Published 3 days ago

How do you evict a tenant as a landlord?

How do you evict a tenant as a landlord?

WHAT CAN I DO IF A TENANT DOESN’T PAY RENT?

If a tenant can’t or won’t pay their rent, then your first step should not be an attempt to evict them. Eviction is a potentially expensive option and will be highly time-consuming. As a landlord, you have a number of options, including:

  • Talking to the tenant:
    • The failure to pay may be temporary, and it is better to try to maintain a good relationship with the tenant. Ensure you stay professional and calm at all times, as this will stand you in good stead if you have to take further action later.
  • Considering reducing the rent:

    • If you have a good relationship with the tenant, you may find that reducing short-term rent may benefit you in the long run. If you do so, make sure to state in writing the period at which the reduced rent ends.
  • Exploring housing benefits for private tenants:

    • If a tenant is experiencing a crisis, then they may be eligible for government allowances. Point them to the local council for advice and assistance with paying rent.

  • Letting them leave:

    • If a tenant cannot pay rent, it may be best to let them leave without paying. They might not be able to realistically cover the sum owed. This prevents time from being wasted and prevents long-term losses.

    You may have noticed already that each of these options may be highly time-consuming. This is especially true if you live a distance from the property in question. However, some tenants may refuse to pay and refuse to leave the property. In these situations, events are likely to become even more expensive.

A GUIDE TO REMOVING A TENANT FROM YOUR PROPERTY


In the event that you need to remove a tenant from your property, you must begin by serving them notice. You can accomplish this by serving a Section 8 or Section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1988.



SECTION 8 VS SECTION 21: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

If a tenant fails to pay rent, causes damage to your property, or disturbs neighbours, you can issue a Section 8 eviction notice. This means that you can terminate the tenancy agreement during its fixed term if the tenant fails to comply with its terms. Keep in mind that the tenant can challenge the eviction notice. If it goes to court, you must provide evidence to support your reasoning for eviction.

On the contrary, a Section 21 notice is served to inform tenants of the landlord’s intention to take back the property at the end of the fixed-term tenancy agreement. It can also activate an agreed break clause.

Unlike a Section 8 notice, a Section 21 notice does not require the landlord to provide a reason for regaining possession of the property. Its purpose is to serve as a “notice of possession” to the tenant. 
It is possible to serve both a Section 8 and a Section 21 notice simultaneously.

Additionally, you can pursue legal action on one or both notices. Although each notice is independent, they both lead to the same result: the recovery of your property.

SERVING A SECTION 8 EVICTION NOTICE

To serve a Section 8 notice, you must start by filling out Form 3. It is also known as the “Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy” form. It is important to identify the terms of the tenancy agreement that have been breached in the notice.

Depending on the terms of the notice, you must give between 14 days and two months’ notice. You have to consider the time required for effective service of the notice.

WHAT TO DO WHEN TENANTS REFUSE TO VACATE YOUR PROPERTY

If your tenants refuse to vacate your property after the specified date listed in the Section 8 notice, you will need to take further legal action. This involves applying to the court for a possession order. To begin, you must locate the County Court in the local area. Then you fill out two forms, an N5 claim for possession form and an N119 particular of claims for possession.

Both of these can be found online. Keep in mind that this process can take up to six weeks. If the order for possession has expired and the tenant has not yet vacated the property, you will need to instruct the County Court Bailiff to evict them.

WHY HIRING A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY MIGHT BE THE SOLUTION

Did you know that 1 in 6 landlords have initiated the eviction process of a tenant in the past three years? As a landlord, it’s understandable to be concerned about tenants neglecting to pay their rent. It could be challenging to manage the situation on your own.

This is where a property management company can help. If you’re considering this option, reach out to our team at Hemmingford Estate Agency today. We’re experienced, friendly, and always happy to help.

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