Ending your tenancy

When the council wishes to end your tenancy

If you break the terms of your tenancy we may take legal action against you either to make you rectify the breach or, in serious cases, we may apply to evict you from your home.

If we are looking to enforce your conditions of tenancy we may take out an injunction against you. An injunction is a legal court order telling you to stop doing something or making you do something. Breach of injunction is seen as contempt of court and carries serious penalties.

If we are applying to the court for a possession order we begin this process by serving what’s called a “notice of seeking possession” and then applying to the county court for a court order for possession. We can only do this on a number of grounds specified in law. The most common ground is when you owe us rent and when all reasonable attempts to get you to clear the debt have failed. The court judge has to decide that our claim for possession is reasonable before granting an order. Often the judge will make a “suspended” order - one that won’t be enforced (i.e. we won’t evict you) as long as you pay the current rent plus an agreed amount off the arrears every week.  Once you have cleared the order and paid the costs, the possession order will die. If, however, you don’t keep to the terms of the court order we may apply for an Enforcement Agent/ Bailiff’s warrant to evict you. You have a right to appeal against this warrant.

If the debt is extremely high and you have not cooperated with us at all in trying to clear the debt we may apply for what’s called an “outright order”, which means that possession will be granted on a certain date in the future (usually 28 days); and you will have to leave the property by that date. If you don’t we will apply for a bailiff’s warrant to evict you.

Whenever possible we will talk to you and work with you before taking legal action; and we will explain why we want to end your tenancy.  If you have broken your tenancy conditions you will have the opportunity to put things right.

Abandonment of a property

Normally we can only bring your tenancy to an end by getting a court order. This would follow the service of a notice, a court hearing and the court issuing an eviction warrant.  If, following investigations, we are satisfied that you have abandoned the property we will serve you with a notice to quit, which formally ends your tenancy after 28 days. We will change the locks and arrange to re-let the property.

Domestic disputes

In domestic disputes between two partners the court may also make an order ending a tenancy and transferring it to one or other party.