Where appropriate, the first step should be a discussion between the landlord and the contract holder. Informing the contract holder in person or over the phone of your intentions is respectful and can facilitate a smoother, more communicative eviction process. A surrender of the occupation contract could be negotiated at this stage.
The first formal step is serving an appropriate eviction notice. This must give an appropriate notice period before the intended end of the occupation contract and must abide by the rules for the eviction option chosen.
Proof of service should be retained, either by filling out a certification of service form (N215) or by writing 'served by [name of landlord] on [date]' on the notice and keeping a copy. If the contract holder has not vacated by the end of the notice period, the landlord can apply to the court for an order of possession. Whether or not the courts will grant a possession order depends on the rules for the type of eviction notice in question. Some types of notice require the courts to grant an order if conditions are met and no exceptions apply. Others allow the courts to grant an order if they consider it reasonable to do so in the circumstances. If a notice has been served invalidly (eg because the landlord has breached a statutory obligation or an inadequate notice period was given), the courts will not grant a possession order.
A possession order tells the contract holder to leave the property by a specific date. If they do not do so, the landlord can begin the process of repossessing the property using a bailiff. For more information on the court and repossession process, read the Government’s guidance.
Ask a lawyer if you need more information on court proceedings and possession orders.