Frequently Asked Questions

Only court appointed bailiffs may carry out a legal eviction. Due process must be followed (Section 21 notice/ Court Application/ Possession Order/ Bailiffs Warrant).

Failure to comply with this process may result in an unlimited fine or upto 2 years in prison.

The landlord may also be liable to pay substantial compensation if the process is not followed.

It is vital that landlords know what to do when they need to evict a tenant so that they are on the right side of the law. Failure to follow procedure properly could land you with a hefty fine, or even worse, time in prison.

The advice contained in these pages will give you the information you need to help you successfully, and legally, evict a tenant and regain possession of your premises. Please note that this advice applies only to tenants living in England & Wales and who have an assured or an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

What do I need to do?

There are many different grounds you can use to evict a tenant from your property, but the two most commonly used grounds are rent arrears and the accelerated possession procedure.

What is the accelerated procedure?

The accelerated possession procedure can be used by a landlord at the end of the fixed term of the tenancy (which may be ended early if a break clause has been used) or at any time during a periodic tenancy, provided that the tenants have occupied the property for at least six months since the start of the first tenancy agreement.

The procedure involves serving a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act (a section 21 notice), which will stipulate a certain amount of time within which the tenants must vacate the property. If the tenants fail to move out after you have served this notice, you will have to apply to the court for an order to evict the tenants.

What is the difference between a fixed term and a periodic tenancy?

A fixed term tenancy is created for a specified length of time, for example, 12 months. If the tenants remain in the property after the fixed term has ended, but do not enter into a new fixed term agreement, then their tenancy will automatically become periodic.

A periodic tenancy rolls on a specific period, such as month to month or quarter to quarter. This arrangement may have been specified at the start of the tenancy or may have naturally arisen by the expiry of a fixed term tenancy.

What is the procedure for rent arrears?

If your tenants are in arrears of rent, but you are able to use the accelerated possession procedure, then we generally recommend that you use this procedure, rather than using the ground of rent arrears. This way, you are able to get the tenants out as quick as possible and get new tenants in who will start paying rent.

However, please note that when you use the accelerated possession procedure, the court will not order the tenants to pay any rent arrears to you. You must instead apply to the county court for a court order requiring them to pay the outstanding rent to you.

Read more about using the Section 8 accelerated possession procedure on the desktop lawyer website.

Do not attempt to evict the tenant yourself. Doing so is a criminal offence and you could be fined and/or sent to prison and ordered to pay for rehousing your tenant. You must apply through the courts for them to do this on your behalf.

The necessay legal forms and advice on completing them are available from Her Majasty's court service website.

This service is for bulky household items that are too large to be collected with your normal household waste collections. We will take freestanding household and garden furniture, fridges, freezers, and white goods. If you are not sure whether we will take a certain item please call the recycling hotline to find out.

We are unable to collect garden waste, bricks, rubble, concrete, soil, asbestos, car parts, tyres, glass including greenhouses, patio dorrs, and windows, pianos or anything too heavy for 2 men to carry.

We will not collect any waste left by a tradesperson carrying out works to your home. Tradespersons must be advised to take the waste away with them. If you are not sure what we can collect please call the recycling hotlne on 01530 454572.

We will first make sure that it is our responsibility to do the repair. If it is, and we have enough information about the repair,an order will be placed with a contractor to carry out the work. Wherever possible, the order will be placed immediately.

You are entitled to be told if any personal information is held about you and if it is, to be given:

  • A copy of the information in permanent form
  • An explanation of any technical or complicated terms
  • Any information we have about where they got your information from
  • A description of the information, the purposes for processing the information, and
    who we are sharing the information with
  • The logic involved in any automated decisions (if you have specifically asked for this).

Your Support Officer has close working relationships with organisations and agencies whose aim is to provide help and support. Whether you have mobility problems, financial difficulties, or require adaptations to your home, your Support Officer will help you to find the best possible solution

The building itself is insured against most risks - such as flood and fire for the cost or repair or rebuilding. Even risks such as terrorism or subsidence can normally be purchased as optional extras for added security from most insurers.

When you declare the value of your property you are actually estimating the cost of rebuilding it should it be totally destroyed (this is what insurance companies call a total loss).

Most insurance companies work out a rate to charge the landlord based on the location of the property and then apply it to the amount specified to rebuild the building (which is called the Buildings Sum Insured).

It is therefore cheaper to insure a building that is worth less than an expensive building which is as expected.

It is equally important to make sure that you do not underestimate the cost of rebuilding your property. If you have paid a lower premium by underestimating the Buildings Sum Insured, then the insurer will normally only pay your claims up to the proportion of the building that you have insured.

For example: If your house is worth £100,000 but you only declare a Buildings Sum Insured of £60,000. should you have a claim of £10,000 then the insurer will only pay you £6,000, as they will deem that you under-insured. It is important not to be caught out by this by being tempted by lower premiums for lower Buildings Sum Insured.

When you report your repair we aim to offer an appointment for all urgent and routine repairs at a convenient time.

As well as explaining what day we will call, we will also confirm a morning or afternoon appointment.

For planned repairs which generally require an inspection, we aim to offer you an appointment before the work is done. Also at the time of inspection we'll arrange a further appointment for the work to be completed.

But not all repairs will need an appointment (work to the outside of your home, for example).

For emergency repairs you will need to guarantee access to your property for the following 24 hours.

You will not be given a set appointment but will be able to negotiate a time when you will be at home to make sure the emergency work can be done.

You will receive written confirmation of your appointment, and of the repair.

By law, a landlord has to provide a rent book to somebody who pays rent weekly, unless the rent includes a substantial payment for meals. The rent book must contain:

  • The name and address of the landlord and the landlord's agent if there is one
  • The amount of rent to be paid
  • Description of the property the rent is for.

If you ever have any queries about your Council Tax or Business Rates balance or payments simply telephone usl on 01530 454545 or e-mail us at

For housing enquiries please call 01530 454635 or e-mail

Rural affordable housing is housing provided in rural parishes for people on lower incomes who are unable to afford a home in the general housing market.

Affordable rented housing is usually owned by a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) - normally a housing association, or a council - and rented at a weekly rent that is affordable to people on low incomes.

Shared ownership and shared equity homes are partly purchased by the resident and partly owned by the RSL.

In the case of shared ownership, the resident may pay rent on the part owned by the RSL. 

While the Act does not specifically limit the number of requests you can make, it does give us the right to refuse any 'vexatious' or unreasonably repeated requests.

This can include repeated requests for similar information from the same person (or persons acting together) or requests which are deemed to be made with the intention of disrupting our work.

One item is defined as one bulky item: For example, a 3 piece suite counts as 3 items. Likewise a bed, headboard and mattress are also counted as 3 items.

'Personal information' is information about a living person that can identify that individual. Information about deceased individuals is not covered under the Data Protection Act'

The inventory is vital and probably your greatest piece of protection. Should you need to make a claim from the bond it is vital that the property is inspected before the tenancy begins & that both the landlord (or their agent) and the tenant have signed it.

It is this document that will form the benchmark should a dispute arise.

Ideally a similar exit survey should be conducted and if possible should also be signed by the tenant. This will leave only the costs of the remedial action to be decided & agreed.

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