The County Court possession order has expired and my tenant won't move out - can I just change the locks?

Question

My tenant fell into rent arrears, so I followed the correct routes and got a possession order at County Court. The possession order expired yesterday and my tenant is showing no sign of leaving, can I go in and change the locks?

Answer

No, definitely not!

You have done the correct thing in following the right procedure – it is hugely frustrating when you have a tenant who shows no sign of wanting to work with you when they fall into rent arrears, and it is understandable that you are even more annoyed now the possession order has expired.
However, in the long run it is better to follow the correct steps in order to get the outcome you require.

You do need to follow the correct steps though:

  • Go back to the County Court, and instruct bailiffs to carry out an eviction.
  • The court will provide your tenant with an eviction date
  • You will have to be present at the property on the eviction date
  • Bailiffs will arrive at the property, carry out the eviction, and change the locks.

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