Bailiff eviction: how long does it take?


If you have been given notice your landlord is evicting you from your property, this means they have taken the matter to court, and the court has given permission for you to be evicted.

Types of possession order for eviction

There are two types of eviction order which can be created. These include:

Outright possession order

This means you must leave your property by a certain date and if you have not left by this time, bailiffs will be sent to evict you. If you have small children or disabled relatives living under your care, you may be able to apply for more time from the court. In some cases, you can receive up to six weeks.

Suspended or postponed possession order

This type of order means you’re allowed to continue living in the property but you must meet certain conditions – which could include having to pay back any rent you owe on a weekly basis .This may be a good time to look into a debt solution that could help with making repayments on time and in full. We have more information around these here.

How long does it take before bailiffs are involved in an eviction?

You usually have 14 days after the court makes the order for eviction before bailiffs are involved. If you do not leave the property during this time, your landlord will apply to court for bailiffs to assist with encouraging you to leave your home.

You should also be given a few days’ notice before they actually arrive to prepare. This notice is called an N54 form and is either sent as a written letter or hand delivered.

Once this notice has been received, you should look into finding somewhere to live. This could be with a friend or relative – or you could speak to your local council about your situation and see if they are able to help.

What happens on the day of eviction?

When the bailiffs arrive on the day of eviction they will ask you to leave the property. You will need to give them any keys you have to the property and you will also need to take your belongings with you.

You won’t be given any extra time to pack your things once the bailiffs arrive, so you should try to move out as much as possible before your eviction date. If you do leave any belongings behind you could try to arrange to collect these at a later date with your landlord.

Your landlord cannot destroy or sell your belongings and should hold them for a reasonable amount of time. You could be charged for storage costs though.

Things to note when dealing with bailiffs

Bailiffs must abide by a strict set of rules when evicting you from your property and it’s a good idea to understand what these include so you can challenge anything they don’t do correctly.

Bailiffs can only visit your property between 6am and 9pm

They will usually come between 9am and 5pm – if they come before 6am or after 9pm you can refuse to deal with them.

Bailiffs must provide proof of who they are

Ask to see their ID before you allow them into your home or leave the premises. They must carry some form of identification on them, such as an ID card, badge or an enforcement agent certificate. You can double check who they are using the Certified Bailiff Register – simply type in their name and it will confirm who they are.

Bailiffs cannot use offensive language or physical violence

If you feel threatened by a bailiff that arrives at your property, call the police immediately.

Bailiffs can call the police

If you don’t leave the property voluntarily or use physical violence, bailiffs can call the police to help them evict you. The police can arrest you for breach of peace if you don’t comply.

If you are facing the threat of being evicted from your property due to rent arrears, get in touch with our team at PayPlan today. We can offer free, impartial advice on your debt situation and how to tackle this – call them on 0800 316 1833 or fill in our contact form for a free call back.

Here at PayPlan, we understand how distressing and upsetting the possibility of being evicted from your home can be. For help with homelessness or your mental health, we recommend speaking to organisations such as ShelterMind or the Samaritans who can offer support and guidance at such a time.