As a landlord, you obviously want to keep tenants in your property for as long as possible. However, unfortunately there are situations where you may need to evict the tenant. Whether it’s because they’ve breached a clause in the tenancy agreement, or you simply want to move back into the property, asking the tenant to leave isn’t always easy.
Before you hand out your eviction notice, it’s important to understand the process from a legal prospective. Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about evicting a tenant and how it should be done.
When can you evict a tenant?
There are a number of valid reasons you can legally evict a tenant from a property. You can either evict the tenant for breaching a clause within the contract, or if you want to move back into the property. It’s worth noting that if the tenant is currently within a fixed term contract, you cannot evict them unless they have breached the tenancy agreement.
Understanding the different eviction notices
Even when you have a valid reason for evicting tenants from your property, there are strict rules you need to follow. You will either need to use Section 8 or Section 21 notices.
If you want to move back into the property, or you want to take back the property through no fault of the tenant, you’ll need to use Section 21. This require you to give two months’ notice to the tenants. If you’re evicting the tenant because of a breach of the contract, you will need to fill out a notice to seek possession of the property, explaining how the agreement was broken. With this type of notice, you can give the tenant between two weeks and two months’ notice, dependent upon which term it is they broke.
Things you should and shouldn’t do
When it comes to evicting tenants, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you have a landlord insurance to cover any missed rent once the tenant has been evicted. You’ll also want to make sure that you have upheld your obligations within the contract such as maintenance.
You can’t withhold the tenant’s belongings, even if they have missed a few months rent. This is illegal and could see you face a significant penalty. You also aren’t allowed to switch off utilities to the property. If the tenant doesn’t leave by the agreed date, you can apply for a possession order through the courts.
As you can see, there’s a lot to know when you’re considering evicting a tenant. It’s crucial you cover yourself by ensuring you follow the process correctly and legally. Being aware of both yours and the tenant’s rights will ensure you don’t get hot with huge penalties.