How to evict a tenant in the UK

Written by dirk huds Google
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How to evict a tenant in the UK
There is a shorter procedure in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sometimes a landlord may wish to evict a tenant from his property. This may be the result of the tenant using the property for an illegal activity, or if the landlord wishes to live in the property himself. However, it is most commonly due to unpaid rent on behalf of the tenant. To evict a tenant, a landlord must follow specific regulations.

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    England, Wales and Northern Ireland

  1. 1

    Write to the tenant to ask them to leave. The written notice is called a “notice to quit” and must state the date you wish the tenant to vacate the property, the reasons why you want them to leave, and information on where the tenant can get advice on the procedure. The notice period will be between 2 weeks and 2 months, depending on the reason for the eviction.

  2. 2

    Send the tenant a “notice of intention to seek possession” if the tenant does not leave by the date set out in the “notice to quit”. This informs the tenant that you will seek legal recourse to evict them if they do not leave the property.

  3. 3

    Apply to a court for a possession order. This allows you to claim possession of the property and evict the tenant. You will need to explain the reason for the eviction. Securing a possession order may require a legal hearing. The tenant is usually permitted to remain in the property until the date the possession order takes effect.

  4. 4

    Apply to the court to send bailiffs to the property if the tenants do not leave by the date that the possession order takes effect. Bailiffs are court employees and they are the only individuals (apart from the police) who are legally allowed to physically eject individuals for a property. The court will send a letter to the tenants informing them of the date the bailiffs will come.


  1. 1

    Send the tenants a written notice that you wish them to leave. This notice must contain you name and address, the tenant's names and the address of the disputed property. It must also detail the reason why you want them to leave and the date you wish them to vacate the property. This must be at least 14 days from the date of the written notice.

  2. 2

    Apply to the Sheriff’s court for a repossession order if the tenants have not left the property by the notice date. The court will serve notice to the tenants.

  3. 3

    Apply to the court for the Sheriff's Officers to act on the repossession order, if the tenants do not leave. Only Sheriff’s Officers can enact the repossession order.

Tips and warnings

  • If the tenant lives with the landlord, the landlord does not need to give written notice to evict the tenant. He must give reasonable notice to leave the premises. This is typically the length of one rent payment period. If the tenant pays rent monthly, she is given one month's notice.
  • Do not try to physically evict the tenants yourself. This is against the law.

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