Applying to court after serving a Section 21 (Accelerated Possession)

Last updated 5 July 2022 - end of temporary practice directions around covid


Once the notice period for a Section 21 notice has expired, most tenants will have moved out and you will be free to relet the property. In some cases the tenant will remains in the property though; in those cases your next step is likely to be applying to court for a possession order.

For most landlords this will mean applying to court under the accelerated possession procedure. The accelerated possession procedure is fairly straightforward and inexpensive and does not normally involve a court hearing. The court will make its decision by looking at the documents that the landlord and tenant provide to decide whether to grant/reject a possession order or to call a hearing if further investigation is warranted.

When can I apply for a possession order using accelerated possession?

Landlords can only use the accelerated possession procedure to gain a possession order when a valid Section 21 notice has been served. These notices are only available to assured shorthold tenancies.

If you do have an assured shorthold tenancy then you can apply for a possession order using accelerated possession if:

  • you have been the landlord since the tenants moved into the property; and
  • your tenancy agreement is in writing and you still retain copies of the documents; and
  • you have served a valid Section 21 notice and that notice has expired.

Section 21 Notices (Accelerated Possession)

Last Updated: 05/07/2022

Guidance on how to serve a valid Section 21 notice, what you must do before you serve it and resources on completing the Section 21 notice itself.

How do I apply for a possession order?

You will need to fill out an N5B form if you wish to seek a possession order using the accelerated possession route. Please note there are two different N5B forms - one for England and one for Wales so it's important to use the right one.

Completion notes for the N5B form

As this form is checked by a judge without a hearing it is essential that it is filled out correctly to the judge's satisfaction.

To assist with this the NRLA has produced some completion notes to help our members fill out the latest version (September 2020).

Members only

The downloadable content on this page is exclusively available to members. This includes completion notes for both the N5B form to apply for possession and the N325 form if you need to apply for a bailiff to enforce the order.

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