Commercial Property

6 Tips for Evicting Tenants.

There are many reasons why landlords might want to evict their tenants and get their properties back. For example:

  • You may want your tenants to leave so you can sell with vacant possession
  • You may want to do renovation works which cannot be done with tenants
  • Your tenants may be failing to pay rent, or
  • They may be unsatisfactory for some other reason

But how do you go about it and what things do you need to think about? Here are my top tips on eviction.  Then at the end, there are a couple of free resources for you.

 

1.Is eviction really necessary?

For example, if your tenants are good tenants it seems a shame to make them move out just because you want to sell. Maybe, as an alternative to eviction, you could sell the property as an investment property, with them in situ? You may even be able to sell the property to them.

If your tenants are having problems making payment but are otherwise good tenants, you may be able to help them. Perhaps change their payment day to the day after their salary goes into their bank or allow them to take in a lodger.

2.Do you rent on licenses rather than tenancies?

Are you REALLY SURE they are licenses? Many so-called licenses are actually tenancies. This can get you into trouble anyway as landlords can be prosecuted for issuing ‘sham licenses’.

Frequently these so-called licenses are only found out to be tenancies when the landlord takes the tenants to court and the Judge throws the case out because the procedure for evicting licensees is different from that used for evicting tenants. You don’t want this to happen to you.

3.Do you know what your tenancy type is?

Most tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies. However, this is not inevitable.The significance of a tenancy type which is not an AST is that the eviction procedure will be different.

4.Have you dealt with the tenant’s deposit correctly?

One of the top reasons why Judges throw out eviction claims based on the no-fault section 21 procedure is that the landlord has not protected the deposit, or served prescribed information on the tenant within the 30-day deadline. Failure to comply with the deposit rules can also derail claims based on rent arrears as tenants can counterclaim for the penalty for non-compliance which can wipe out your arrears.

5.Did you serve the gas safety certificate on your tenants before they moved in?

This only applies to tenancies which started or were renewed on or after 1 October 2015, but this includes many, many tenancies. Landlords who have not served their gas safety certificate on tenants before they moved into the property will not be able to use section 21.

6.Are you familiar with the eviction procedure?

The process is not rocket science but it is easy to make a mistake. If so you may find that your case is sidetracked and takes considerably longer to resolve. And if your tenants are not paying rent, time is money.

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