Completing N5 and N119 After Tenant Gave Notice but Failed to Vacate

This guidance is on completing the court forms for obtaining a possession order after a tenant has served the landlord a notice to quit but failed to give up possession.

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Applying to Court for Possession — Standard Procedure

Only the landlord or their solicitor can sign the court papers. A common reason for possession claims being rejected by the court is that a letting agent signs them. A letting agent can help the landlord draft the paperwork, but they cannot sign on the landlord’s behalf, and they do not have a right to represent the landlord in court in the landlord’s absence. A landlord who is likely to be absent from the UK will need to instruct a solicitor to commence legal action if they wish to be represented in their absence.

Tenant Wants to Leave

A periodic tenant intending to leave must provide a notice to quit in writing. The minimum notice period is four weeks (specified in section 5 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977). The length of the notice should be at least the length of a rental period (subject to the four-week minimum rule and up to a maximum of six months). This will be a calendar month for a calendar monthly rental in most cases. Where the rent is quarterly, a quarter's notice is required, six-monthly or yearly requires six months' notice. The notice should always expire at the end of a rental payment period or the first day of a new period.