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Landlord Legal Issues April 2016

Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law answers your questions

Q. I have got an order for possession but  the tenant has failed to move out. The bailiff's office says that they can't give me an appointment for nine weeks. I have read somewhere that the sheriffs offer a quicker service. How can I use that?

A. The Sheriffs (or High Court Enforcement Officers) can only enforce County Court Orders once they have been transferred to the High Court. You have to get leave of the High Court first (which needs to be given by a Judge who will only do this if he considers your reason for transfer is adequate) and he will need to be satisfied that the tenants have had notice of your application.  

Note that some Sheriffs have been offering a very quick service but it seems that this was due to their use of an incorrect procedure (using a form intended for claims against trespassers only). So be very careful if you are being offered a quick service, as it could lay you open to a claim by the tenants for restitution in the property (and compensation) due to an illegal procedure having been used.

If you decide to try the Sheriffs service (which may still be quicker, albeit considerably more expensive) I would advise that you use a solicitors firm which is experienced in housing work and that you check with them that they are aware of this and will use the proper procedure.

Q. My tenant has failed to pay rent and I need to evict him. However, I am very short of funds as I have had no rent coming in for the past three months. How much does it cost to evict a tenant?

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