The eviction process

To lawfully obtain possession of residential property where the tenant has not voluntarily vacated (or surrendered possession), you will require a Court order granting you possession. If the tenant does not vacate the property on the date provided in that Court order, you will need to instruct a bailiff to attend the property to lawfully evict the tenant.

The process to obtain an eviction date on which bailiffs will attend a property and remove a tenant remaining in possession will differ depending on whether your Court order grants permission to enforce it in the High Court or if you must enforce in the County Court.

Enforcement in the County Court will require you to obtain a warrant of possession, which will need to be applied for if the tenant does not vacate in line with the Court order granting possession. It typically takes approximately 6-8 weeks from the date of applying for a warrant of possession for the county court bailiffs to confirm the eviction date and attend the property to remove the tenant.

Enforcement in the High Court (if permission is granted) will involve instructing High Court Enforcement Officers to attend the property and remove the tenants. High Court Enforcement Officers will typically (following receipt of an application for a writ of possession) take 2-4 weeks from the making of an application of a writ for possession to give notice of the eviction date and attend the property to remove the tenant. A point to note is that writ of possession must not be executed on a Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day, unless the court orders otherwise.

The bailiffs may evict anyone they find on the premises, including occupiers who were not a party to the original possession proceedings. The bailiffs are however the only people authorised to evict a tenant. Landlords cannot forcibly remove tenants or change the locks before the tenant has been lawfully evicted.

Our team can advise you as to the correct process and guide you through the procedure to evict a tenant. For further information and advice, please contact our expert team.