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What happens at a possession hearing?

A possession hearing constitutes a vital step within the eviction process, where a judge deliberates on whether a tenant eviction will go ahead. There are instances where the judge may allow a tenant to retain occupancy of the dwelling.

A possession hearing may not happen for a section 21 eviction.

The court will provide the parties with a date and time. This is sent via ‘Notice of possession hearing’

Do I need to attend? Should I bring anyone with me?

Typically, possession hearings are convened at the local county court where the property is situated, as indicated in the possession hearing notice.

It is imperative that the parties attend the hearing unless circumstances prevent you, in which case, you should inform the court promptly, citing valid reasons such as unforeseen and severe health issues. 

Additionally, the parties have the option to be accompanied by a legal representative, be it an advisor or solicitor.

What happens during the hearing

During the hearing, which typically lasts about 15 minutes, the judge will take a look at the evidence presented by both parties before rendering a decision. 

The landlord’s representative usually presents their case first, followed by the tenant’s response. 

What can the court decide

The court’s decision hinges on factors such as the tenancy type and the eviction process initiated. For instance, in cases involving a section 21 notice, the judge may be mandated to issue an outright possession order if the notice is deemed valid, or dismiss the case if it lacks validity.

Evict A Tenant Chigwell, UK