Eviction Glossary

Accelerated track
There are two types of court procedure for possession claims - accelerated track and traditional track. The accelerated track can only be used to recover possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) on the basis of an expired Section 21 Notice. It isn't possible to use the accelerated track to claim for rent arrears or to use it for any type of tenancy other than an AST.
Adverse possession
The possession of property without the permission of the owner. If this continues for a sufficient time, not secretly but openly for all the world to see, the owner may be prevented from claiming it back.
Assured shorthold tenancy (AST)
In England & Wales, a type of Assured Tenancy which guarantees the tenant security of tenure during the time specified in the tenancy agreement. The landlord may obtain possession of the property by the service of a Notice Requiring Possession giving at least two months’ notice expiring at the end of the term of the tenancy or later. Since the coming into force of the 1996 Housing Act, most new tenancies created will be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).
Assured tenancy
A tenancy of a dwelling-house granted to an individual as their principal or only home on or after the commencement date of the Housing Act 1988, and being a tenancy to which the Housing Acts 1988 and 1996 apply in England & Wales, whereby the landlord may only regain possession of the property subject to the Assured Tenancy upon establishing one of the grounds for possession contained in the 1988 Housing Act (as amended) and the tenant therefore has the benefit of full security of tenure protection. In Scotland, the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 applies.
AT6 Notice
AT6 Notice (also known as a 'Section 19 Notice') is an eviction notice used in Scotland when the tenant on a Short Assured Tenancy falls into rent arrears. (Short Assured Tenancies were replaced by Private Residential Tenancies on 1 December 2017 and cannot be created since that date.) The eviction notice must be served on the tenant along with a Notice to Quit. Both the AT6 Notice and the Notice to Quit are combined in our Notice to Terminate a Short Assured Tenancy download.
Certificate of Service (N215) form
A court form used for claiming possession of a property that proves that the eviction notice has been served.
Common law tenancy
A tenancy which isn't covered by either the Rent Act 1997 or the Housing Act 1988. These are generally tenancies of self-contained accommodation in the property where the owner lives, properties let at a high rent (currently over £100,000 per annum) or at a low rent (£1,000 per annum in Greater London or £250 per annum elsewhere), and company lets.
Court Decree
The term for a court order in Scotland.
Determination
The determination of a tenancy is the ending of a tenancy.
Determine
To end or cease. A tenancy is determined when it's ended.
Dilapidations
A state of disrepair in a property where there is a legal liability for the condition of disrepair.
Eviction
The recovery of property from the person in occupation of it.
Fixed term
This is where the overall term of a tenancy is laid down in the tenancy agreement; for example, 6 months or 52 weeks. It's best to specify the fixed term as a certain number of the periods of the tenancy. Don't say that the term is 6 months, but the period is weekly. Rather the term is 26 weeks for a weekly tenancy or 6 months for a monthly tenancy.
Ground 8
In England and Wales, a mandatory ground for possession due to serious rent arrears. Provided that both at the time of service of the eviction notice (a Section 8 Notice) and at the time of the court hearing, the tenant is in arrears of rent of more than eight weeks or two months, the landlord will be entitled to possession as of right.
Guarantee agreement
In a guarantee agreement, a guarantor agrees to pay the rent and meet all the obligations and duties of the tenant, should the tenant default, and also pay for any loss or damage caused by the tenant’s breach of the tenancy agreement.
Judgment request
The return slip at the bottom of the court's Notice of Issue form used in possession claims. If, after 14 days of receiving the Notice of Issue form, the tenant doesn't file a defence of the possession claim, the landlord can fill in the 'judgment request' and send it back to the court. The ‘judgment request’ is so that the court knows that no defence has been served and to ask the court for a possession order, so that the landlord can get their property back.
Mesne profits
The rental income that a landlord is losing by the occupancy of premises by a tenant after an order for possession has been given. Mesne is pronounced “meen”.
N119 Form
See Particulars of Claim.
N325 Form
See Warrant of Possession.
N5B Claim Form
A court form used for claiming possession of a property that starts the court eviction process. The N5B Claim Form notifies the court and the tenant of the case and the main points of it.
Notice of Issue form
A court form sent to the landlord, tenant(s) and if appropriate, guarantor once the court has received the N5B Claim Form starting a possession claim. The Notice of Issue form informs all parties of the date of issue of the claim and the court’s claim number.
Notice to Quit
A notice to quit is a document from a landlord or property owner notifying the tenant that the landlord requires the tenant to leave the rented property. More specifically in Scotland it is an eviction notice used in Scotland to terminate a short assured tenancy (SAT).
Particulars of Claim
The document by which a claimant gives details of the facts on which their claim is based. Also known as a 'N119 Form'.
Possession
Actual and physical control or occupation of property.
Possession order
An eviction order made by the court stating the date by which the tenant is required to give up possession of the property. It's normal for the possession date to be 14 days after the eviction order was made. The possession order may also require the tenant to pay a sum of money in respect of rent arrears or costs.
Schedule of Rent Arrears
Schedule of Rent Arrears is a legal form that must be used by landlords when they are evicting tenants through the courts. Landlords in England & Wales can use this tenant eviction form to claim for rent arrears through the courts and the Schedule of Rent Arrears should be attached to a Section 8 Notice to show to the court which payments are outstanding.
Section 213 Notice
See Tenancy Deposit Protection Form.
Section 21 Notice
An notice to quit under the Housing Act 1988 that may be given by a landlord requiring possession from the tenant of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) in England & Wales. With a Section 21 Notice a landlord must give the tenant at least two months’ notice, and the Section 21 Notice cannot expire before the end of the fixed term. The advantage of a Section 21 Notice is that it's almost impossible for the tenant to contest possession proceedings which are brought under this eviction notice. Different Section 21 Notices are used in England and in Wales.
Section 8 Notice
An eviction notice that may be given by a landlord requiring possession from the tenant of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) in England & Wales. A Section 8 Notice is used primarily for the breach of a tenancy agreement (i.e. rent arrears). Using a Section 8 Notice a landlord only has to give the tenant 14 days’ notice and the Section 8 Notice can be used at any point during a fixed or statutory periodic tenancy (i.e. after the fixed term has come to an end).
Sheriff Officer
The term for a court bailiff in Scotland.
Short assured tenancy (SAT)
In Scotland, a type of assured tenancy which guarantees the tenant security of tenure during the time specified in the tenancy agreement. Short assured tenancies were replaced by Private Residential Tenancies on 1 December 2017 and cannot be created since that date.
Shorthold ground
A mandatory ground for possession. If a tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) (or a short assured tenancy (SAT) in Scotland), the landlord is entitled to a possession order as of right, after the fixed term has expired, provided the proper form of notice (a Section 21 Notice) is served.
Statutory periodic tenancy
A periodic tenancy that comes into operation on the expiration of an assured tenancy for a fixed term unless that tenancy is terminated by a court order or surrender of the tenancy.
Tenancy Deposit Protection Form
A legal form (also known as a Section 213 Notice) ensuring that landlords give tenants the right information at the start of the tenancy agreement concerning their Tenancy Deposit Protection (in compliance with the Housing Act 2004 in England & Wales). By law, within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the deposit is received by the landlord (or, by implication, the agent acting on behalf of the landlord) the landlord must provide the tenant with details on how their tenancy deposit is protected.
Term
The term of a tenancy is the overall length of time for which a tenancy lasts, from the date when the tenant first takes up the tenancy to the date when the tenancy ends. See also Fixed Term.
Traditional track
There are two types of court procedure for possession claims - accelerated track and traditional track. When using a Section 8 Notice because of rent arrears, the system or ‘track’ used is the ‘traditional track’. This will involve a court hearing.
Violent profits
Scottish term for Mesne Profits.
Warrant of Possession
A court form used in possession claims instructing the County court bailiff to physically remove the tenant. This form is only used if the tenant has failed to leave the property after a possession order has been served. Also known as a 'N325 Form'.
Witness statement
The written evidence of a witness, which is usually read by the court as the witness's "evidence in chief". The witness promises that the statement is true and can be cross-examined on it.

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