What's the most common landlord/tenant dispute?
Posted on 14th September 2022
If we sent a tenant to a solicitor’s firm and they knew nothing about the situation, initially it will be a fact-finding mission so the solicitor will need to find the information when the tenancy was rented into, whether it’s in a fixed term period and whether they have got enough rent arrears.
What they want is a tenanted property with somebody who is willing to pay the rent. It's all about trying to work out what the information is.
How long will it take?
As soon as the solicitor speaks to the landlord, the solicitor can start to piece together the information that they give him.
They will ask for all the information they need. As soon as the solicitor has that information they can work out and tell the landlord on the phone what he needs to do. This is fairly instant.
The solicitor will advise the landlord on how to do it, what to do and what steps he will need to take next.
Is there a difference between a private landlord giving paperwork and a letting agent giving paperwork, is there a different time frame?
It shouldn't make too much of a difference in the lead time to get to the point where we are taking some actual steps.
That's when there will be a big difference because if the solicitor gets the paperwork from a letting agent, he will receive it all in order and with every piece he needs e.g. A B C however if it’s from a private landlord the solicitor may receive missing docs and receive them not in order e.g., Z P T so he will have to try to piece the paperwork he has and the ones he may still needs.
The options that would be available to a landlord would be to go for Section 21 or Section 8 route depending on if there are rent arrears, the paperwork is in order and whether they are in a fixed term still. All of these will have a factor to what the solicitor from the firm advises and how to move forward with it.
This is a non-fault-based system. Section 21 is called accelerator possession procedure route. This is the route you would take if there were no reasons to be given to the court as to why the landlord wants the property back. This is a longer notice period of 2 months. This is no face-to-face contact and will all be on paper therefore all of the i's need to be dotted and all of the t's need to be crossed to get possession order. The 2 months’ notice period is eating away wasted time, but the average time is 4 and a half months to 6 and a half months but in some cases can be a week or two quicker than section 8.
This is a fault-based system, which will be a face-to-face hearing. The notice period is 2 weeks so it is a lot shorter than section 21 but depending on how busy the court is and how busy the bailiffs are in the area it could take a lot longer. The bailiffs do need to be involved in section 8. This can take around 3 and a half months to 5 months. Overall landlords should aim to budget for 6 months.
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