Incorrect Procedure Can Render Possession Proceedings Voidable

Landlords frequently need to evict tenants, and where a possession order is sought because the tenant breaches conditions in the lease (typically for reasons of behaviour which impacts negatively on other tenants), the order will often be postponed or suspended on condition that the tenant's anti-social behaviour ceases.

Until recently, it had been thought that postponed possession orders were preferable for landlords because, in the event of a breach of the condition, these were typically enforced without further legal proceedings being necessary. However, a recent court case has confirmed that, in such circumstances, a two-stage procedure designed to give the tenant the opportunity to argue that the condition has not been breached should be used. Simply sending in the bailiffs without notice is not acceptable and may make the warrant for possession voidable.

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