As a landlord, you’re likely familiar with the complexities of property management and the importance of maintaining a well-functioning rental business.
While many landlords take a hands-on approach to managing their properties, others opt to delegate these responsibilities to property management companies, like Complete Prime Residential.
Whether you manage your properties directly or through a management company, it’s crucial to understand the UK eviction process and the grounds for eviction if a tenant becomes problematic.
The ability to evict a tenant when necessary is a crucial aspect of property management, but it must be done in strict accordance with the law.
The new Rental Reform Bill has introduced significant changes to eviction regulations, making it even more important for landlords to be well-informed and to navigate the process diligently.
In this blog, we will explore the key aspects of the UK eviction process, the grounds for eviction, and the steps landlords must follow to remove problematic tenants while adhering to the law.
In the United Kingdom, there are two primary methods for eviction: the Section 8 notice and Section 21. These methods are instrumental for landlords dealing with troublesome tenants or addressing tenancy issues.
1. Section 8 notice: This type of eviction is used for tenants who have broken the terms of their tenancy agreement, such as by not paying rent or causing damage to the property.
2. Section 21: This type of eviction was previously used for landlords who wanted to evict tenants without a reason but is now only available in very limited circumstances.
The government has recently introduced updated rental reform laws which are new laws and regulations aimed at improving the rights of tenants in the UK. These include:
– A ban on Section 21 “no fault” evictions. This means that landlords can no longer evict tenants without a reason, such as rent arrears or breach of tenancy agreement.
– A requirement for landlords to give tenants at least six months’ notice before evicting them.
– A ban on revenge evictions. This means that landlords cannot evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about repairs or other issues with the property.
How to evict a tenant
If you have a bad tenant, the first step is to try to resolve the issue amicably. This may involve talking to the tenant about their behaviour and giving them a chance to improve.
If the tenant refuses to improve, or if they have committed a serious breach of the tenancy agreement, you may need to take legal action to evict them.
So, what are the steps to get rid of the bad tenant?
1. Serve the tenant with a written notice letter: The first step is to serve the tenant with a formal written notice, outlining their bad behaviour and the consequences if it does not stop. The notice should be served in a prescribed manner depending on the legal basis for eviction. For instance, if you serve a Section 8 notice, depending on the terms of which they’ve broken, the tenants notice period can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. Whereas if you serve a Section 21 notice, you must give the tenants a minimum of 2 months’ notice to leave your property.
2. Apply to the court for a possession order: If the tenant does not leave after the notice period, you will need to apply to the court for a possession order. This can be done online through the HM Courts and Tribunals Service website. You will need to provide evidence of the tenant’s bad behaviour and that you have served them with a valid notice of eviction.
3. Apply for a warrant of possession: If the court grants a possession order, you will need to apply for a warrant of possession if the tenant still refuses to leave. This gives the bailiffs the legal right to enter the property and evict the tenant.
4. Evicting a tenant: Once you have obtained a warrant of possession, bailiffs can attend the property to evict the tenant. The bailiffs will normally give the tenant the opportunity to leave voluntarily. If the tenant refuses to leave, the bailiffs can use reasonable force to remove them from the property.
In a rental market shaped by changing regulations and an emphasis on tenant rights, understanding the UK eviction process and the available grounds for eviction is essential for landlords.
The distinction between Section 8 and Section 21, and the recent rental reform laws, have reshaped the landscape of tenancy agreements and property management.
As a landlord, it’s vital to approach eviction with careful consideration and to exhaust all reasonable efforts to resolve issues amicably before resorting to legal action.
When eviction becomes the only option, the prescribed steps, from serving written notice to obtaining a warrant of possession and executing the eviction, must be followed meticulously.
By adhering to the law and maintaining professionalism throughout the process, and getting help from your property management company, landlords can protect their properties and their rights, fostering a fair and secure rental environment for all parties involved.
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