How To Legally Evict A Tenant

Written by: Daniel CoeOctober 8, 2023

Navigating the eviction process can be a complex and stressful experience for landlords. Knowing the law and following the correct procedures can make the process smoother for both you and your tenant. In this blog post, we outline a straightforward guide to evicting a tenant, focusing on your legal responsibilities as a landlord.

Step 1: Issue a Notice

Under the Housing Act 1988, you have two main options for eviction:

  • Section 8 Notice: Useful when a tenant has violated terms such as non-payment of rent or damage to the property.
  • Section 21 Notice: Best used when the initial fixed-term has ended, and you'd like your property back without stating a reason.

You can issue both notices at the same time to expedite the eviction process.

Section 21 Specifics

A Section 21 notice can be served when:

  • The fixed term of the rental agreement has ended, or during a 'periodic tenancy' (one with no set end date).
  • The tenant has received key documents such as the Prescribed Information, Energy Performance Certificate, Gas Safety Certificate, and the correct version of the Government's 'How to Rent Guide'.

Remember, you must give at least two months' written notice. You cannot use a Section 21 notice if it is less than 4 months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this

Section 8 Specifics

For Section 8 notices, the reasons for eviction must adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. You'll need to complete a 'Notice seeking possession' form.

Step 2: Apply for a Possession Order

If your tenant doesn't vacate by the date on the notice, the next step is applying for a possession order.

  • Standard Possession Order: Costs £355 and may involve a court hearing.
  • Accelerated Possession Order: Costs £275 and typically doesn't require a hearing.

Both options give your tenant 14 days to respond once they receive a copy of the application.

Step 3: Obtain a Warrant for Possession

If the tenant still hasn't left, you'll need a warrant for possession. The timeline for obtaining a court order can vary and could take from a few weeks to several months. Several factors influence this duration:

  • The court's caseload
  • The necessity of a hearing
  • The speed at which you, as the landlord, progress the case

Once the court grants the possession order, and if the tenant still refuses to leave, you will need to apply for a warrant for possession. This will incur a fee of £130. Once granted, a bailiff can legally evict your tenant.

Costs Involved

The average cost for eviction in the UK ranges between £1,000 and £3,000, depending on the specifics of your case.


By understanding your rights and responsibilities, you can make the eviction process more straightforward and less stressful. It's just one part of being a responsible landlord, something we at Statoncoe Lettings understand deeply. Whether you're a self-managing landlord unfamiliar with evolving regulations, or a portfolio landlord pressed for time, our expertise can help make your property management experience hassle-free.

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