7. What happens if the tenant hasn’t left the property after the notice period?
Suppose the tenant hasn’t corrected their mistake or vacated the property by the notice period’s expiry date. In that case, a landlord must apply for a court order for possession. A court order for possession legally states that a tenant needs to vacate the property by the date outlined in the order.
As part of the application, the landlord must provide evidence in court that proves that the reason for the termination of tenancy falls under a specific ground.
Again, suppose the order of possession is successful. In that case, the time given to vacate the property depends on whether the grounds were mandatory or discretionary.
Order for possession under a mandatory ground
If the landlord successfully proves the chosen mandatory ground, the court must make an order for possession. Generally, the court allows the tenant 14 days to vacate the property. However, the court may extend this 14 days up to 6 weeks in cases of exceptional hardship.
Order for possession under a discretionary ground
Suppose the landlord is successful in proving the chosen ground. In that case, the court can make an order for possession if it considered reasonable to do so on all the available facts. On completing the order, the court may order the following:
- An outright order for possession, usually within 14 days.
- A stay or suspension of the possession order for such a period as the court decides.
- A postponed date of possession for such a period as the court thinks fit.
Generally, the order for possession will be suspended or postponed if the tenant would be exposed to hardship if evicted on short notice. The court may also suspend or postpone the order for possession to give the tenant another opportunity to remedy the breaches (if possible).
To read more about the process of evicting a tenant, please visit our what are the three stages to legally evicting a tenant? page.