How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant?

How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant

You often hear of horror stories about landlords being caught up in lengthy eviction battles, while simultaneously accumulating a mountain of rent arrears.

I’m not going to say that doesn’t happen. It does.

However, tenant evictions aren’t always the stuff nightmares are made of! Actually, from my experience, as long as the proper procedures are followed, they can be straightforward affairs that are over relatively quickly…

This blog post is going to be based on my own experience, having dealt with several evictions over the last decade. I’ve also reached out to Legalforlandlords (a UK based getting rid of nightmare tenants, because broadly speaking, ‘eviction’ can also mean repossessing a property from perfectly good tenants, too.

For those that want to smash ‘n grab a quick answer to the question, I’m not going to deprive you: I’ve had tenants vacate as quickly as 14 days (after they received notice), and I’ve dealt with tenants drag their heels for a painstaking 6 months. The process eviction literally can take anywhere between 14 days to 6-8 months, typically.

I know, not the most useful answer!

The reality of how long an eviction will take is very much dependent on individual circumstances; mostly what it will boil down to is how compliant your tenant is. There can also be external factors at play, which will determine the duration, like how busy the courts are (that’s only relevant if your case goes that far, hopefully it won’t).

However, to give you some context, I’ll run through the process, and highlight where there are potential areas for delays.

Generally, there are three steps to a tenant eviction. Progressing through all the steps isn’t necessarily required, but if a step fails, you may need to progress onto the next, which will inevitably increase the timeframe…

  • Step 1: Serving legal notice (i.e. Section 8 or 21)
  • Step 2: Court Proceedings
  • Step 3: Warrant of Possession (Bailiffs)

After serving notice (Section 8 or 21)

Assuming your tenant is prepared to play-ball and voluntarily vacate after receiving sufficient notice is given, they will vacate the property on the date specified in the notice, without any problems. This can take between 14 days and 2 months.

If you are serving a Section 21 notice during the fixed term, you are required to give two months notice to your tenant.

If you are a serving a section 8 (because you have grounds for eviction e.g. rent arrears), the notice period can vary from 2 weeks to months, depending on which grounds are being used to serve the notice. For example, if your tenant is in rent arrears, which is the most common reason for eviction and serving a section 8, the notice period is 14 days (i.e. the tenant is given 14 days to vacate from the day they receive notice).

In many cases, serving a notice is enough to force tenants to vacate! However…

If your eviction/repossession notices are ignored…

Legalforlandlords has stated that, statistically, it is very unlikely that a tenant will voluntarily vacate once a section 8 notice has been served as this notice is usually based on rent arrears, and normally when tenants are in arrears, they are unable to afford a deposit for a new rental property, so they remain in the property. Landlord’s usually have better luck when the notice is served for alternative grounds to rent arrears.

If your tenant ignores the notice served (whether it be a section 8 or 21), then you (the landlord) will have to apply to the court for a possession order. You can use the possession claim online service via the GOV website; the service lets you fill in court forms online and see how the claim is progressing. It costs £325.

It will take generally between 6-8 weeks for the judge to grant a possession order under section 8 or section 21.

If the possession order is ignored…

It’s not unusual for tenants to ignore the possession order granted by the court, which is normally a 14 day order. In these cases the landlord has to go to the final step, which is to apply for an eviction date with the County Court Bailiff, which can take between 5-10 weeks. The waiting time will depend on your court and the resources they have available.

According to Legalforlandlords, Landlords requiring court application based on a section 8 or section 21 notice is 75% and the process normally takes between 5-7 months, sometimes longer depending on the court. For example, courts that currently take longer are Central London, Clerkenwell & Shoreditch and Birmingham.

So, how long does an eviction take?

As said, it really does depend on the circumstances, and frustratingly, it’s usually out of the landlords hands! It can take anywhere between 14 days to several months.

What if you want to evict tenants quickly?

Hmm… nothing changes, unfortunately.

Unless the tenant agrees to voluntarily vacate, you can’t get them out of the property quickly. I’m not aware of any formal legal procedure that can assist in quick evictions, not even in the following common scenarios:

  • If the property is doing something illegal in the property, like operating a business without permission
  • If you wish to sell your BTL property
  • If accumulated rent arrears has made you default on mortgage payments

Many landlords try to persuade tenants to vacate with financial incentives, either by giving them money directly, or by reducing or completely revoking any rent arrears. Many tenants actually do leave on those conditions, but as a landlord, it’s a very difficult pill to swallow, especially if the tenant starts to try negotiating (which they often do).

Following the proper eviction procedures…

Just a word of caution before I sign off and sail off into the sunset.

While tenant evictions can typically take anywhere between 14 days and several months, I have heard of many cases where they have either dragged on for much longer, or at least, dragged on for much longer than necessary, because the proper procedures weren’t followed.

For the most efficient eviction, it’s important for landlords to stay legally compliant and to do things properly!

Going through an eviction? Dealing with a difficult tenant? Want some free professional advice?

I got you!

If you would like some free legal advice or professional assistance with evicting your tenants, you can book a free case review with They’ll be able to assess your case and guide you in the right direction, and also suggest some optional services (at exclusive rates) to help remedy your situation the right way.

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Best of luck xoxo

16 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Chris Bostock 8th January, 2020 @ 08:25

Rented out former home for 12 years. Use Managing Agents and have insurance to cover rent arrears and eviction process. Reliant on rent as retired and it's my pension. Your page has helped regarding possible time scale.

Guest Avatar
Mark 31st January, 2020 @ 19:51

Its a great thing that it takes so lon to get tenants out, gives the tenants plenty of breathing space and time to find somewhere else and without it sahntytowns and tents in car parks would be a much more commons site in the UK than they are now. Idd be on the streets now if this wasnt the way it was

Guest Avatar
mark 31st January, 2020 @ 19:54

I mean ideally it would be really great if tenants could just stay for years and stick their 2 fingers up at the landlord, but it still plenty of breathning space

Guest Avatar
Vikrant Gupta 1st August, 2020 @ 08:19

As a landlord I have filed a case against my tenant for eviction since 2014 and have cleared Title suit case in 2018.still he refused then we filed an Execution case against him in Jan which his appeal has been rejected but no further action carried out from between tenant has filed civil appeal in district court which also has been rejected in Feb 2020.Also,he has now moved to highcourt for second appeal.what should I do he is trying all delay tactics.During this 6 years time his rent is due and currently working in my godown.what should we do please help us out?

Vikrant Gupta

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Andy 7th April, 2021 @ 02:27

Our landlord is the local authority. Our property is only supposed to be emergency temporary accommodation but obviously the pandemic hit so we’ve ended up being in the property longer than expected..... the council have now taken us to court for possession of our property, we have children so they will have to provide further emergency temporary accommodation so I don’t understand why they didn’t just let us stay here until we find another place. We have zero rent arrears and never had any complaints from neighbours!! It’s all a bit stupid if you ask me 🤔🤔🙄

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Aby 13th April, 2021 @ 05:09

My tenanats and causing damage to the property and complaining to the council I've been given a informal list of thing's to do wich I am getting peaple to do they have been pulling plugs sockets out of the wall and radiators off their brackets light covers off bathroom light fittings then calling the council. It all started in the covid19 lockdown. Every time I mention to the tenanats we need to arrange time's and days we're I can make inspections they call the police and say I'm intimidating and harassing them all forms of communication has collapsed. I am communicating through the council inspecter to do works. they are making it as difficult as possible for even the work to be done . it's like they're not bothered at all.they are constantly trying to cause spending money in my house and I'm paying out blindfolded the boiler broke down five times in a short period door and window handles have also been damaged its getting stressful l I want them out of the house as soon as possible.i don't now we're to start

Guest Avatar
Sue hynes 27th October, 2021 @ 15:34

Tenants won’t let me do an inspection and I know the place is needing jobs done,, one glance at the garden tells me I need to worry

Guest Avatar
Alexandra Hall 28th January, 2022 @ 09:04

I'm a excellent paying tenant who needs some security to stay longterm in a property as covid has screwed up the chance to get a mortgage and was told my rental would be longterm.
After one year the landlord wont do another fixed term and has moved ne to a rolling contract.
This tells me they are planning on giving notice.
I would have to just keeping paying and ignore the notice as I literally will not have anywhere to go, credit rating is shot to pieces because of the pandemic.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th January, 2022 @ 10:05

Hi @Alexandra,

Sounds like you're just speculating at this point. I have a few tenants that have been on rolling contracts for several years. It doesn't necessarily mean the landlord wants to evict you.

Why don't you actually ask the landlord so you know what the situation is, because you might be worrying for nothing?

Guest Avatar
Lee 2nd May, 2022 @ 12:53

My landlord kept going on how he's never going to sell and that later on he'll retire in the flat I am renting, then out of the blue January 2nd 2022 he sends me a text telling me he is selling and that I should have expected it as all landlords sell in Jan? Told him I'd need more than the two months offered. It's now been three months and I can't find anything other than people trying to rent a tiny room for around £800pm. I'm just going to sit it out until it goes to the county court. Thanks for the info, I feel so sorry for all the people in my situation. 😧

Guest Avatar
Lo Mc 29th May, 2022 @ 00:22

Similar situation to Lee, landlord said not to worry when they sent someone to measure the flat...and out of blue calls on a Friday (in Jan 2022) asking me :" Is all okay to move out folowing Monday?
Utterly shock to me, (rent areas 0)
couldn't find my words so to speak, as up until that day was having pland and

to find out that an eviction has been sent back in November ( letter which I didnt know about it. Folowing the stress and unable to settle to sleep I was hospitalized in a Mental hospital. ( my husband had to take a month off work to look after our toddler).
Eventually they sent another new eviction letter but dated Feb'22 giving us another 2 months notice until April "22 ( which I appreciate) but still unable to pack and get rid of 12 years accumulated belongings and paying rent accurately.
Even worse I cannot fully concentrate as even my brain is set up to pack, and move feel like going into a circle. I feel like a yo-yo everybody and this eviction out of blue really messed up my entirely life.

Meanwhile my relationship with my husband deteriorated and the temporary accommodation being in his name and in other town, away from the town that is my HOME for 12 years, have friends, have GP,
only dont feel comfortable to leave the place without having the security of a permanent place, especially now having to deal with mental distress and depression.

To short the long story:
The landlord aplied for Accelerated possession order.
Would the court take into consideration my saying?
Think I may need an solicitor.

Guest Avatar
Lucinda 18th June, 2022 @ 18:11

Great site. ThanQ The Landlord!

Simple question.

Been a tenant in my beautiful flat for 5 years. No problems with 2 other, decent,kind neighbours.

I complained about the psycho above me, (to my lettings agency.) She threw things on the floor, stomped and moved furniture, day and night, to intimidate me. She's known to the Police, mental health services. And I have written statements from previous landladies, re them fearing for their lives, their children and pets. She's been thrown out of every flat she's stayed in!

Suddenly both the psycho and I got asked to leave in 8 week's time.

She packed up and moved out sharp. I'm still trying to recover from the shock, and looking for solutions.

I do not want to move out when I've done nothing wrong!
Should I try to fight this in the courts? Is it worth trying? Would the court fees be astronomical if I lost?

I have people like US Marines or ex RAF friends who would provide good character testimony. And my flat shows I've ONLY been respectful to it/the landlords etc.

Any advice hugely appreciated! ThanQ. x

Guest Avatar
Dodd 21st June, 2022 @ 23:51

Tenant for 10 years, never missed a payment, never called landlord once for any problem, just fixed everything myself...

Dude just decides to sell without any good reason, just gives me 8 weeks to jog on...

Landlords need to learn empathy... How would they like it if they got told to pack all their crap and feck off somewhere in 8 weeks or else ?

This is one of the many reasons everyone HATES landlords. No fecking empathy or decency or humanity or anything else, just GREED.

Guest Avatar
victoria clarke 5th August, 2022 @ 04:28

advice needed.
I have improved the house I rent with my 2 children 5 fold since we we moved in. He was told from the start we needed a long term tenancy and he was happy for us to make changes and make it our home as we had just moved out of a d.v refuge and we just needed security and a lovely safe place to call home. I Spent my own money makings an horrible in useable garden safe and beautiful, re carpeted the entire house, new flooring to the hall and kitchen. Decorated ever room.. I reported a leak under the bath the first time we had an issue as it was coming through the kitchen light when we unplugged the bath, also we had never had a regulator on the shower and it was unsafe for the children so I needed it to be made safe (this was reported on moving in but was ignored) the landlord soon served me a section 21 saying he needed me to move out as the repairs were too big.. I at first agreed but then sent an email saying that it was our home and it was not fair to evict us to do repairs only to rent it out after so agreed we would vacate for 2 weeks to have the repairs done.. he never did the repairs so we had too.. fast forward a year the shower has bn unsafe for 2 years, reported and the door was loose. My 4 year old son end up getting hurt in the shower and in a& e due to the dodgy shower, landlord finally fixes it.. I email to say thank you it’s all I wanted.. 6 month later I let him know the dishwashers stopped working.. / days later I’m been served a section 21 again… this guy just shouldn’t be a landlord. I’m in such a mess trying to find a new home locally that’s suitable but there is nothing.. do I have rights to stay here until we find something suitable? Also he’s let me do the house up and now is saying he’s selling it after he’s let me spend thousands thinking we were here for long term 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Guest Avatar
Andy finn 7th November, 2022 @ 00:57

I have lived in my apartment Private rented for 3 years now, I have also my daughter stay with me every weekend, There is always one nosy Parker which has been picking on me, They basically have a committee and a board and have meetings every weekend, I have been giving two months notice,, Saying I have breached many of my conditions in my lease, Which I haven't I have asked them for proof,, The only thing they can prove I have done wrong, Is hanging my daughter's washing outside on a maiden for 2 hours,
And giving me 2 months notice, One of the conditions I did break, Was hanging my daughter's washing outside on a maidenf or a few hours, They also tried to say I am a nuisance to My neighbor, Which has never happened, And I have been given a letter of my neighbour to prove I have been a good neighbour and not a noisy neighbour, Surely they cannot throw these accusations at me and evict me without proof, I have never not paid my rent even in lockdown, I have just had surgery in May and still have managed to pay my rent, My apartment is in a mechanic condition,, Is there anything I can do, Surely me and my daughter cannot be made homeless
So originally it started out with eviction for breach of contract,
Now because there's no proof and they know I haven't done it, looking for me, I made sure I got video footage of other people committing the offences I have been accused of,

Now they are saying they are dropping all the allegations,

Landlady just wants her apartment back, Surely I can do something about this, And take them to court instead of them taking me Anybody give me advice please

Guest Avatar
Jat 11th July, 2023 @ 20:55

I am a landlady who is selling her rental flat. I have a buyer and we both have agreed the sale price. The estate agent is dealing with the process. This was in April 2022. It is now summer 2023 and I am still waiting for the court to issue an eviction order as tenants have refused to move and are waiting for the Section 21 order so they can then go to the council and say they are homeless and hence get a council place. This has been their plan. I have had to pay nearly £2,000 in legal fees to deal with the eviction. Why are the courts taking so long to issue an eviction order when the simple reason is I need to sell and I have an interested buyer? To make matters worse my landlord licence has run out and council is chasing me to renew for next 5 years. The estate agent is not great with communications yet insists I do not contact the tenants directly. I have no idea why the court is delaying things. Advice pls.

















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