Eviction can be difficult for both landlords and tenants alike. From a landlord’s point of view, this is something that may be necessary if a tenant is not adhering to their tenancy agreement. For a tenant, there may be issues regarding what happens if they are evicted and may dispute the circumstances. This is why it is important from both perspectives to know legal issues around eviction.
It is important to be clear what kind of tenancy you offer. A periodic tenancy can run from month to month with no fixed endpoint, while a fixed term will have a clear end date. Therefore, in theory, with the latter, a tenant will be aware of when they have to move on.
Sometimes a tenant may want to avoid an eviction notice by refusing to answer the door. This doesn’t necessarily work as a landlord can put a notice through the letterbox if there is a witness present, or alternatively use the services of a professional process server.
Under the 1988 Housing Act, there are two notices you can serve a tenant. A Section 21 notice means you reclaim the property at the end of the fixed term or an agreed date, without having to give a reason for reclaiming the property. A Section 8 refers to evicting someone with specific reasons, such as not paying rent, making excessive noise or breaking tenancy agreements in different ways. With the latter, this could potentially be disputed in court as a tenant can ask for evidence that they deserved to be served a Section 8 notice.
It is possible to serve both notices at the same time, though Section 21 is generally considered the better option for landlords as it doesn’t require a specific reason.
A Section 21 needs to be served properly, as it is about telling someone you want the property back, so you have to give sufficient notice for a tenant to find other accommodation. If a landlord doesn’t do this properly, then it may not hold up in court.
With a Section 8, the notice must specify what terms of the agreement have been breached (for example, having a pet when the property doesn’t allow pets). Like Section 21, there needs to be enough notice to allow the tenant to leave the property. If a tenant doesn’t leave, then a landlord can apply for a possession order.
We can help
If you are a landlord, it can be difficult as you need to be sure that any eviction is legal. From the perspective of a tenant, you have to know the process so that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. If you are still unsure, it is worth contacting a legal professional who specialises in this particular area.
At Larcomes, we believe in the concept of being big enough to specialise, yet small enough to care. What this means is we have the resources to represent our clients, while giving them the customer services they deserve. To find out more, please contact us today so we can discuss your legal needs in more detail.