Eviction – a guide for landlords
If you are having issues with tenants outstaying their tenancy, or breaking terms we are here to help
If your tenants rent under an assured short hold tenancy, i.e. a fixed term or periodic agreement this guide will apply to you. Other arrangements with tenants, such as lodgers in your own home may vary. In all cases we would advise you to speak to a solicitor about your particular situation.
My tenants have not left at the end of the fixed term tenancy
In this case you’ll need to issue a Section 21 notice to the tenants which must give them at least two months notice to leave. It’s vital to seek advice before you issue this notice. To prepare, have all paperwork to hand to show you have complied with your obligations as a landlord before you proceed, for example, copies of tenancy documents and proof you’ve provided your tenants with EPC certificates and the ‘How to rent’ guide. Your solicitor can make sure you comply with all conditions and will draft and arrange service of the notice on your behalf.
My tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy
If tenants have gone against the agreed terms, a Section 8 notice can be issued for them to leave. Depending on which terms they’ve broken you can give between two weeks’ and two months’ notice for them to leave. Again, you are advised to speak to a solicitor to ensure you are taking the best course of action in the circumstances, and they will make sure any notice is drafted correctly and served to the tenants.
A section 21 has been ignored – the tenants haven’t moved out and they still owe me rent
If a notice hasn’t been acted on, you can apply to the court for a possession order. There are different orders depending on whether or not rent is owed. Your solicitor will advise you on which order to pursue.
If the tenants want to challenge the order there may be a court hearing, but in most cases a possession order is issued without the need to go to court. Your solicitor will prepare and apply for the order, and will be on hand at every step to ensure all is done to progress action as quickly as possible.
The court has ordered them to leave but tenants haven’t left the property
As a last resort a warrant for possession will allow bailiffs to be instructed to remove the tenants from your property. This process can be stressful, but having a solicitor to advise on your rights and assist with procedures will help alleviate anxiety and bring issues to conclusion more quickly.
Use procedures in your favour
There are very strict procedural rules to follow when seeking to evict a tenant. The court takes a dim view of any action that could be considered as harassment and it is a criminal offence to evict a tenant without the right court order. Seeking advice protects you, and will help you achieve the outcome you want.
Documents to have to hand when consulting a solicitor:
- Signed tenancy documents
- Confirmation that the deposit is held in a deposit protection scheme
- Details of any rent areas
- Proof you have provided the tenants with the:
- EPC certificate
- ‘How to rent’ Guide
- Gas safety certificate for the property
Please note that these guides are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. You can contact one of our expert consultant lawyers using the form below.
“The best advice for any landlord in dispute with a tenant is not to take matters in to your own hands. Take legal advice early as to your rights and the best course of action. By following the letter of the law you’ll be in the best position possible to resolve any issues. Our solicitors are experts in this area, and can advise you every step of the way and help alleviate the anxiety that can come with tenancy disputes.”