A landlord is entitled to an Eviction Order (possession of their premises) if there is a legal basis for the eviction, to the satisfaction of the Royal Court. Such reasons include:
- expiry of a fixed term tenancy agreement;
- the end of a periodic tenancy agreement following the issue of a termination notice;
- material breach of a tenancy agreement; or
- non-payment of rent.
Obtaining an Eviction Order requires the assistance of H.M. Sergeant and the Royal Court. It is therefore advisable to instruct an Advocate to assist with the eviction proceedings.
In the first instance, to minimise costs, we recommend that a landlord approach the tenant/occupier to agree the vacation of the premises amicably. If this is unsuccessful then the landlord will need to proceed with obtaining an Eviction Order from the Royal Court. Dependant on the circumstances, the landlord must in the first instance serve a Notice to Quit on each tenant/occupier via H.M. Sergeant’s office. The Notice to Quit will state the reason an Eviction Order is being sought. If the tenant is in arrears of rent, no rent should be accepted after the Notice to ensure it remains a valid ground for seeking an Eviction Order.
Eviction proceedings commence by H.M. Sergeant serving an eviction summons on each tenant/occupier to attend an eviction hearing at the Royal Court. At this hearing the Court will determine whether an Eviction Order should be granted as a matter of law.
Stay of eviction
The tenant/occupier can request a stay of the Eviction Order (time before the tenant/occupier must leave) and upon such request, the matter will be adjourned for a further hearing (before the Jurats) to determine whether it can be granted and the length of any stay.
At the further hearing the Jurats have discretion to suspend the Eviction Order for any period of time, as they deem appropriate, given the facts before them. In considering/deciding the appropriate period of time, the Court is required to take into account a number of considerations, for example:
- any unpaid rent;
- availability of alternative accommodation;
- any nuisance/annoyance caused by the tenant/occupier; etc.
In relation to a tenant (and subtenant) the Court, at its discretion, can decide to suspend the Eviction Order for any length of time as it deems appropriate (a “stay of eviction”). However, in relation to an occupier the maximum stay of eviction by law is currently 6 months.
The Court has also power to attach conditions to any stay of eviction it deems appropriate (for example payment of the rent, keeping the property in good order, etc.)
Execution of the eviction
The eviction must be carried out by H.M. Sheriff and upon the immediate Eviction Order being granted and/or after an expiry of any stay, the landlord can instruct the H.M. Sheriff to execute the eviction.
Upon request, any items of personalty left at the premises can be removed by H.M. Sheriff and placed into the storage for safe keeping. If the items are not claimed by the tenant/occupier within 14 days of their removal, a final notice will be published in the Gazette Officielle. Should any items of personalty remain unclaimed after expiration of 21 days from the publication, H.M. Sheriff may dispose of these in such manner as they think fit.
Ferbrache & Farrell LLP is experienced in dealing with eviction proceedings and we are able to advise on the appropriate procedure in relation to your individual circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact Jana Valkovska (Jana.Valkovska@ferbrachefarrell.com), Samantha Harris (Samantha.Harris@ferbrachefarrell.com) or Alison Antill (Alison.Antill@ferbrachefarrell.com) for assistance.