Landlords serving a notice

Many landlords are hopeful that gaining possession of their rental property will be a relatively straightforward process.  All they have to do is prepare and serve a simple Notice on the tenant and they will leave.  Unfortunately it is often not so straightforward. 

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice confirm that landlord possession claims have increased by over 25% since 2010.    This rise looks set to increase, with the second quarter of 2014 already recording just over 38,500 possession claims.  To some extent this reflects the current buoyancy of the rental market, with many people priced out of the housing market, or facing the wider impact of the financial downturn and austerity measures.   

For residential and commercial landlords alike, the strong rental market is undoubtedly a blessing, but gaining possession when things go wrong in this market can be a challenge and it is vital that you take appropriate steps to protect your interests.   

As a nation, we have become far more conscious of our legal rights, and better prepared to take on technical arguments.  This extends to Notices to Quit, Notices Seeking Possession and other requisite termination notices.  If your Notices are found to be deficient, you may face an uphill, and expensive, struggle to gain possession.    

Serving a valid Notice will end the tenancy and protect your right to seek lawful possession of your property.  If the tenant fails to leave when the relevant notice period expires, you are entitled to seek an Order from the Court granting you possession.  However if your Notice is in any way deficient, it will be ineffective.  Often the only way to cure a defective notice is to start all over again, costing you time and money.  In the meantime you could find yourself unwittingly saddled with a bad tenant, who is now on notice of your intentions and wreaking havoc. 

The Courts see numerous faulty Notices each year and it isn’t just the inexperienced buy to let landlord who gets caught out.  Commercial landlords and letting agents often fall foul of this trap and find themselves wishing they had double checked the Notice before it was served. 

If you are the landlord, it is vital that you ensure you have your i's dotted and t's crossed when you serve a Notice.  Check that it is procedurally correct.  Make sure it is served properly and always ensure you use the right documents.  The cost of having the Notices drawn up professionally could save you time and money in the long run.  

For more information contact Kristi Ashworth on 01752 292224 or email

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