Unpaid Rent & Possession Proceedings2022-03-30T13:40:06+00:00

Unpaid Rent & Possession Proceedings

If a tenant has stopped paying their rent, the first thing you should do is speak with them. By establishing why rent is late or unpaid you will have a better understanding of what to do next. For example, if your tenant has lost their job but has applied for Universal Credit or has another job starting shortly, you may feel it’s best to wait. However, if they are not answering your calls or responding to letters or emails you may wish to seek legal advice.

Whatever your circumstances it’s important you keep a record of rent payments and any agreements or conversations. If you speak with your tenant always following this up with an email confirming what was said. Keep copies of any letters and emails. You could also contact their guarantor if they have one.

Possession Proceedings

Possession proceedings are every landlord’s worst nightmare.

Your property has been let and you have received the first few rent payments. Everything seems to be going fine until suddenly, without notice, the payments stop. The tenants stop returning your calls and won’t respond to your letters.

This can be made worse by mortgage repayments still being due and your letting agent not working fast enough to resolve this matter.

The key objective for a landlord is to recover back possession of their property as quickly as possible and to minimise the rent lost. Attwells can help you achieve this. We will work quickly to resolve the matter. We offer fixed fees for possession proceedings too; this enables you to keep in control of your costs.

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Attwells Solicitors support with commercial and landlord rent arrears and eviction notices in Suffolk, Essex & London

Our legal fees for possession proceeding

How do possession proceedings work?

  • Serving Notice: We will serve the appropriate Section 21 and/or Section 8 notice for a fee of £175 plus VAT per notice.

  • Application to Court: We will prepare and issue your court claim.

  • Review Hearing: Once the claim has been issued the court will schedule a review hearing. The judge uses this as an opportunity to review the claim paperwork. The judge will either determine whether the claim proceeds to a substantive hearing or whether the case should be determined then. This is not an in-person hearing, but we will need to prepare a trial bundle including a witness statement on your behalf. As your legal representative, we will also make ourselves available if the judge has questions about the paperwork. Our fee for the review hearing is £375 plus VAT.

  • Substantive Hearing: If a substantive hearing is scheduled, parties will be required to attend. We will prepare an updated witness statement for you and instruct an advocate to attend court to present your claim to the judge. Our fee for this is £325 plus VAT.

  • Bailiff Action: If the tenants do not leave on the date ordered by the Court we will instruct a county court bailiff to perform a physical eviction. The fees involved are the £121 court fee and our legal fees of £225 plus VAT.

What is included:

  • Initial telephone conversation
  • Regular updates
  • Answering any questions as they arise

What is excluded:

  • Meeting at your local office with a lawyer (can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Your valuation costs which are payable to your professional valuer
  • Your freeholder’s professional costs
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested
  • Responding to a defence should the claim become contested
  • Preparing rent statements

These fees assume that the property is let on an assured shorthold tenancy and that all of the regulatory requirements which entitle you to serve a notice have been complied with by you or your agent.

How long will it take?

The timescales vary depending upon the type of notice served and the process followed. Each case must be considered individually but we will always – without exception – endeavour to procure possession as soon as practicably possible.

When will I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask for money on account in advance of each stage of the possession process.

What documents are required?

  • Section 8 Claims

    1. Relevant tenancy agreements
    2. Rent Statement showing rent demanded and paid for the last 2 years
    3. Info on the tenants’ circumstances- i.e. whether they have any dependents are in receipt of social benefits, whether benefits are being paid to the landlord to cover arrears, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenants
    4. Deposit Protection Certificate
  • Section 21 Claims & Section 21 Accelarated Claims

    1. Relevant tenancy agreements
    2. Rent Statement showing rent demanded and paid for the last 2 years
    3. Information on the tenants’ circumstances- i.e. whether they have any dependents are in receipt of social benefits, whether benefits are being paid to the landlord to cover arrears, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenants
    4. Deposit Protection Certificate
    5. Prescribed Deposit Information
    6. Gas Safety Certificate
    7. EPC
    8. How to Rent Guide
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Will Oakes
Will OakesPartner
I am Attwells’ Litigation Partner. I specialise in civil and commercial litigation and have a special interest in property litigation and landlord and tenant matters.

I am a member of the Property Litigation Association and have expertise in matters relating to adverse possession, boundary disputes, nuisance neighbours, and possession actions against residential and commercial tenants.

I have conducted matters in the High Court as well as before the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry and the Residential Property Tribunal. Outside of contentious property matters I carry a general litigation caseload.

Clients value my strong analytical skills and supportive approach. l am happy to discuss flexible funding arrangements for the handling of matters such as conditional fee or ‘no win, no fee’ agreements.

How to get your Section 21 eviction notice right

Landlord & Tenant Legal Service

If your tenant is late paying or has there have been consistent issues you may wish to seek legal advice. We offer a landlord case review service, which consists of an initial chat, a review of documents, answering brief questions, and drafting a letter of advice.

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