My tenants have left, but not handed back the keys. Can I change the locks?
If you believe, or have reasonable cause to believe, that your tenant has ceased to reside in the premises, you are entitled to change the locks without serving notice or getting a court order. We would always urge you to seek advice though, to avoid any potential claims for unlawful eviction.
What if the tenant still doesn’t leave when the possession order says they should?
In this case, you will need to instruct a bailiff. Again, we offer a fixed fee to assist you with this. A bailiff appointment can take four to six weeks to obtain.
How long will it take?
This will vary depending on if the tenant raises a defence/ counterclaim, and how quickly the court deals with the matter. Typically, both proceedings can take four to six months.
What happens after the notice has expired?
If the tenant doesn’t leave, then we can help you to issue a claim for possession at court.
How do I get my property back?
Whether your tenants have rent arrears, have caused damage or you simply need it back, the first step is to serve them with either a Section 21 Notice or a Section 8 Notice (under the Housing Act 1988).
Whats the difference?
A Section 21 Notice must be in writing and give two clear months’ notice. There are also additional requirements depending on when the tenancy started. The tenant doesn’t have to have breached their tenancy.
A Section 8 Notice must be in a prescribed form and gives two weeks’ notice. It applies when the tenant has breached their tenancy in some way, usually by building up rent arrears.
I have been asked to attend the police station for an interview. Can I take a lawyer with me?
If you are being interviewed under caution at the police station you have the right to have a lawyer with you. That lawyer will be able to make enquiries on your behalf to confirm what the police are investigating, take your instructions and give advice and help you through the interview process. In most cases, such help can be provided free of charge under the Legal Aid scheme regardless of your means.
I am being investigated by the Department of Business. What should I do?
The Department of Business takes a leading role in investigating allegations relating to criminal offences arising out of business malpractice. They have the power to apply to the court to disqualify you as a director and instigate criminal proceedings which can result in unlimited fines and/or a prison sentence. You should take immediate, specialist legal advice.
I have been accused of dumping controlled waste. What should I do?
Illegally disposing of controlled waste or ‘fly tipping’ is a serious offence punishable with an unlimited fine and/or up to five years’ imprisonment. There are a number of possible defences available. You should take specialist legal advice before speaking to the authorities.
I have been told that I have not complied with fire regulations by the Fire Authority. What should I do?
The Fire Authority may simply be asking you to comply on a voluntary basis. Alternatively, they may have served you with an improvement, enforcement or prohibition notice or they may be investigating with a view to prosecution. Whatever the circumstances you should take all necessary steps to remedy any breach as soon as possible and seek immediate advice from a lawyer who specialises in fire safety cases.
I have been arrested for fraud. What should I do?
You should contact a solicitor who specialises in cases of fraud straightaway. You are entitled to take legal advice before answering any questions. Your personal liberty, the future of your business and your ability to act as a director could well depend upon you seeking the right advice as quickly as possible.