Tenants seeking re-housing:

It is a common occurrence for landlords that tenants approach their local authority to be re-housed and then ask the landlord to evict them.

Tenants who are claiming re-housing by the local authority, from the position of a private tenancy, will be told not to leave their accommodation until they are evicted.

If tenants leave voluntarily they will have made themselves homeless and in this circumstance the council is under no legal obligation to re-house.

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Finding housing for tenants is a major problem for most councils, given the demand, and it is most unlikely they will find a private tenant a long-term council house; more likely temporary accommodation. It is also the case that if the tenant is in arrears or serious breach of their existing tenancy they may be refused.

Councils are being very naughty and are playing games with landlords on this as they will do everything they can to avoid taking homeless tenants onto their books and inflating their homelessness statistics.

Councils will often drag out the process so that landlords must go right through the 3 stage Assured Shorthold Tenancy eviction process:

  1. Serving a valid s21 notice with proof of service
  2. Applying to the county court for a possession notice – £350 court fee plus up to a 3 months wait
  3. Applying again to the court for the court bailiff to evict – £ 110 fee plus another wait of up to 6 weeks.

In fact councils have been advised by central government that they should NOT be doing this – see here: https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/brandon-lewis-issues-eviction-warning-to-councils

What most tenants are unaware of, is that if the landlord / agent goes through with the full eviction process, the costs can be claimed against the tenant. Even if they have no resources to pay, a county court judgement will almost certainly hinder any search for a new tenancy in the future.

Having served a valid s21 notice the council should accept this as a valid and enforceable notice for eviction and take on the tenant/s in question.

If the local authority housing department concerned refuse to comply and accept the eviction at stage 1., you should contact your local councillor with the above information from the Housing Minister.

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