Our last blog on unlawful evictions prompted a flurry of feedback, so this month, James Parden looks at how to remove a problem tenant and keep the law on your side…
As my last article on the unlawful eviction of tenants elicited numerous enquiries, I thought it would be timely to remind landlords about how to do it properly.
Constant changes to the law and reaction to cases progressing through the courts can cause endless problems when it comes to evicting tenants.
The vast majority of new tenancy agreements I’ve seen this year do not fulfil the ‘right to rent’ criteria and I still have to remind landlords they face heavy penalties if they neglect to lodge their deposits with one of the recognised schemes. This includes providing tenants with the necessary prescribed information within 30 days of receiving their money. Overlooking either issue can have a serious impact on your ability to regain possession of a rented property.
To help you begin the eviction process, the government has prepared a standard notice relating to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended), which must be used for new or renewed tenancies started after September 30 2015. It outlines to tenants that they have a requisite amount of time to vacate the property and failure to do so will leave the landlord no option but to apply to court for a possession order.
If any of the terms of your tenancy agreement have been breached, you are entitled to serve notice under Section 8 of the Housing Act. The time you give the tenant to remedy the breach, depends on the nature of the problem, but if it is not addressed satisfactorily by the deadline, you must, again, ask the court for possession of the property.
Even if you are successful in gaining a possession order, you cannot enter the property, or harass the tenant into moving out if he has not vacated by the deadline. Once again, you must return to court for an eviction appointment, as only a bailiff has the power to take positive action.
The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 was designed to guard tenants against unscrupulous landlords who seek to harass or force them from their rented home. Harassment claims can arise as either a breach of a landlord’s duty to offer quiet enjoyment of the property or by committing an offence contrary to the act.
No matter how experienced you are as a landlord, if you have problem tenants, it is wise to seek legal advice before attempting an eviction. We offer a fixed fee structure for dealing with residential property disputes.
For more information, telephone (0114) 218 4000 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org