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The growing number of landlords choosing to take the accelerated possession route for for evicting a tenant is perhaps understandable thanks to increasing delays in an overstretched county court system and the wait for a limited number of County Court bailiffs.
The situation is exacerbated by tenants being told by local authorities to remain in properties come what may because the council will not re-house tenants who have ‘voluntarily’ made themselves homeless. Before you can use the accelerated procedure at all, you need to have already served a Section 21 Notice which has expired.
The minimum notice period you can give is two months but may need to be longer. Landlords and agents must still comply with the rules relating to the provision of prescribed information in the correct form and will not be able to use accelerated possession procedures unless they can prove that any deposit taken was protected.
Although the process is ‘accelerated’ because, in theory the judge makes the order on the basis of the paperwork alone, speed will depend on how quickly a judge does their ‘box work ‘and whether the paperwork is perfectly correct.
If there is something wrong with your application, or if the defendant puts in a defence which seems viable (for example if the tenant claims that he has never received the Section 21 Notice), then the judge will set the case down for a hearing, which can be as much as three months later.