One of the most frequent instructions I receive is from Landlords wishing to evict a tenant. Usually the tenant has stopped paying rent. Evicting a tenant can be a complex process if you do not know the correct way to go about it. Recently I have been instructed by Landlords mid-way through a Court case looking for help. These Landlords have found that getting it wrong can be expensive and lead to many months of delay before you finally get possession.
So how do you avoid this problem? The points you should be checking are:
- Check the tenancy agreement first. Who is named as a tenant? All papers should be addressed to all the tenants plus anyone you know who is also living at the property such as a new partner of the tenant
- When does the fixed term end? Are you inside or outside the fixed term?
- Consider why you are wishing to evict a tenant. Is it rent arrears or do you want to sell the property?
- Did you take a bond/deposit? Check you have properly secured the bond and provided the tenant with the Prescribed Information before you do anything further. If not, you must first take steps to remedy these defects.
- Serve the right Notice on the tenant. This could be a section 8 or a section 21 Notice. The process is different between the two Notices. Take advice if you are unsure of which Notice to serve.
- After the right amount of notice has passed if your tenant has not left you must evict them with a Court order.
- You have to fill out the right Court form and send the right papers with the claim.
- There might be a hearing at the Court and you would need to submit witness evidence to the Court to prove your right to evict a tenant especially with a section 8 Notice application.
As you can see, the process is complex and it can be confusing. It is little wonder that Landlords start the process themselves only to find that something has not been done correctly and because of this, the Court is refusing to evict your tenant.
The Court process often feels like it is designed to trip up a Landlord. With expert advice you can evict a tenant quickly. Contact Susan Lewis for further information.