Accelerated Possession Procedure - the procedure for landlords to follow

This procedure only applies to claims to recover possession against an assured shorthold tenant when the fixed period of the tenancy has come to an end.

The assured shorthold tenancy must have been entered into on or after 15th January 1989. The claim must be for just possession (i.e. not rent arrears). There must be a written tenancy agreement in existence and a section 21 notice requiring possession must have been served on the tenant, giving 2 months notice, which expired before the application was made to the court.

An application should be made to the County Court in the district where the property is located. It is necessary to exhibit a copy of the section 21 notice requiring possession with the court papers. An application should be made using form N5B.

The tenant must file a defence within 14 days of receiving the court documents. If the tenant fails to file a defence within this period, the landlord can request that the possession order be made.

There will not usually be a court hearing on an application under the accelerated possession procedure, unless the court is not satisfied that all matters have been complied with or if the tenant asks for a postponement of possession on the grounds of exceptional hardship.

A possession order will usually take affect immediately, unless the court is satisfied the tenant has made out a case for exceptional hardship, in which case possession can be delayed for up to 6 weeks.

Warrants of Execution - to enforce a possession order

Private Housing