How to Effectively Evict a Troublesome Tenant?

tenant eviction

Troublesome tenants aren’t just a nightmare for landlords, but also for those that live next to them. Whether you have a tenant who refuses to pay their rent or one who parties all night long, we look at the best ways of evicting them.

Previously, the rental market was dominated by buy to let landlords who had a portfolio of properties and understood the industry. With the stagnation of the housing market, many homeowners are letting out their own homes to help them move to a new property. This has lead to people running into difficulties with troublesome tenants, but not understanding what their rights are.

Start with a Letter

It might seem simple, but the best way to start the process of evicting troublesome tenants is to set out your issues in a formal solicitor’s letter. This is often all it needs to shock them into paying up or moving out. There isn’t a requirement to send the letter before starting legal proceedings. However, it could save you time and money if it provides a solution.

Providing Formal Notice

If the letter doesn’t prompt the required action, or you want to go straight to this, you can start legal proceedings. By law you must issue this notice before starting the court process. It’s important that all notices are issued in accordance with the Housing Act 1988. If any elements of this process are incorrect, it could be dismissed from court. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek legal advice.

A section 8 notice form can be issued if the tenant has breached a condition of their lease, such as not paying the rent. This process can be started as soon as they are in breach of the agreement but landlords should be aware that, if the tenant pays monthly, the court can suspend or delay possession unless they are at least two months in arrears at the time of the notice and the court hearing. Once the tenants have been issued with this notice they have two weeks to rectify the situation otherwise the landlord can start a court claim for possession. A section 8 notice is the fastest way of starting the process of ending the tenancy and evicting a tenant while they are still within the tenancy period.

A section 21 notice can only be used when a tenancy is coming to an end or has ended. The benefit is that, there is no defence to a claim based on a valid s.21 notice but, if the tenant does not leave and you need to start court action, you can’t do so before the end of the fixed term. Many landlords don’t want to wait till the end of the tenancy before taking action if the tenant is not paying.

Further Action

If the section 8 notice form hasn’t resulted in the tenants leaving, then you can start court proceedings. Landlords cannot evict non-paying tenants themselves, they must follow the correct procedure, obtain a court order and, if necessary, use a court bailiff to evict the tenant.

There is an accelerated process if you are only claiming possession (and costs) because the term of tenancy agreement has come to an end. A 14 day Possession Order can be granted without a court hearing. For possessions based on arrears and other breaches of the agreement you’ll require the standard process. The court hearing will decide if a Possession Order should be granted or suspended to allow the tenant time to rectify the problem.

If they still fail to leave the property, you can appoint a court bailiff to forcibly remove them.

Whatever issues you are having with your tenant, make sure that you deal with it correctly by seeking independent, professional advice.


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