you should contact the Police immediately.
In other cases, you will need an order of the civil courts. Trespasser claims have their own particular rules, for example issuing the claim against ‘persons unknown’ where you do not know the identity of the trespassers.
Ware & Kay are able to assist with obtaining a court order and can instruct and liaise with bailiffs or High Court enforcement officers to get your property back as quickly as possible.