There are a number of reasons why a landlord may have to evict a tenant. It may simply be that their lease has expired. Unfortunately, however, it could be because the tenant has not paid their rent or has been disruptive. Whatever the reason, it is important to be aware of the process in order to do this correctly.
In some cases issues may be resolvable before an eviction process is necessary. For example someone may have started a new job and their payment has been delayed. Therefore you may want to give your tenants a little extra time to pay their rent.
In the case of anti social behaviour it is worth having a discussion with the tenants as they may not necessarily be aware of that their behaviour is having such a negative impact. Where possible we would encourage people to attempt some form of mediation before any form of legal proceedings.
Check the tenancy agreement
If you have agreed a period of notice before you evict your tenants then you have to abide by that. How you do this will depend on what you agreed. With short term tenancies, if someone doesn’t leave at the end of the notice period you can legally apply for a possession order. If the tenant still doesn’t leave after the order has been served then you can arrange for them to be evicted.
With fixed term agreements eviction can only occur within the fixed term period if the rent hasn’t been paid, the tenant is proven to be antisocial or there is a break clause written into the tenancy agreement (so you can take back the property at a point within the fixed term).
Once the fixed term has expired a tenant can be asked to leave and you don’t need a specific reason. As with short term agreements, you can apply for possession orders/force evictions if necessary.
You need to follow the right procedures before evicting a tenant or you could face criminal proceedings. For example withholding keys or services from tenants or threats, verbal intimidation or changing the locks before securing a court order could also potentially result in criminal proceedings, so it is very important to evict the tenants in a legal manner to avoid any long term problems.
It can be frustrating when you have difficult tenants that you are having trouble evicting. Remember to follow any legal procedures correctly- for example, if you don’t attend court hearings then this is likely to influence any decisions against you.
Often the best way to avoid problems is to be more prepared before you have to evict anyone. If you are looking to rent a property and have not done so before then, it is vital to discuss these issues so you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. If you wish to discuss this with an experienced legal professional contact us today and we will be happy to address any issues you may have.