Accelerated Possession Procedure
The accelerated possession procedure is often preferred by landlords as opposed to a lengthy and costly court possession hearing. The reason for this is because it is much faster and predictable.
When something goes wrong in a rental property it is stressful and a headache because the overall yield (the profit) the landlord gets is severely impacted by a month or two when the tenant doesn't pay rent yet remains in the property so it cannot be re-let. The objective in this case is therefore to get new tenants into the property as soon as possible.
When can a landlord use the accelerated possession procedure?
The accelerated possession procedure can only be used under certain circumstances:
- If the tenant moved in to the rented property after the 15th of January 1989
- If the tenant holds an assured shorthold tenancy agreement
- If the tenant has a periodic agreement that has passed the first six months or an expired fixed term agreement
- If the tenant refuses to move out even after receiving a proper eviction notice with a reasonable notice period
An accelerated eviction application form must be submitted with the following documents:
Applying for the accelerated possession procedure
The landlord needs to fill out the accelerated possession form and submit it to the court along with the documents mentioned above. The court will then send a copy of the landlord’s application to the tenant along with a defence form. The judge will the do one fo the following:
- Issue a possession order, allowing the landlord to legally evict their tenants to take immediate possession of their property
- Set a date for a court hearing in case the tenant defends the landlord’s claims on serious grounds
The court can issue a possession order even if there is a court hearing, giving the landlord legal rights to take possession.
Can a tenant defend an accelerated possession claim
The tenant has the right to defend a possession claim by filling out a defence form and submitting it to the court. However, they only have 14 days from the time they receive the accelerated possession eviction notice to submit the defence form. The tenant can defend it if:
- The landlord fails to give them proper notice for evicting them from the property
- The landlord tries to use the accelerated possession procedure without proper legal rights to do so
Once a judge issues a possession order, the tenants have 14 or 28 days to move out of the rented property. However, the judge may grant up to 42 days in exceptional cases.
Can the landlord collect the due rent when using accelerate possession
The accelerated possession procedure only requires the tenant to evict the rented property within the given notice period, but they are not obliged to pay any due rents before leaving. However the landlord can choose to apply for another court order to collect any rent arrears from the tenant party, after taking possession of the property.