The Do’s and Don’ts of Eviction
Evicting a tenant really should be a last resort when you’re a landlord. It’s upsetting for both parties and can prove to be a pretty lengthy process, involving court action.
As a Property Loop landlord too, you have to follow those court procedures extremely carefully. Here’s a quick guide outline those procedures below. First though, you’ll probably have heard Covid-19 has led to a ban on evictions under the current climate. You can read more about this right here on the government’s website.
Communication Is Key
Try and discuss the problem with your tenant. It could be that they haven’t been able to pay the rent recently due to illness or sudden redundancy. Perhaps you might be able to negotiate a lower rent until they find themselves in a better financial position and they can pay back the deficit? At least talking about the problem gets it into the open and you’ll have a better idea of what you’re dealing with.
If your tenant refuses to talk to you and they are still behind with their rent then you may have no option but to start eviction proceedings. If your property is in England and Wales there are two routes you can go down – applying for a Section 8 notice or getting a Section 21 notice.
Applying for a Section 8 Notice
If you’ve given your tenant up to two months’ notice and they’ve still not moved out then you can apply for a Section 8, provided you can prove they have broken the terms of their tenancy. This means getting behind with at least two months’ rent, damaging your property or causing a nuisance with the neighbours.
Applying for a Section 21 Notice
If the tenancy has come to an end and the tenant is on a periodic tenancy (ie month to month) you can go for a Section 21 notice. You don’t need any grounds, just the fact you’d like your property back. You must provide the tenant with two months’ notice.
The Next Steps
Issuing an eviction notice doesn’t give you the right to enter the property when you feel like it. You must still give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice to enter. Only when they have vacated the property officially, can you enter without notice.
Also, even though an eviction notice has been served, you must still uphold your end of the bargain (or tenancy agreement). This means continuing to attend to maintenance issues while your tenant is still living there.
Certainly, don’t try and force them to leave by turning off the electricity or changing the locks when they’re out. The courts definitely won’t look favourably on that.
Even though an eviction process can be stressful and you may become annoyed with your tenant, always act in a reasonable manner. You don’t want to fall foul of the courts or upset your tenant so that they make matters even more difficult for you by causing unpleasantness. As we said earlier, an eviction process isn’t nice for anyone. Thankfully it isn’t a common occurrence for most landlords and something we would definitely seek to avoid ourselves here at Property Loop.
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