How to Evict a Bad Tenant in London
The reason you, as a landlord, may serve a Section 21 and go on to follow this up with a Section 8 Notice of Eviction is if there is a fall-out between yourself and your tenant.
The end result is your tenant is refusing to move out – even though he or she isn’t paying you any rent and, in fact, owes you more than one month’s rent. Unfortunately, this does happen. And it’s why such measures were put in law in the first place.
Serving an Eviction Notice in London
To start off evicting a tenant you must, in the first instance, serve an eviction notice. There are two different types of eviction notice – a Section 21 and Section 8 of the Housing Act (1988). A template for both is available on the government.uk site.
To serve an eviction notice under Section 21, it’s necessary to fill out a form 6a. To do this though, you must have complied with all the necessary landlord duties, such as, provided your tenant with gas safety and EPC certificates. This includes handing over a How to Rent booklet at the beginning of the tenancy and abided by the Tenancy Deposit rules. Also make sure you carry out any repairs reported the tenant before serving notice.
The notice can only be served while the tenant has been in the property for at least four months.
If the tenant remains in the property two months after the Section 21 has been served then you can apply to the court for a possession order.
Proving the Tenant Received Notice of Eviction
The court will certainly want you to prove that you have indeed served Notice of Eviction to the tenant. This can achieved by delivering it personally to the individual and with a witness in tow (a neighbour is a good choice of witness). It can also be delivered by posting it through the letterbox (a photograph of you doing this is evidence).
Recorded delivery is another method and means you have confirmation from Royal Mail that the tenant received the Notice.
You can get an agency to deliver the Notice and who will prove the letter has been delivered.
An email is another method of delivering Notice and which you will certainly have proof of.
Serving a Section 8 Notice
A Section 8 Notice can be served under the same conditions as the Section 31. It requires a different form to be filled out – one which asks for the grounds for the Notice of Eviction. These ‘grounds’ can be either Mandatory or Discretionary. In the case of a Mandatory ground (which could simply be the landlord wishing to move into the property themselves), the judge has to agree to repossession.
For a discretionary ground it is up to the judge to decide whether or not the tenant should be evicted. Damage to the property, sub-letting or falling at least two months behind with the rent would be discretionary grounds. It may be that the judge orders the tenant to pay rent he owes and if he agrees then he or she can remain in the property.
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