Worthingtons Solicitors

Landlords, Tenants and Notices to Quit: Where to Start?

There can be many reasons why a landlord may wish to serve their tenant with a Notice to Quit but both landlord and tenant need to be aware of the appropriate timeframes that apply in order for the Notice to be valid.

The Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 replaced the Notice to Quit periods that were put in place under Covid legislation. This Act introduced a tiered system meaning that the longer the tenant has been in situ, the longer Notice period they get. These notice periods are in place regardless of whether the tenant has breached the terms of the Tenancy Agreement or not.

Length of tenancyNotice to quit
Tenancy not been in existence for more than 12 monthsNo less than 4 weeks’ written notice
Tenancy has been in existence for more than 12 months but not more than 10 yearsNo less than 8 weeks’ written notice
Tenancy has been in existence for more than 10 yearsNo less than 12 weeks’ written notice

As a landlord, if you serve a tenant with an Notice to Quit providing them with the wrong notice period, even if the Tenant remains in the property beyond what would be considered the valid period, you must re-serve a new and valid Notice. Without serving a valid Notice to Quit, you will be unable to commence formal ejectment proceedings to recover your property from the tenant.

If you have served a valid Notice and the tenant has failed to vacate the property, you can initiate ejectment proceedings in the County Court.  In those circumstances, we can assist you in writing to the tenant putting them on notice of your intention to commence the process and issue an Ejectment Civil Bill thereafter. An ejectment Civil Bill details the relief that you seek, namely vacant possession of the property together with any rental arrears or damages in respect of damage caused to the property, to be assessed if applicable.

If following service of proceedings and expiration of the timeframe for a response to be lodged, the tenant remains in situ, an application to the Court for a Possession Order can be made at a hearing before a judge. In the event the Order is granted, this is served and if the tenant continues to remain in the premises you may be required to continue with enforcement proceedings through the Enforcement of Judgements Office.

If you are a landlord and require assistance to evict a tenant, remember to firstly check your landlord insurance for legal costs cover before embarking on ejectment proceedings.

If you have any further queries or would like any further information on how Worthingtons can help you in these circumstances, please contact our office on 028 9043 4015 or email [email protected].

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